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CEO Daily: Tuesday, June 7

What’s the best management advice you’ve ever received? That was one question we asked Fortune 500 CEOs in our annual survey. Their answers were terse, but enlightening. We offer you the best, below.

 

The most frequent theme was to focus on building the right team:

 

“You are no better than your team.”

 

“Surround yourself with great people, and great things happen!”

 

“Hire the best people and give them the freedom to operate their business/dept., demand transparent communication and hold them accountable for the results.”

 

Also frequently mentioned: “Listen”:

 

“You have 2 ears and one mouth – use them in this ratio.”

 

“Listen more then move with speed.”

 

“Lead with questions, not answers.”

 

The need to be ruthless in setting priorities was also a popular topic:

 

“ Focus on one or two top priorities.”

 

“Spend your time on the important, not the urgent.”

 

“Focus your energy on a few things and delegate the rest.”

 

And pacing was on the minds of many:

 

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

 

“Nothing wrong with getting rich slowly.”

 

“Don’t get too low with the lows or too high with the highs.”

 

“Start small, fail fast, scale quickly.”

 

The importance of values in an age of transparency was another recurrent theme:

 

“Leadership is built on a foundation of values and only with strong values will our efforts to lead be sustainable and successful long-term.”

 

“Always operate with integrity and excellence.”

 

“Tell the truth.”

 

“Do everything as if it will be on the front page of the newspaper tomorrow.”

 

And then there were a few random chestnuts:

 

“Don’t screw up.”

 

“Prepare, prepare, prepare!”

 

“Company first, career second.”

 

“Leadership is action, not position.”

 

“Take your vitamins, you’ll need them.”

 

Anything missing here? Send me an email with the best management advice you ever received, and I’ll print the best in a future newsletter.

 

Also, take some time today to read Michal Lev-Ram’s smart piece about Netflix’s rapid rise up the Fortune 500.

 

News below.

 

Alan Murray
@alansmurray
alan.murray@fortune.com

Top News

Hillary Clinton clinches nomination

Hillary Clinton made history Monday as she became the first woman to win a major party’s presidential nomination, ending a grueling primary against populist rival Bernie Sanders. Wins in Guam and Puerto Rico, along with superdelegates sliding her way, put the former Secretary of State, Senator from New York and First Lady of the United States over the top, according to The Associated Press. That call by the AP was made a day before voting in several key primary states, including New Jersey and California. The news also came just one day short of eight years since Clinton herself conceded to Barack Obama in 2008. What’s next? Clinton works to consolidate support among Democrats and now focuses on Republican rival billionaire Donald Trump, who vanquished 16 rivals to prevail in the GOP race. Time

Verizon plans $3 billion bid for Yahoo assets

Verizon Communications plans to submit a second-round bid of around $3 billion for Yahoo’s core internet business, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Private-equity firm TPG was also expected to submit a second round bid for the assets before Monday’s deadline. Verizon has been viewed as the favorite to buy the assets from Yahoo, according to analysts, because the telecommunications giant’s efforts to become a force in Internet content have gone relatively well under the leadership of AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong. Still, Yahoo is expected to hold at least one more round of bidding, and the offers could change by the final round. Reuters

Ralph Lauren’s new CEO plans makeover

Stefan Larsson, who was named chief executive of Ralph Lauren last September, is expected to unveil a new corporate strategy on Tuesday at a meeting for analysts. The Wall Street Journal, which interviewed the executive ahead of the presentation, reports Larsson – who succeeded fashion designer Ralph Lauren – believes the company has too many brands and retail stores. It is reliant on department stores, where shoppers are lured by discounts. Larsson also believes the company’s inventory system is inefficient. The plan will result in 50 stores, or roughly 10% of the company’s retail footprint, closing. In total, about 1,000 jobs will be eliminated, about 8% of the full-time staff. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Biden announces new national cancer database

Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a massive new national database that doctors, researchers, and life science companies could use to help develop a cure for cancer. During his speech, Biden repeatedly stressed the importance of breaking down the regulatory and structural barriers to pooling clinical trial and genomic cancer sequencing data. He argued that an industry-wide collaborative effort would hasten more targeted, personalized, and effective cancer treatments at a time when innovative new medications like immunotherapies are taking flight. The announcement comes after Biden’s 46-year-old son Beau died of brain cancer last year. Fortune

Around the Water Cooler

Blue Apron mulling an IPO

Meal kit delivery service Blue Apron is exploring a possible initial public offering, according to a report from Bloomberg. Blue Apron, a service that sends subscribers a box of ingredients each week to cook at home, has held preliminary talks with investment banks about raising additional capital including the possibility of raising funding through an IPO in the next year. The company would reportedly be valued around $3 billion in an offering. Blue Apron was among the first startups to jump on the meal kit delivery craze, which has lured a handful of competitors. It has become a leader in the space by shipping 8 million meals monthly. Fortune

Farms hurt by immigration backlash

U.S. farms are facing an intensifying labor shortage that is resulting in crops withering in the field as local crackdowns on migrant labor have led to some decreases in production, Bloomberg reports. The story touches upon many key themes, including the fact that about a quarter of the U.S. farm workforce don’t have valid immigration papers – though some believe the figure could be much higher. And an immigration policy that would focus on closing the border would shift a majority of U.S. fruit production to other nations due to labor shortages, one report suggests. Another problem? U.S. agriculture field workers are paid $12 on average, but a worker in construction – commonly considered a step up from farm work – makes $17.57 on average. Bloomberg

3 charts that should worry Janet Yellen

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen was upbeat on Monday in a speech at The World Affairs Council, where she largely dismissed the negative implications of Friday’s jobs report, which showed that the U.S. economy added just 38,000 new jobs, the worst monthly reading in nearly six years. And while observers won’t know until next week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting how the sharp pullback in job growth affected the official Fed view of the economy, Yellen’s speech suggests that she will make the case to her colleagues that not all that much has changed. But some data suggests problematic trends, including slowing job growth, weaker investment in capital equipment, and payroll weakness. Fortune