Business in Motion is the weekly radio show started in 1995 with host George Torok. He interviews business leaders from small to large business. This blog is an extension of the business insights, perspectives and secrets to success. Topics include entrepreneurship, leadership, success, management, innovation...
any successful businessman or woman and they will tell you the same thing. Their
success is not something that happened by chance. Of course, being in the right
place at the right time is crucial, but it is only half of the equation. Just as
important is trusting your gut feelings, planning, not giving up, and following
through with your ideas.
The Business in
Motion radio show has spent years interviewing business leaders to find out
what makes them successful. Whilst they may work in a variety of industries, and
have very different personality types, there are similar themes running through
almost all their stories. Lets take a look at some of these themes and pinpoint
what they have in common, why they provide the foundation for success, and how
they can help us to succeed.
Following the advice of business leaders who have
changed the world may not make you a success, but it is certainly a step in the
Yourself With Brilliant People
business leader will happily admit that surrounding yourself with brilliant
people is often the difference between success and failure. A true business
leader is not threatened by talented people. They embrace the abilities of
others and are always willing to listen to their input. They delegate and
utilize the skill-set of their entire team and are never so stubborn that they
refuse to change course when necessary.
Innovation Need Not be Original
this may seem contradictory, true business leaders know they do not have to
'reinvent the wheel' to become successful. Perhaps the most revered business
leader of our time was Steve Jobs. The company he founded in his bedroom has
been credited, among other things, with inventing the personal computer, the MP3
player, the smartphone, and the tablet. Whilst, Jobs was a colossus in the
information technology world, Apple invented none of those products. The
invention of the personal computer is generally credited to Henry
Edwards Roberts, whose Altair 8800 kickstarted the personal computer
A German technology company, Fraunhofer-Gesellshaf, manufactured the first MP3 player back in 1997,
whilst IBM were ahead of their time and developed the first smartphone back in
1992. Admittedly, these products bare little resemblance to the electronic
devices that went on to change the world, but the concept and early advances in
technology were there for all to see. What of the personal tablet? Well, a
strong argument could be made that Pencept developed that technology as long ago
as 1985, whilst Microsoft ushered in the modern mobile computing age with it's
range of 'tablet' devices at the turn of the century.
on the Shoulders of Others
made Steve Jobs such a visionary was his talent for analyzing the current
market, and being remarkably accurate in predicting what technologies would
change the world and those that would end up 'in the dustbin of history'. By
standing on the shoulders of innovators that had gone before, and designing
aesthetically pleasing, simple to use products, Apple became the company it is
Bill Gates did a similar thing in the 1980's with Microsoft. He agreed to a
deal to license parts of Apple's Macintosh GUI for a new piece of software
Microsoft had written called Windows 1.0. The next version of Windows (2.0)
resulted in Apple taking Microsoft to court for copyright infringement. The case
lasted 4 years. The judge eventually dismissing Apples claim. Ironically, the
Macintosh GUI was heavily influenced by work that had taken place at Xerox a
Once again, we find successful companies need not lead the way
as innovators. However, they do need to be in the right place at the right time,
trust their instincts, understand the direction the market is heading, and
market their product successfully.
Importance of Advertising
can have the best idea or product in the world, but unless you get the word out
it will never be successful. Truly successful business leaders already know
this. They promote their product through a variety of media. They understand
that during a downturn
in the economy this is more important than ever.
Of course, a promotional
campaign does not have to cost a fortune. Business start-ups should always
allocate a proportion of their budget for promotional
campaigns that get your message across in unique ways. Building a brand that
the consumer instantly recognises is fundamental to this strategy. All true
business leaders understand the importance of this. People do not just buy
products. They buy
into a brand and what it represents. It becomes a lifestyle choice,
something that demonstrates to the outside world who they are, and what they
Once again, Steve Jobs knew this. Apple, under his leadership,
became the technology giant it is today not just because of its great products.
People also bought into them because they believed Apple stood for something.
IBM and Microsoft represented the status quo. Apple stood for the
counter-culture and a fresh approach.
logos and a company slogan on office products or other advertising can help you
stand out from the crowd. Smaller companies lack the experience and staffing
levels to compete with the industry giants. However, with a creative approach it
is quite possible to turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Office products can
be tailored to sing the praises of a smaller company. For instance, the personal
touch is often lost when doing business with large multi-nationals. Smaller
businesses can point this out whilst designing their office products or other
advertising campaigns. Finding a 'niche' market or audience can help level the
playing field. Successful branding can help a business achieve this.
Work and Never Giving up
the one quality that almost every successful business leader has is their
capacity to work hard, believe in themselves, and a refusal to accept defeat. At
some point, most of the true giants in the business world failed. What
differentiates them from most of us is their ability to pick themselves up, dust
themselves down, and learn from their mistakes. They turn failure into
opportunity. Steve Jobs was once thrown off the board at Apple. Although
despondent, he refused to stop believing in himself. He founded another computer
start up company called NeXT, bought a computer graphics company and renamed it
Pixar, and 13 years later was invited back to join an almost bankrupt Apple
company. The rest is history.