We have been blessed with the opportunity to serve hundreds of CEOs since we started our leadership advisory business.

Our clients lead Fortune 1000 enterprises, mid-market companies, and smaller, growth businesses.

We continue to grow with them and learn from them. So, in this new series, we will share the best leadership advice that one of our CEO clients has received.

Today we will feature Eric Strafel, CEO, Molecular Testing Labs.

The best leadership advice I ever received was about willingness to take on challenges others may shy away from.

Growing up in a small town in upstate New York, I had limited experience traveling to see new places, meet new people, or try new things. After graduating with my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from a state school in New York, I took my first professional job at Pratt & Whitney (military jet engine manufacturer) in West Palm Beach, Florida. 

It was only the second time I had been on an airplane. It was also the very first time traveling further south than Washington D.C., and 1,000+ miles from anyone I knew. It was a difficult transition, to say the least, but my father told me something that stuck with me throughout my career, “It’s your willingness to try new things and take on challenges that others aren’t willing to do that will make you successful.” 

That was the first of many moves throughout my career. I took on different challenges that I probably wasn’t ready for and never backed down from an assignment put in front of me, large or small.

It accelerated my learning, made change not only comfortable, but even enjoyable, and made me the go-to person to get things done that didn’t have a clear solution. It also helped me build grit over time, so I was unafraid to fail and always to try again when I did.

I’m sure my dad didn’t know it at the time, but it shaped my career from paperboy to the CEO of a multi-billion-dollar company and is the foundation of a growth mindset that I hope to pass on to my kids.