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As the CEO of Viacom, Bob Bakish has more than a few tips for hopeful executives.

“The most important thing is for your team, and that’s your senior team all the way down the organization, to understand what you’re trying to accomplish,” Bakish said during his recent Variety cover shoot. “That’s why we not only had a plan up on the 52nd floor that we kept in secret; we talked to our employee base…so people can understand how they fit in and can modify their own initiatives to better reinforce it.”

Bakish also shared his all-important business philosophy, which revolves around the mantra “you never know.” The business tycoon credited the phrase with Viacom’s acquisition of Channel 5 in the United Kingdom, which he initially thought the company would pass up.

However, Bakish said his most important advice for executives looking to climb the corporate ladder is the simple act of planning.

“That’s not to say you’ll always get exactly what you plan to, but in the absence of a plan, how do you know where you’re going?” he said. “So I believe everyone should have a plan and should use that to guide decisions.”

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