Leadership Lessons Learned From 3 Exceptional Entrepreneurs


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I had the great fortune of working for three highly successful entrepreneurs. They have many cross-over leadership traits. See the twenty simple lessons from these three exceptional entrepreneurs on leadership, mangement, building great teams, business strategy, motivating employees and fast execution.

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Leadership Lessons Learned From 3 Exceptional Entrepreneurs

  1. 1. from Lessons Learned3 exceptional entrepreneurs ©2013 DIX&POND Leadership
  2. 2. I’m extremely lucky. I worked for 3 exceptionally successful entrepreneurs. They were amazing leaders and mentors. They taught me invaluable lessons. ©2013 DIX&POND
  3. 3. Now, I help others. I find myself teaching their lessons. ©2013 DIX&POND
  4. 4. They are famous in their fields. Here are 20 of their many great lessons. (I’ll tell you who they are at the end.) ©2013 DIX&POND
  5. 5. See the future. All of the entrepreneurs had forward vision for the next big thing. ©2013 DIX&POND
  6. 6. Plan to grow. None of the entrepreneurs thought small. ©2013 DIX&POND
  7. 7. Make a plan. Be strategic and plan how you can actually get there. ©2013 DIX&POND
  8. 8. Don’t be a slave to the plan. Execution is time batter spent, than reviewing and documenting the plan. ©2013 DIX&POND
  9. 9. Have laser focus. Don’t get romanced by pet projects. “Look for the sweet spots and go after them.” ©2013 DIX&POND
  10. 10. Take calculated risks. They all were risk takers, because they believed in themselves. ©2013 DIX&POND
  11. 11. Don’t look for obstacles. “Just get the order, then we will figure out how to make it!” ©2013 DIX&POND
  12. 12. Prevent bureaucracy. Don’t hold a lot of meetings. Overly democratic organizations don’t get anything done. ©2013 DIX&POND
  13. 13. Be decisive. All of the entrepreneurs made quick decisions in the interest of forward motion. ©2013 DIX&POND
  14. 14. Act quickly. “How quickly can we get a test in the stores?” ©2013 DIX&POND
  15. 15. Hire the best people. “Hire the best people money can buy!” ©2013 DIX&POND
  16. 16. See potential. They never held an ambitious person back because of gender or educational background. ©2013 DIX&POND
  17. 17. Motivate with positive reinforcement. “You are smart, you can do it!” ©2013 DIX&POND
  18. 18. Trust people to do their jobs. None of the entrepreneurs micro-managed. ©2013 DIX&POND
  19. 19. Hold people accountable. Never accept mediocrity. ©2013 DIX&POND
  20. 20. Reward excellence handsomely. They were all very generous. ©2013 DIX&POND
  21. 21. Communicate. Tell your employees what is going on. ©2013 DIX&POND
  22. 22. Have integrity. “You never get in trouble by doing the right thing.” ©2013 DIX&POND
  23. 23. Value design. They saw great design as a key business driver. ©2013 DIX&POND
  24. 24. Love what you do. All of the entrepreneurs loved their work and killed it everyday. ©2013 DIX&POND
  25. 25. The entrepreneurs - #1: Martin Trust, Boston, MA - Sometimes referred to as the “godfather of women’s apparel importing”. Founder & president Mast Industries, the premier sourcing division L Brands (formerly Limited Brands). Early investor Staples, Inc., longtime board member. Partner, The Boston Red Sox. Philanthropist. Sloan alum. Recently dedicated Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship at MIT – Brilliant, razor sharp focus, tireless. Worked with him 16 years. ©2013 DIX&POND
  26. 26. #2: Robert Lurie, Brookline, MA - Highly successful founder, president Susan Bristol, Inc.. Often referred to as the “finest gentleman ever in the apparel industry”. Boston University alum. Focused, visionary, kind, networker. Proved good guys finish first. Worked with him 5 years. ©2013 DIX&POND
  27. 27. #3: Elkin McCallum, Tyngsboro, MA - Legendary owner of Joan Fabrics and was one of the largest owners of home textile mills in America. Bold, risk taker, contra-investor. Philanthropist. Bentley alum. In 2000, Bentley University changed the name of their grad school to the Elkin B. McCallum Graduate School of Business. Worked with him 3 years. ©2013 DIX&POND
  28. 28. It’s a Boston-based creative and strategic consulting company. We help fashion and consumer clients grow. Strategy, trend research, creative direction, design, development, branding, merchandising and marketing. Clients include entrepreneurs, startups, retailers, wholesalers, investors and research analysts. Contact Us What is Dix & Pond? Click to visit Dix&Pond