I recently finished reading an article in Inc. magazine titled “The Rules.” (February 2013 issue) It was fantastic and I recommend it to you! This article provided “eleven nuggets of hard-earned wisdom and meticulously researched insight” from very influential entrepreneurs.
Below is a brief synopsis from each entrepreneur.
Rule 1: Do Less. Evan Williams, the co-founder of Blogger, Twitter and other businesses said the most success has come when “I was incredibly focused on one problem.” It’s interesting to note that both Blogger and Twitter began as side projects, so Williams says “there is something to be said for knowing when you’re locked in to the right problem.”
Rule 2: Embrace Accidents. Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, advised “I think you can create your own luck. The key is to meet as many people as you can and really get to know them.”
Rule 3: Choose your Playing Field. Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management, stated that many business leaders get their strategy wrong because “They think that if they have a vision or aspirations, that’s enough.” “The heart of strategy is defining where you’re going to play and how you’re going to win.” (Make sure to read Martin’s “how-to-win considerations.”)
Rule 4: Fail. Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post, said, “My mother used to call failure a stepping-stone to success, as opposed to the opposite of success. When you frame failure that way, it changes dramatically what you’re willing to do, how you’re willing to invent, and the risks you’ll take…Very often, success stops people, because they’re afraid of taking a step that leads to failure. Success generates fear.”
Rule 5: Let Others Lead. Professor at Wharton School Michael Useem counsels, “Leadership is a team sport. You need to build leadership through the ranks, by empowering people to independently make good decisions.”
Rule 6: Slow Down. Danny Meyer, founder of Union Square Hospitality Group, said, “It’s easy to think running a business is a sprint. If I’ve learned anything at all, it’s that if you’re lucky enough to lead a healthy, long life, there’s time.”
Rule 7: Emphasize Steady Progress. Harvard Business School professor Teresa M. Amabile discovered through research that “what stood out above everything else on people’s best days was that they were able to move forward in their work, even if it was just an incremental step forward…Managers have to pay attention to whether employees are making steady progress, and if not, why not…There’s a big payoff to spending a few minutes a day studying what is going on.”
Rule 8: No Tricks. Evernote founder Phil Libin said, “It’s better to find a way to make everyone happy: no tricks, no gimmicks, no grabbing a short term advantage at someone else’s expense.”
Rule 9: Stop Thinking About Yourself. John Mackey, co-founder of Whole Foods, said, “…whenever we make a decision, we want it to work for all stakeholders—employees, customers, investors, suppliers, the community, the environment.”
Rule 10: Don’t Discount The Role Of Luck. The Success Equation author Michael Mauboussin taught, “Recognizing alternative outcomes—and the role of luck—keeps your mind open to other possibilities, so you can manage or mitigate them.”
Rule 11: Don’t Be Immune To New Ideas. Bob Metcalfe, founder of 3Com said, “…if we want to have freedom and prosperity, we need innovation, because that’s what creates economic growth and jobs.”
Please share the nuggets of wisdom you’ve learned through running your businesses!