What is business leadership? Who are successful leaders? What characteristics do they share? How do they think?
Business leadership is an essential quality in the business world, and learning from successful leaders can be an invaluable source of inspiration and knowledge. In this article, we will explore some of the best practices of notable leaders, both Mexican and foreign, highlighting their most significant statements and the common characteristics they share.
We all know that a leader is that person who has the ability to guide and inspire others. He is someone who is empathetic and can encourage, influence, guide and advise the people who follow him to achieve a goal. The business leader is distinguished from the leader in other areas because he focuses on directing and influencing employees so that with their work and effort the business objectives are achieved.
This leader knows how to transmit the vision and values of the company. It ensures that employees form a committed work team and takes advantage of each one's strengths, without forgetting about them as people. A good business leader adapt your leadership style to the characteristics of your team, your workplace and the type of business in which you operate. (By the way, if you want to know more about the different types of business leadership that exist, click here).
Examples of successful leaders
1. Emilio Azcárraga Jean (Mexico): We begin our trip in Mexico with Emilio Azcárraga Jean, president of Grupo Televisa. Azcárraga is known for his vision and commitment to innovation. One of his most important statements is: “Leadership means making difficult decisions and taking responsibility for those decisions.”
2. Elon Musk (United States): On the other side of the border, we find Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. Musk is an example of bold and visionary leadership. He has his sights set on futuristic technology and knows how to sell his ideas to his work teams. He has said, “If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should do it anyway.”
3. Carlos Slim (Mexico): Carlos Slim, the telecommunications magnate, is another example of outstanding leadership in Mexico. He has emphasized the importance of perseverance in the business world, saying: “Opportunities are short-lived. If you don’t chase them, someone else will.” Other quotes attributed to him are: “Competition makes you better, always, always makes you better, even if the competitor wins.”. “If you're in business, you need to understand the environment. “You need to have a vision of the future and you need to know the past.” “When there is a crisis, that is when some are interested in leaving and we are interested in entering.”
4. Jeff Bezos (United States): Another American worth mentioning is the billionaire founder of Amazon. He got a high percentage of his users to trust the company; He realized the importance of listening to people and making the necessary adjustments to meet their needs and increase his credibility. Here are some of his most famous quotes: “At Amazon we have three great ideas that we have kept for 18 years and they are the reason for our success: putting the consumer first, inventing and being patient.” “Intelligence is a gift; kindness, a choice.” “If you want no one to ever criticize you, then don't do anything new.”
5. Braulio Arsuaga (Mexico): Finally we present the ideas of Braulio Arsuaga, President of the National Tourism Business Council (CNET), CEO of Grupo Presidente and shark in The Shark Tank Mexico, among them the idea of seeing failure with different eyes seems especially valuable to us: “Find success even in failure. Take advantage of painful situations to make a watershed, a commitment to yourself, your family and your country. With this, optimize your resources, promote a good work environment... Your team is your driving force.”
Women who stand out in business leadership
It is also important to highlight the achievements of women in this field. Here is the list of five outstanding executives:
6. Mary Barra (USA), rated the most powerful woman in the world by the BBC in 2018, is the president and CEO of General Motors. Throughout his career in the automotive industry, he managed to launch an electric car whose battery lasts longer than that of the Tesla. Some phrases attributed to him are: “Do every job you are in as if you were going to do it for the rest of your life and show that you master it.” “We want to be the best, not the first.” “Your integrity is one of the most valuable things you have, protect it, cultivate it, wear it with pride.”
7. Blanca Trevino de Vega (Mexico) She is the Co-Founder and General Director of Softtek, a Mexican multinational IT services company. Blanca has been recognized for years as a technology leader who supports entrepreneurs in Mexico. One of his most notable phrases is: “Focus on your strengths, don't waste time on your weaknesses.”
8. TO Ursula Burns (USA) the type of leadership is assigned Missionary. She started as an intern at Xerox and decades later managed to become its CEO, causing the company to diversify substantially under her direction. He is also a member of the board of directors of companies such as VEON, Diageo and Uber. Burns is a model for climbing the ranks and becoming a leader in your chosen field. Curiously, her famous phrases, the ones that guided her through difficult times, were told to her by her mother: “If you have the opportunity to speak, speak.” “Your environment does not define you.” “When you leave a place, leave it at least a little better than when you arrived.”
9. María Asunción Aramburuzabala (Mexico) She is the heir to a beer emporium that she later knew how to diversify by investing in other sectors such as real estate, banking and telecommunications. It is said that she assumed the leadership of the family businesses more because of a promise she made to her father than because of her own inclination, and her most widespread phrase is the following: “I am convinced that the women's sector has capabilities, but it requires also to break many taboos and myths from within the family.
10. Indira Nooyi (India and United States). We close this section of female business leadership with the case of Indira Nooyi who was the CEO of Pepsico from 2006-2019. She managed to increase the company's net income above 80% with her Performance with Purpose program. The program placed equal importance on environmental objectives and the well-being of employees and customers as well as the financial objectives of the organization.
One of his tips for achieving success was to be yourself and never hide what makes us unique. We leave you this link in which he talks about his book about life, leadership and creating a better future.
Common traits among business leaders
In our list we include leaders with very different personalities and leadership styles, however, according to some studies, successful business leaders share certain characteristics:
- They stay informed and seek to innovate.
- They have a vision.
- They take risks.
- They know how to communicate.
- They are goal-oriented.
- They do not give up despite adversity.
- They find and know how to retain human talent
- They know how to delegate and
- They are passionate about what they believe and what they do.
Business leadership with a cause
Another trait that highly successful people have is that they look for a way to contribute to their environment, to give back some of the much they have achieved. Did you know, for example, that Warren Buffett, whose fortune is estimated at more than 80 billion dollars, plans to leave almost all of his fortune to philanthropic causes? In addition, he has made great contributions to the foundation of Melinda and Bill Gates (which seeks to provide clean water and sanitation services to third world countries).
For its part, Jeff Weiner, the LinkedIn CEO is very active in nonprofits and is on the boards of DonorsChoose.org and Malaria No More. AND Sheryl Sandberg, the CEO of Facebook, founded Lean In, a non-profit organization that seeks to promote the leadership and inclusion of women in the workplace. Ariana Huffington, an American writer and columnist of Greek origin, founded the Huffington Post as well as Thrive Global, a company that seeks to revolutionize the way people live and work. His company generated controversy around burnout, a term they helped coin before it was as well known as it is now.
In the world of business leadership, it doesn't matter if you are Mexican or foreign; What matters is your vision, your commitment to innovation and your ability to make difficult decisions. By learning from successful leaders, such as Emilio Azcárraga Jean, Elon Musk or Blanca Treviño, we can cultivate our own leadership skills and contribute to the success of our organizations.
At Coacharte we have workshops and coaching to develop those leadership skills that you or your team need. Do not hesitate to contact us to request more information.