Lessons We Can Learn from Famous CEOs

There is much that can be learned as a senior manager or executive from the success of famous CEOs around the world. The accomplishments of modern executives in the IT industry in Silicon Valley can also serve as a motivating force for senior managers in traditional companies. Read on to learn which creative tricks, tips and lessons you can learn from famous CEOs, with advice that will help the success rate in your organisation soar.

Lessons We Can Learn from Famous CEOs

Facebook: Open, co-operative and appreciative company culture

What senior managers can learn from famous CEOs: Employees are the heart of an organisation and should be treated as such. Satisfied employees are better employees. Recently, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s employees gave a satisfaction rate of 99,3 percent.

Employees and executives value the strong, co-operative, creative and value-focused Facebook work culture – fitness center and sushi for everyone are in this case more than simply empty words.

The vision to connect the world is something Zuckerberg strives towards. Studies show that better connected companies are more successful at starving off a crisis. He only employs staff and leaders who he would work for himself. New employees harmonize well with other colleagues. In addition, Zuckerberg puts great emphasis on eye-to-eye communication.

From his glass office, Zuckerberg stands by an open-door policy and invites suggestions and contribution from his employees. This sets the scene for a relaxed and open atmosphere, conducive to the satisfaction of the employee.

Microsoft Corporate Philosophy: “A computer on every desk and in every home”

Every successful company has a corporate aim: a mission that connects employees and inspires customers and business partners. It describes the mission, vision, values and skills of a company.

The corporate aim from Microsoft, “to put a computer on every desk and in every home”, is made up of three building blocks: customer focus, core competencies and company mission.

What senior managers can learn from famous CEOs: how to carefully think through their company’s corporate aim. Microsoft executives asked the following eight questions:

  • Who are the Microsoft customers?
  • Who should they be?
  • Who is not a Microsoft customer and why not?
  • What do customers pay for?
  • What value does Microsoft offer customers?
  • What can Microsoft do better than other companies?
  • In which areas can Microsoft do better?
  • In which area is Microsoft market leader?

The answers to these questions revealed:

  • What Microsoft is committed to and why,
  • Why Microsoft’s contribution to the market is important,
  • Microsoft’s strengths,
  • Which strengths are yet to be developed,
  • In which areas should Microsoft not be active,
  • The weaknesses preventing the company from reaching it’s potential.

Amazon customer focus: “Start with the customer and work backwards”

Amazon has set the global standard for customer focus. What senior managers can learn from famous CEOs: Take a leaf out of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ book and base your new ideas on the expectations, wishes and complaints of customers. His motto is: ” Begin with the customer and work backwards from there.”

In addition, senior managers of the multi-national online retail company ask themselves: “What will not change in the next five to 10 years.”

In this way Amazon executives are able to gain deep insight into the customer’s needs. Without customer focus, your business will lack an understanding of what is important to the customer and fail to identify a unique selling point and value proposition.

Amazon does not identify target groups through democratic indicators, instead the organisation establishes “personas”, with names, expectations and fears. These stand for the stereotypical/average customer. Amazon scouts out their deep underlying and unexpressed wishes and motivating factors in order to develop relevant concepts.

The success of it’s implementation is determined by the conversion rate (conversion of prospects into buyers). If this show significant growth, then the persona will be integrated long-term.

Apple employee selection: A-list players instead of B and C

Apple founder Steve Jobs set high targets for his executives. In following with his ABC concept, he dealt only with the very best people, who he categorised as A-list players.

His theory behind only hiring the best of the best was that as soon as a B-list player came on board, it would not be long before a C-list player joined, then a D-list player and so on until everything fell apart.

A-list players offer a further advantage: they are the best recruiters, with an increased likelihood that they will know other people who live and work to the same high standards as themselves.

Recommendations from other employees, previous work results and passion for the product count more than what is written on their CV. What senior managers can learn from famous CEOs: the importance of networking and having the right human resources team.

Who is an A-level player?

  • Everyone who is exceptionally talented – this also includes high school students
  • Those who may lack industry experience, but have a clear vision of how they can contribute to Apple’s success
  • People who think outside of the conventional box and are looking to cross new borders
  • Those who respect the company’s corporate values

When it comes to effective management strategies, taking inspiration from famous CEOs is more than encouraged. Make note of the strategies used by successful companies and adopt them to fit your organisation.

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