It takes time, readiness to fail, dedication, and inspiration to master the art of leadership. A positive and good leader can get the best results and maintain culture to create a strong brand image. Having outstanding leadership qualities will help companies effectively manage their teams and encourage them to be efficient and resourceful.
Top tech CEOs such as Elon Musk, Ginni Rometty, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai and Tim Cook to name a few are great innovators and leaders. Due to their phenomenal experience in the highly competitive field of technology, we have a lot to learn from them.
Here are five lessons in leadership and innovation from top tech CEOs from around the world.
1. Wholeheartedly embrace crazy ideas
Just because your ideas sound crazy to another person doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Instead, you should wholeheartedly embrace them because it will help you stand out in today’s highly competitive market. When you first look at those ideas, it will look overwhelming and complex. However, as you work on those ideas, you will slowly realize that it is possible to make them a reality. According to Google’s Larry Page, when there isn’t anyone crazy enough to follow through, you have very little competition.
For example, take a look at online music streaming services such as Apple Music, Pandora, 8tracks, and Spotify. If someone told you in the year 2000, that you will be able to carry all the music in the world on your phone, you would think that is the craziest idea you’ve heard. In 2017, people can’t imagine living their lives without having access to online music streaming services. A crazy idea like this completely changed the way people access and listen to music.
2. Press relentlessly with ferocity and fortitude
One of the main reasons why CEOs manage to be successful in the highly competitive tech market is their ability to press relentlessly with ferocity and fortitude. It isn’t always necessary that your best idea will succeed without facing any problems. Even if you do your best, there are chances for the idea to fail miserably. What differentiates top tech CEOs from the rest is their never give up attitude. Rather than stopping at first failure, they will learn from their mistakes and push even harder to make their ideas a reality.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla said that you should work for 100 hours a week and never feel satisfied. When Falcon 1, SpaceX’s first reusable rocket failed, Elon Musk gave a motivating speech to his employees before he talked to the press. As a result of this, he was quickly able to turn the tables from defeat and despair to enormous motivation.
3. Be aware of when the team needs a boost of confidence
It isn’t always necessary that your team of employees will have high levels of confidence throughout the year. Due to some unexpected problems or if your company is facing immense pressure to reach a target and your employees are unable to cope with it, their confidence will take a blow. Also, if you had a brilliant idea which was executed properly until the last stage where nothing went according to plan, your employees will lose confidence in themselves. You have to understand when you need to step in and encourage your employees and when you have to step back. If you get this part right, your employees will do magnificent things.
For example, Satya Nadella is one CEO that constantly boosts the confidence of the employees working in Microsoft. With careful thinking and planning, he constantly changes the culture of the company only to keep his employees excited. As he has a strategy-focused and people-centric leadership style, his approval rating on Glassdoor (at the time of this writing) is an incredible 95%.
4. Focus on strategy, execution, and people
According to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, if you get strategy, execution, and people right, your company will be in a great place. Solely focusing on one and ignoring the other two can be detrimental to the success of your company. For example, if you focus on creating the best strategy in the world and you don’t have the necessary people to execute it properly; the best strategy won’t be of any use to your company.
If you have people of high caliber, your brilliant plan will have excellent execution. You need to be an inspirational officer in your company. Always remember that one of the most powerful assets in your leadership skill set is the ability to focus on matters of importance. Get your employees to focus on a few matters at a time so that they will be able to execute it well.
5. Always try to reinvent everything
CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos runs his company in an unorthodox manner so that he can get the best from all his employees. During meetings in Amazon, 20 minutes is given to the attendees to read their memos. He does this because he is constantly on the move to reinvent everything, even the smallest of things. He says that you shouldn’t accept conventional wisdom, think and dream big and be uncomfortable with the current status of your company.
You can take a look at Google’s OS, Android. Initially, Android wasn’t even comparable to Apple’s iOS. However, Google didn’t give up and continued to improve Android as much as possible. Even when it looked like nothing needed to be changed, they constantly try to reinvent everything from aesthetics to features. By making huge and under the hood changes, Android is finally one of the leading mobile OS in the world.
Excellence is a never-ending pursuit as there is always room to grow. Believe in yourself, your ideas and set bold goals.