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IDG: C-suite career advice: Steve Hadaway, FICO

Company: FICO; Job Title: EMEA MD; Location: London, UK

What was the most valuable piece of career advice that you received?
It sounds obvious, but an early mentor of mine always said that you should surround yourself with smart, committed and fun people, and to never make do with second best.  I try and run my business by those standards, and take immense pleasure from seeing what bright, like-minded individuals can achieve together when they all want to see each other succeed.

What was the worst piece of business advice that you received?
Now, working in the field of predictive analytics, it amuses me to remember a careers exercise I went through when I was at school: all the students answered a very long questionnaire made up of slightly obscure questions and the responses were fed into a computer (which was probably the size of a classroom back then), before we were each told our ideal career.  Mine was “actuary”, so I’m glad I didn’t follow that advice.  Mind you, a couple of my friends were advised their ideal vocations were as a wig maker and artificial limb fitter! I keep meaning to check in on them to see whether the predictions were correct.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the tech industry?
Keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone – you’ll be amazed at how your personal development can accelerate.  As I look back on my career to date I can see periods where I stayed doing the same thing for too long, and other periods where I was stretching myself and learning every single day I turned up at the office - the better days were ones where I reached beyond my comfort zone.  Critically evaluate how you are growing, and seize every opportunity you can to throw yourself in the deep end with a new challenge.  You’ll rise to the occasion much more than you think.

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