Following the examples of some of the greatest business leaders of our times can pay off for you personally, and any business venture you are involved in, whether you are an employee in a corporation or running your own operation. Scions of American industry, especially, like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, have built companies and helped us reevaluate the landscape of doing business in the world today.
As successful as they are, Gates and Buffet will both tell you that they could have not gotten to where they are today without surrounding themselves with the right people.
A college dropout who rose to become the world's richest man, Bill Gates and his childhood friend Paul Allen started the Microsoft Corporation, whose software is generally credited with making personal computers easy to use and available to the masses. The company's creation, the operating system Microsoft Windows runs billions of computers, telephones, and tablets worldwide. But initially Gates needed the assistance of someone he could rely on to help his idea come to fruition. While in college, he also met Steve Ballmer who is now the CEO of Microsoft and helped Gates get the company off the ground.
Gates has several credos which he believes contributes to a person's success in business as well as life.
- Believe in yourself - it seems simple, but it's been at the core of Gate's success. Do you exude confidence? Do you inspire others to act? It's an important personality trait.
- Team up with others - there's a common saying in business "do what you do best and hire the rest". You can't be an expert at everything. Make a concerted effort to surround yourself with very smart people.
- Focus your energy - channel your energy towards your goal, eliminating as many distractions as possible.
- Look for opportunities others are ignoring - they are everywhere. Orphan ideas. Microsoft's early success came because much larger companies lacked the vision to exploit early computing operating systems.
- Share the wealth - reward those that contribute to the success of your company. It inspires loyalty and longevity.
- Learn from your mistakes - stumbling doesn't mean you're finished, it just means you are one mistake less from success.
- Correct breakdowns - learn from your customers that complain the most. Microsoft spends a lot of money and energy doing just that. Adapt, correct, and evolve. All necessary steps on the path to success.
Another one of the world's richest men, Warren Buffett, the "Sage of Omaha" is considered this generations most astute and successful investor. He regularly trades 'world's richest' titles with Bill Gates; Buffett is known for recognizing undervalued companies, purchasing controlling interests in them, and contributing to their growth and subsequent return on investment. But he didn’t achieve great success all on his own. He received a significant amount of help from his friends and trusted peers. He relied on his close friend, Charlie Munger, to assist him with his investments along the way.