Leadership Inspiration from Eight Billionaires in America

DigitalIntelligence

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An inspiring quote from Lao TzuPhoto by Hester Qiang on Unsplash

Introduction

I see the wealthiest people as a source of inspiration. They show us possibilities. Their impact on the economy and society is remarkable.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index in America, the eight richest individuals in order are Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Bernard Arnault, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Warren Buffett, and Sergey Brin.

Interestingly, six out of these eight billionaires come from a technology background whom I have been following for over two decades. They use technology smartly to change the world while making their companies and themselves the richest in the world.

In this post, I want to share simple pearls of wisdom from these eight billionaires by selecting a profound quote from each that affected my leadership perspectives. These powerful quotes are publicly available and used by thousands of business people, leaders, bloggers, writers, and media influencers.

To make it easy to understand and digest these quotes, I categorized them under eight leadership topics: Customer Service, Optimism, Learning, Future Focus, Progress, Purpose, Investment, and Talent.

1 — Customer Service

Currently, Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index ($196.6 B).

My selected quote from Jeff is:

"If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful".

We know that all business leaders are heavily focused on customer service. One of the goals for customer service is to increase their satisfaction. As Jeff wisely put, happy customers, bring more customers.

And the opposite of this is also true. Unhappy customers cause loss of business.

2 — Optimism

Elon Musk is not only rich ($174B) but also a popular person even for young generations.

My favourite quote from Elon is:

"If you get up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day".

From my observations, I noticed that exceptional leaders are optimistic. They start their day by prompting themselves with joy and happiness, which leads them to success.

I am yet to see a pessimistic leader.

3 — Learning

Some love and some dislike Bill Gates. However, he has decades of success and is currently the third richest person ($144.6B).

My favourite quote from Bill is:

"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning".

Using Windows for several decades, I experienced painful moments and shared my feedback with Microsoft.

One good thing about Microsoft, they grow and improve progressively. They take customer feedback, positive or negative, and make improvements for the next version.

Even though it had many competitors from proprietary and open sources, Windows always had a significant market share.

4 — Future Focus

Bernard Arnault, who is well known in the fashion industry, is the fourth wealthiest person in the billionaires' index ($131.8B).

Bernard has many quotes shared publicly, but my favorite one is:

"The goal of a start-up is not to stay a start-up".

We know that many startup companies enter the market with passion, but a majority of them fail. Some never grow and stay as a small company.

Those who have a clear vision, strategy and know the importance of scaling can turn into large organizations in a short time.

5 — Progress

There isn't a single day Mark Zuckerberg is not mentioned on media. He is not only the fifth richest man ($118.1B) in the world but is also inspiring and controversial. Some dislike him but still use Facebook, one of the largest social media platforms globally.

My selected quote from Mark is:

"I think a simple rule of business is, if you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress".

Small achievements activate a specific part of the brain to motivate us. When we achieve something minor, our brain rewards us with small spikes of dopamine. This hormone can encourage us to take actions and make progress.

Leaders can only become successful with consistent actions. Getting energy from easy and small tasks to do the big tasks is a critical success factor.

6 — Purpose

Who doesn't know and use Google?

Larry Page, a technology genius, as co-founder of Google, is the sixth richest person in the index ($103.6B).

I loved this quote from Larry:

If you're changing the world, you're working on important things. You're excited to get up in the morning.

Knowing the butterfly effect in science, I know that our actions can change the world even though we are not aware of them.

We don't' have to be a billionaire to change the world. Every person who creates and shares is contributing to changing the world. This awareness can motivate us to create and produce. By targeting to be a better version of ourselves each day, we can become more creative and productive.

7 — Investment

Warren Buffett as the seventh richest person ($100.7B), is one of the most brilliant investors in the world.

My favourite quote from Warren is:

"Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago".

This meaningful quote shows us the end results and by-products of our investments. This quote not only refers to economic investment but also investment in ourselves, our relationships, and our communities.

8 — Talent

Another technology genius, Sergey Brin, is co-founder of Google with Larry Page and is in this most affluent person index ($100.2).

My selected quote from Sergey is:

"We just want to have great people working for us".

This quote may sound simple, but it refers to one of the most critical aspects of leadership setting the success of business organizations.

It is talent. As I pointed out in my previous leadership posts, business leaders are cautious about nurturing and keeping talent in their teams. They make a special effort to retain valuable talent in their teams. The market is remarkably competitive. Talented employees are always in demand. There is constant talent hunting in the industry to secure these scarce resources.

As we know, Google keeps the best talent. Many brilliant technology leaders and professionals want to work at Google. This critical point is evident in Sergey's wise quote.

Conclusions

I only included the top eight billionaires in this post due to the scope of my article.

Being a billionaire is hard work and needs distinguishing smart work requiring life-long commitment and a diverse set of skills, including business, technical, personal, and interpersonal. If you read their biographies, you will notice that they experienced adversity like any of us but they overcome them with diligence and passion.

Learning from these successful people can be a wise choice because they have proven experience. It is not just the money they earn but the services they make for others.

I don't think these leaders focused on being rich solely. From their achievement, it is evident that they consistently focused on providing service. Thus, money became a by-product of their services.

Thank you for reading my perspectives.

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I write about important and valuable life lessons. My ultimate goal is to delight my readers. My content aims to inform and engage my readers. Truth, diversity, collaboration, and inclusiveness are my core values. I am a pragmatic technologist, scientist, postdoctoral academic and industry researcher focusing on practical and important life matters for the last four decades.

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