Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave a great speech to 2014 graduates of USC.  

He had this to say about time:

I keep a spreadsheet with a time budget — how I want to spend my time — and I manage to [stick to] the budget. When you’re thinking about the important things to go do in your life or in your business, you have to decide time references. When should you be patient and when you should be urgent — there’s no right answer. Is a startup supposed to succeed in 60 days or 10 years? There’s no right answer to that question, there really isn’t. But unless you’re constantly, as leaders in the world tomorrow, questioning what is the right time frame to use in thinking about the various investments you’ll do…

I know the first major decision you’re going to make about time. All of you will take a job, and you will have to decide how long before I know I love this? Is it six months, is it a year, do you stay after it for three years, five years, 10 years? What does your career look like? You don’t need to know today. But you should think about it explicitly. You should think explicitly, am I being too urgent or too patient? How do I process and really think about time?

Check out his whole speech here.


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