We’re living in a time when now more than ever, the world needs strong business leaders, capable of inspiring their teams and meeting the ever-changing needs of their customers.
But what exactly does a great business leader look like? Well, they come in all shapes and sizes, and from all walks of life.
Let’s take a look at the work of four phenomenal leaders and the lessons we can learn from them.
“Managing compassionately is not just a better way to build a team, it’s a better way to build a company.”
Jeff Weiner spent 11 years as the CEO of professional networking site LinkedIn and is known for his compassionate style of leadership. He believes in looking at things from other people’s perspectives, then taking action to improve their lives.
Weiner’s compassionate approach to working has been passed down and embedded into the culture of the company and continues to be viewed favourably by his co-workers. So much so, that when his deputy Ryan Rolansky took over as CEO he said, “I didn’t take this role to change the company. I took it because I couldn’t believe more in what we’re doing”.
“We can’t become unique by copying someone else’s formula any more than we can become successful by striving for someone else’s definition of success. And really, what’s the point of succeeding by someone else’s rules anyway?”
Reshma Saujani transitioned from attorney to business leader when she co-founded Girls Who Code, an international non-profit organisation, which runs a range of programmes to equip women with the skills needed to enter the tech industry.
Saujani has a clear vision, closing the gender gap in the tech industry, which has allowed her to lead with clarity. She’s also done a TED talk on the subject, which, to date, has been viewed over five million times.
“It’s essential to listen to your customers in real-time and take their input to heart. Always strive to make your customers happy. Without their happiness you can’t achieve success.”
Eric Yuan is the founder and CEO of Zoom Video Communications – the video conferencing software that’s been keeping businesses afloat and families and friends connected during lockdown.
Yuan is motivated by doing a good job for the customer and was inspired to set up Zoom when he found that his previous company was unwilling to make changes to benefit consumers. He’s gone on to establish himself as a hugely popular business leader, swiping the top spot on Glassdoor’s top CEO list for the US.
“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire.”
As the first black woman to become a billionaire in the US, Oprah Winfrey has broken through the glass ceiling and helped pave the way forward for women of colour.
From acting to writing to producing, she’s proven herself to be a multi-talented individual and enjoyed an incredibly varied and successful career.
She’s perhaps best known as the host of her popular day time talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which aired for 25 years. During that time she founded her own production company Harpo Productions, and following the end of the show in 2011, launched the TV network OWN; she later sold her majority stake in OWN for a massive $70 million.
Each of these leaders are different and have their own unique style and way of doing things, yet all four of them have made a fantastic contribution to the world of business, changing the lives of their employees and consumers for the better.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to follow in their footsteps, our triple-accredited Business and Management degree will serve as an excellent launchpad to a career in business leadership.
You’ll benefit from a thorough grounding in key areas of business as well as the opportunity to collaborate with businesses on real-world projects, so you enter the world of work feeling confident and capable of making a meaningful contribution to your workplace.