Running a business is far from an easy task. Fortunately, you can learn vicariously from people who do business at the highest level in the world. There are some great leaders in the world, and we can learn a thing or two from their success. Check out the seven top leaders of the world in our list:
1. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
Motto: Plan for the future today
As the owner of a business, you can’t afford to be stuck in the grip of your day to day operations. While there are things that need to be done daily that are essential to your business, getting bogged down with daily operations can stunt your progression as a business owner.
Jeff Bezos is an example of a CEO that focuses on the long term future for his company. In an interview given to Forbes, Bezos revealed he only works on Amazon’s long-term roadmaps and leaves daily operations to his team.
— eziwear (@eziwear) February 19, 2019
You may be thinking that this is easy for Mr. Bezos because he can afford to hire all the help he needs. However, what you can learn from this approach is that it’s essential to take time to plan for your company’s future, no matter how busy you are.
As the business owner, you have the burden of planning for the future or your company will fall off track. Finding ways to streamline your operations and better connect with your customers will ensure your business is around for years to come. Jeff Bezos proved to be one of the top leaders in the world for his ability to plan ahead well into the future.
2. Warren Buffet, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway
Motto: Understand the advantage of being frugal
One thing you can learn from the most powerful leaders in the world is how to handle your money. Warren Buffet is famous for is legendary wealth but also his frugality. Mr. Buffet refuses to upgrade his home that he bought in 1958 and is known for his disdain of luxury items.
— nicofuher (@nicofuher) December 2, 2018
It’s easy to start feeling left out or like you don’t have enough when you compare your company to other businesses. Warren Buffet pays great attention to small details like cell phone, internet, taxes, and maintenance expenses which may seem innocent, but they add up over the years. One way, Warren Buffet is able to stay so frugal is that he has a healthy definition of success:
“Success is really doing what you love and doing it well,” Buffett said. “It’s as simple as that. Really getting to do what you love to do every day – that’s really the ultimate luxury…your standard of living is not equal to your cost of living.”
3. Oprah Winfrey, Host of The Oprah Winfrey Show
Motto: Don’t underestimate the power of a strong network
Being a business owner is hard work, and it’s often even harder to find people to advise and sympathize with you. Oprah Winfrey who is one of the richest people in the world places great importance on having a personal and professional network to lean on.
As one of the top leaders in the world, Oprah created her on private squad with people you may recognize such as Gayle King and Stedman Graham who’s she’s able to rely on during tough and lonely times.
So my sister turned me onto @SuperSoulSunday a few months back. I’m obsessed!! Thanks Queen @Oprah for the inspiration. I listen to her podcast while I work. Oprah by Nicole Wilson #illustration #illustrator #portrait #NicoleWilson #Oprah #OprahWinfrey #editorialillustration pic.twitter.com/mQd7PyNHIr
— Nicole Wilson (@NicoleWilsonNY) July 9, 2018
At the same time, Oprah also went out of her way to establish a professional network. This professional network is much better suited to give specific business advice and help Oprah make connections with people that can take her projects to the next level.
Having a personal and professional support system in place makes life much less stressful when you’re working as an entrepreneur.
4. Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple
Motto: Learn how to be demanding in a healthy way
As a business owner, you set the tone for how your team works. One thing you can learn from Steve Jobs is how to be demanding in a positive way. Steve Jobs was a famous leader for always pushing his employees outside of their comfort zone which caused them to respond with their best work.
Steve Jobs portrait complete 🍎✍🏽 pic.twitter.com/Ywx8etCYwp
— Gurekbal Bhachu (@G_Singh_B) July 17, 2016
Steve Jobs would often set big challenges or large goals like competing with IBM and Microsoft to motivate his team to do their best work. This demanding aspect of Steve Job’s personality created an environment where everyone pushed each other to do their best.
If you look at Apple as a company, even years later without Steve Jobs, the impact of his challenges are still felt, and the results speak for themselves.
5. Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft
Motto: Look for simple solutions
One thing you can learn from billionaire Bill Gates is not to underestimate the power of simplicity. Bill Gates actually views complexity as a barrier to creating change in professional environments. Change requires a clear path of action, and complex processes and regulations make implementing the changes a very difficult task.
— BTillustration (@BTillustration) March 14, 2018
When it comes to your business, worry about the end result and the impact you’re making more than the process. If your customers are happy, then you are happy. To improve, you can find ways to simplify the process without influencing the end result.
6. John Paul DeJoria, Co-Founder of Patron Tequila
Motto: Look for ways to generate repeat business
Repeat business is a clear sign that a company is going to be around for a while. John Paul DeJoria, the co-founder of Patron Tequila, advocates focusing on an industry that doesn’t require persuading people to buy.
So I accidentally shot a portrait of John Paul Dejoria this weekend… pic.twitter.com/rYGNEcN5iL
— Nick Warnock (@nwarnoc) November 6, 2013
If you can make your business or product a natural part of people’s lives, your sales process becomes much easier. Unless you’re a salesman, you don’t want to be in the business of selling all day. Finding products that people will buy again without hesitation makes your life as a business owner much easier.
7. Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
Motto: Be yourself
Being yourself is an incredibly important part of maintaining your mental health as an entrepreneur. Trying to change your personality to appeal to customers or to try and make new connections never works out in the long run.
Billionaire Richard Branson suffers from dyslexia, but he doesn’t let it impact how he approaches doing business. Instead of trying to hide his impediment or overcompensate with strange behavior, he has embraced his uniqueness and uses it to his advantage.
A while ago I did a pencil portrait of Sir Richard Branson founder of the Virgin group @richardbranson and then lost it amazingly I came across it by accident today so decided to give it an airing before it disappears back into the art file pic.twitter.com/yTvqO6Vftf
— Keith Boldy (@ktboldy) January 4, 2019
As a business owner, you may have to step outside of your comfort zone to make a sale but don’t ever let go of your true personality or your values.
“Yourself is always the best version of you — and being yourself is among the best advice I have ever received,” says Branson.