If you are interested in business today, then there’s a good chance that that interest was initially ‘piqued’ by one of the many business ‘superstars’ that so often grace our headlines.
While business takes all sorts, there are undoubtedly some characters that have managed to rise above the rest and that have become heroes to many aspiring entrepreneurs and CEOs around the world.
While you can stand to learn a great deal from any of them, the best way to develop your business skills is in fact to look at what makes all of them successful. Don’t just fixate on one hero, but rather look at the traits they have in common and the things they did differently. Learn from those who have gone before, then forge your own path using their collective wisdom.
Here we will look at some of the best business lessons from the best modern business legends out there.
Richard Branson – Be Fun and Controversial
Richard Branson is no doubt one of the most inspiring business leaders in the world today. What makes him so impressive is the fact that he’s managed to excel in so many different areas and build such a huge business empire from scratch. Soon he’s going to extend that business even further – to the stars via Virgin Galactic which truly is an amazing achievement.
One of the best lessons you can learn from Branson though, is to keep things light hearted and to keep your personality. One of the things that has made the Virgin Brand so successful is its smart marketing, its playful attitude and its willingness to be controversial. Even the name ‘Virgin’ is one that raised some eyebrows in the early days but it’s certainly one people remembered as a result. Virgin’s adverts are cool and sexy and when Virgin Airways found that people were steeling salt and pepper pots they reacted by printing ‘stolen from Virgin Airways’ on the bottom as a joke.
Steve Jobs – Do Things Properly and Stick to Your Guns
Steve Jobs upset a lot of people as CEO of Apple but there’s no denying that he got things done and managed to take Apple to the very top of the technology industry. In many ways though, the reason for both these facts were the same – his dogmatic refusal to compromise.
When Apple released the iPhone, they released a phone with a rigid OS that didn’t allow users to tweak it or customise it and that had a very set ‘grid’ system from the word go. There was no SD card and the look and feel of Apple’s software was consistent across the board. It infuriated some people but at the end of the day it resulted in a premium feeling product with a cohesive design that never crashed. If you believe in something – go with your gut and don’t cut corners.
Mark Zuckerberg – Plan Your ‘Rollout’Facebook is a brilliant product, no doubt about it. It’s simple, it’s effective and it rarely crashes or goes wrong. That alone wasn’t what turned Facebook into such a success though – that was arguably at least partly down to the way that Zuckerberg and his team rolled it out initially.
Rather than releasing Facebook to everyone, Mark first made it available to only those with a Harvard e-mail address which gave him a smaller group to market to and which made it more desirable to everyone else (we want what we can’t have). Then, when he started to open up the network to more universities gradually there was already a community there and probably at least one person that the new users already knew. It was a brilliant strategy that many could learn from.
Bill Gates – BluffThere are countless legends of successful businessmen and women getting started by telling a white lie, and Bill Gates is one such CEO. Microsoft was actually originally founded after Gates rang up the computer company MITS and told them he and his friend had developed a BASIC interpreter for their microcomputer.
MITS bit and Microsoft had their first job – except the interpreter didn’t exist until after that conversation took place! It would seem that fortune really does favour the bold… Here are a few more Top 10 Business Lessons from Bill Gates.
Author Bio: Evan Thomas is part of the team with Incorporator.com.au, a company offering the services of online registry and incorporation. He is an avid gamer and is passionate about sports, especially cricket.