The best advice I ever got? So many incidents come to mind. It's like a bag full of precious goodies. But I guess I will have to choose one!
Many years ago, when I was at boarding school, I was to take part in a piano competition. My father happened to visit me at the time and put me through hours of practice until my Moonlight Sonata was perfect. Just a few minutes before I went on stage, he whispered into my ear: "Darling, play to express rather than impress". A simple piece of advice which has guided me through life.
What does this mean to me? To be genuine and true to myself in my thoughts, words and deeds, rather than trying to be someone I am not. Applying this analogy to business and to Thermax in particular, my family and our CEO have been very particular about presenting the "right" picture of the company to all our stakeholders at all times, irrespective of the consequences. In the long run, this approach has always stood us in good stead.
I am often reminded of the poem that my mother shared with me, called "The Man in the Glass", from which I'd like to quote a stanza that says it all:You can fool the whole world down the pathway of life
And get pats on your back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the Man in the Glass.