Manuel Perez de la Mesa
Manuel Perez de la Mesa

Sometimes we just need advice. So we ask a family member, mentor, best friend, co-worker – you name it – to offer some pearls of wisdom. Other times, the advice is unsolicited, but it can be helpful, too. Regardless of how it comes to us, if it’s good, it’s priceless. Indeed, it can be life-changing.

Here’s what Manuel Perez de la Mesa, CEO of PoolCorp in Covington, La., had to say when I asked him to share with us the best advice he’s received:

“I have been very fortunate in receiving advice from many people, which has helped me in my personal  and professional life. In addition to advice, over time I have received the explanation of the "why" behind certain decisions, which also has helped me develop.  

“One such insight was provided to me in 1976 by David Talty, then president of Universal Restaurants, who told me the reason for him giving me certain assignments was that I assumed responsibility and really cared, so he had less to worry about.  I have used this many times because I have seen those two factors -- assuming responsibility and really caring -- to be critical in realizing success.

“This simple lesson applies both in business and life in general, and I have used it repeatedly in making people decisions over the past 39 years because I believe that these two factors are more important than education, technical/industry knowledge, or experience (although all of these help).”