Show up, sit down, and get it done

Legendary ad man and designer George Lois knows how to keep a deadline. Can you handle tough love?

Reputation--no matter the indusry--follows you

Dana Brunetti is a battlefield general in Hollywood's digital revolution. He's also no stranger to startups, and tells us how two seemingly different worlds both rely on an important factor: reputation.

Flexiblity and fun breeds innovation

In the Google garage everything is on wheels--for a reason.

Breathe. Don't let the nerves get to your head

Kim Perfetto spent five years as a NYC bike messenger--not exactly a relaxing job. She shares her tips for staying calm in the eye of the storm.

Be the hardest worker

Michael Casill was never the biggest or strongest guy in the ring. But if you find a goal and have a dream, he says, you can achieve what otherwise seemed impossible.

Use calculated risk

Steve Fisher lives a dangerous life. Or is it? The professional kayaker, who recently spent his time navigating the wild rapids of the Congo River, says that experience mixed with expertise create the perfect combination of calculated risk.

Simplify things: focus on where you are

When you keep your balance for a living, concentration is everything.

The Best Advice For Working Smarter From Creative And Daring Minds

We've talked to an interesting cast of characters this past year—from a professional slack liner to a bike messenger turned spinning instructor. Proving that inspiration comes in unexpected places, here are our favorite lessons.

At Fast Company we love eccentric, exciting characters and helping you work smarter.

So why not combine the two?

Over the past 12 months we've been to some exciting places. We've taken you into the world of a professional kayaker who successfully mastered the wild rapids of the Congo River, and the studio of a legendary NYC ad man and designer, who will tell you exactly what he thinks about keeping on deadline.

In the slide show above, we've compiled our favorites—the most valuable, blunt, and slightly unconventional business lessons to help you get the most from your work.

Enjoy!

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  • PKaczynski

    Among people from creative industry that inspire me the most is Kevin Roberts, CEO at Saatchi & Saatchi. I think that leadership is having strong values and empowering them on to others. I recently wrote article about it. You will find Kevin's speech there as well. http://pawelkaczynski.com/what...