Word from the C-suite: Leaders 'need to have mentors too'

C-suite leaders are often forced to learn on the job and in the spotlight, where their successes and failures are visible to their employees, colleagues and peers. The key to overcoming leadership struggles is to surround yourself with individuals who you can learn from and whose advice may help you improve your managerial skills, according to one C-suite veteran.

Brian Chesky, CEO and cofounder of Airbnb, discussed his thoughts on leadership in an interview with Fortune. Mr. Chesky noted that every leader, no matter where he is in his career, should surround himself with people of all ages and professions who inspire him and to learn from those individuals' successes and failures.

"We need to have mentors. I think I've always been pretty shameless about seeking out people much smarter and much more experienced than me from the very beginning. Michael Seibel [CEO and partner at Y Combinator] and other people. And the more successful I got, the more leaders I started seeking out, whether it was investors, or Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook, or I got the opportunity to spend time with Warren Buffett and he became a close mentor of mine. Somebody once said 'You're the average of the five people you surround yourself with.' So the question is, how mature are the people you surround yourself with? If you surround yourself with the right people, you can grow up pretty quickly."

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