Words of Wisdom with Roger Niello, CEO Sacramento Metro Chamber

At Metro EDGE, we know true mentors are hard to come by these days and that our members are eager to learn what it takes to be successful. Words of Wisdom is a new series featuring some of Sacramento’s brightest CEOs, executives and leaders sharing their advice with the region’s young professionals. Flip your brain over to sponge mode and soak this up.

Roger Niello
CEO, Sacramento Metro Chamber

What are some things you wish you’d known as you embarked on your career:

1.  In hiring, try to find people better than you.

2.  As a manager the best way to implement an idea is to identify a champion and get him/her to believe your idea is theirs.

3.  The most effective debater is one who understands the opposing position as well as the opposition.

Did you have a mentor? If so, what was the most important piece of advice they gave you?

1. In business, my Father.  Particularly valuable advice was: 1) Work harder than anyone else.  2) Treat people fairly.  You may be able to take advantage of someone, but probably only one time and at the expense of all future business.  3)  Assume is spelled ass u & me: if you assume, you make an ass out of you and me.

2. In politics, Dave Cox.  He always had lots of good advice, but probably the best was that you just have to show up!

How did/do you handle work/life balance?

I try not to bring work frustrations home and I find exercise to be a good diversion from pressures.

Do you have any suggestions of books, articles, websites, etc. that might help a young professional?

Biographies of great people give valuable insights into success.  I also read the Wall Street Journal and The Sacramento Bee, particularly the editorials so that I regularly get opinions from the right and the left.  Two great periodicals are The Economist and The Harvard Business Review.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the 40 and under business professionals in our region?

You will likely have more than one career so always keep your options open and your eyes open for new opportunities.