“5 things I wish someone told me before I became a CEO” With Carla Williams Johnson

An Interview with Phil La Duke

Phil La Duke
Dec 19, 2019 · 15 min read

You’ve got to believe in yourself and forget what others may or may not say. For a very long time, I had a hard time dealing with this. I would hide or not say what I mean out of shear fear of offending someone or being misunderstood. Then one day it dawned on me: I wouldn’t be in the position I am in now, if I didn’t know what I was doing. I like to think of myself as the master of my industry and run with that feeling. I’ve learned it’s bad to say nothing and worse to sound like someone else. So, I just get out there and do it and people love me for it.



  • hire persons to do things that they don’t ‘feel like’ doing;
  • order people about because they need to ‘do whatever the boss says’;
  1. Schedule self-care like your life depended on it…because it does. There are times I get so focused and engrossed in what I’m doing that I forget to eat. It’s crazy!!!! I had to learn the hard way that being unkind to my body and not giving my brain time to recharge can have terrible consequences. Being a CEO means others depend on me so I do everyone a favor and take a break every once in a while.
  2. Failing is OK, even for a CEO. I would beat myself up whenever I made a mistake but as time went on, I realized that it’s all part of the process. As a matter of fact, I’ve dismissed the word failure from my vocabulary altogether. I learned the lesson and I allow it to strengthen me as I move forward.
  3. You’ve got to believe in yourself and forget what others may or may not say. For a very long time, I had a hard time dealing with this. I would hide or not say what I mean out of shear fear of offending someone or being misunderstood. Then one day it dawned on me: I wouldn’t be in the position I am in now, if I didn’t know what I was doing. I like to think of myself as the master of my industry and run with that feeling. I’ve learned it’s bad to say nothing and worse to sound like someone else. So, I just get out there and do it and people love me for it.
  4. Trust your gut. I cannot say how many times I went against my own intuition and got myself in hot water. Now I don’t make a move unless my intuition is in play. It gives me the confidence and the desire to follow through much easier once I feel aligned and at peace with the decision I’ve made.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Phil La Duke

Written by

Author of “I Know My Shoes Are Untied. Mind Your Own Business” and “Lone Gunman. Rewriting the Handbook on Workplace Violence Prevention

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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