Achieving Success

Pursuing success is the number one motivator in pushing limits and extending the reach for each and everyone.  For some, success is measured in terms of wealth, while for others, it is their emotional quotient.   An analysis on how those who are viewed as successful Leaders, for instance, might help us better understand the dynamics governing this desired state of mind.

Every leader evolves in a unique personal way.  Standing by anchored principles and reevaluating oneself from time to time definitely help one to see any situations in actual fact.

Below are other common traits of leaders who marked history:

    1. Shouldering Responsibility

Leaders are those who stand out of the crowd and shoulder responsibilities without being asked to, motivating others in the process to aim higher for the achievement of a common goal.

    1. Perseverance

Colonel Sanders and Henry Ford are good examples of perseverance. Colonel Sanders’ numerous attempts to success paid off when he established Kentucky Fried Chicken at the age of 60.  Henry Ford’s first attempt with the introduction, in 1890, of the Ford Quadricycle, a vehicle made up of a frame mounted on four large bicycle wheels with an ethanol-powered engine, did not pay off.  He later founded the Ford Motor Company, invented the Model T and became one of the wealthiest men in the world.

    1. Creativity

Who would have thought that Walt Disney was reprimanded by an editor at the Kansas City Star for lacking imagination? Walt Disney could have taken these harsh words to heart and given up on creativity.  Instead, he went on to become the world’s most successful animator of all time with 22 Academy Awards, creating characters like Mickey Mouse and opening his own theme park.

Today, Walt Disney is one of the world’s most universal household name, synonymous of creativity.

    1. Looking for Talent

Great leaders surround themselves with great minds.  Steve Jobs has always been on the hunt for talent in unique ways.  He accepted invitations to lecture at universities so that he could lookout for the next employee. Jobs personally interviewed over 5,000 applicants during his lifetime, managing all the hiring for his team.

    1. Continuous Improvement

For Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, “The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. His antidote is to think, every evening, about what can be done better for tomorrow.”

Continuous improvement is key to success. What do Google, Yahoo, and Facebook have in common? The people behind these billion dollar companies that started in dorm rooms are continually striving to take their business to the next level.

    1. Taking Risks

When Richard Branson was younger, his aunt bet him that he couldn’t learn to swim during their family vacation. After failing to master the skill during that particular vacation, he asked his father, on their way back home, to pull over the car near a river. He then jumped into it, swam, and won the bet.

Today, Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, which constitutes of over 400 companies, believes in a philosophy of taking risks and stepping out of one’s comfort zone. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules,” Branson said. “You learn by doing, and by falling over.”

    1. Taking ownership of mistakes

After Amazon deleted copies of unauthorized versions of Animal Farm and 1984 from their users, there was an immediate negative backlash. Not only did Amazon cope with the mistake by issuing an official press statement, but CEO Jeff Bezos also personally apologized, admitting that the company’s solution to the problem was “…stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles…”.

Another example of assuming responsibility is The BP oil spill in 2010 which generated several apologies, among which was the prominent apology commercial.

    1. Toughness

If you want to lead in the business world, you’re going to have to stand up for yourself. “When somebody challenges you, fight back. Be tough but not brutal,” advised Donald Trump.

You might lose some of your friends but not enemies.

Harvard Business Review did some insightful analysis in 2013 about what made a good leader and published the interview of Sir Alex Ferguson, a man having great insight in leadership and skills management.  Sir Alex is rigorous in identifying talents, polishing them and leading them to excellence simply because he is hardworking and does not like seeing effort go to waste and time spoiled.

By Kumlessh Dhunnoo, Company Secretary at GroFin.