Secrets of Greatness - Drawing on decades of experience gathered from the world's foremost minds. From the daily work habits of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs to the insight of leading management consultant Peter Drucker.

Through the stories of famous entrepreneurs and technocrats mentioned in the book, you will learn what they think, how they work, how they stumble and finally, the secret of their success. Okay.

Learn how the founders of big companies like Apple, Dell, Intel, Limited Brands… and others did in the process of creating a business and growing it into a famous brand. Think about the advice of Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Andy Grove… and find the answers to their successes and failures.

Who should read this book:

  • Anyone who wants to learn the working methods of famous businessmen
  • Anyone interested in leadership and effective leadership methods
  • Anyone who wants to learn working methods from famous people

Good Beginnings – How Did America's Most Famous Entrepreneurs Get Started?

Software by numbers – Scott Cook

Since middle school, I've been selling Christmas cards. In high school, I started a cufflink business. In college, I ran a ski club. But those are not the businesses that appeal to me.

When I heard my wife complain about the bill. I said, “Oh! This is a great computer application.” I phoned housewives to find out what they do with their budget, what they like and don't like.

To meet the needs of housewives, I designed the Quicken program to be both fast and simple, different from the competition. We surveyed our customers, some of whom have used Quicken in their business, especially in small businesses. So we created a product for the business. After two years of development, we introduced the Quickbooks program and became the market leader.

When you do something groundbreaking, out of a new invention, you will succeed, as long as you do it well.

Building the Perfect Machine – Michael Dell

My parents were the first people who fueled my passion for business. When I was in middle school, my first job was selling candy. In high school, I opened a stamp auction business. At this point, I bought myself an Apple II computer, I disassembled it to see how it worked, and I fell in love with computers from there.

When I was 16 years old, I sold goods by phone, I found out that the new newspaper buyers are people who have just moved in or just got married. I reached out to the government to ask to investigate this list of subjects. I got thousands of newspaper customers and made $18k in commissions.

I went to the University of Texas and started selling computers in my dorm. A computer costs $2000, but the internals are only worth $600. I dropped out of school and opened a computer upgrade office, which is how the company started. Parts suppliers support me, because they sell goods. The office is getting bigger and bigger, the company is growing.

We mess up a lot of things, but after the mistakes are valuable lessons. We are determined not to make the same mistake twice and strive to improve. We attach great importance to business ethics, considering customer service as an important issue as my parents taught me from the beginning. And, that's the best way for Dell to reach customers and rise.

American Dolls: A Girl's Dream – Pleasant Rowland

I was an elementary school teacher, a television reporter, a textbook author, and a publisher of a small magazine. And, I founded Pleasant Company when I was 45 years old.

My sister, like other American women, is not happy when choosing gifts for her daughter when the Christmas season arrives, because it is difficult to choose the right gift. I ponder: Combining imagination, story and moral values; books about 9-year-old girls with dolls for each character, with clothes, tools… If she loves the character, she'll want the doll. If she gets the doll, she'll want the supplies and clothes for baby play, and then she'll want more books. Do not let the babies down, so the product must be good down to the smallest detail. I'm not creating a new toy, I'm just adding meaning to it.

American dolls became popular in late 1986, the following year sales to $7.6 million. After finishing planning for the third Christmas season, the doctor diagnosed me with breast cancer. But work seems to be the cure for my disease, I love what I do and my mindset is "no cancer", I overcome it all.

I never felt like I was the "owner" of American Doll, I was just the housekeeper. Time for someone else to take care of it. I sold the company to Mattel because I felt a connection with Jill Barad, the mother of the Barbie doll.

Chuck Williams' Perspectives on Williams-Sonoma

When I was a child, I used to help my grandmother cook at her restaurant in Ohio. When my father was unemployed, my family had difficulties and had to move many times. I worked many jobs, from picking fruit bags, selling groceries, working as a worker for Lockheed Aircaraft, then working as a construction worker in Sonoma. After traveling to Europe with two friends, I was fascinated by Paris. There, there are wonderful cooking utensils for French housewives.

In 1953, I opened the Williams Sonoma store, selling household goods, including cooking utensils that I loved to bring back from France. The goods are arranged to be eye-catching and attractive, many people here have never seen them. I set up a group of "fans" who are passionate about French cuisine, often organizing parties.

In 1958, I moved the store to San Francisco. At the same time, cookbooks appeared, including Julia Child's French cooking. Mrs. Julia was on television to teach cooking; Every day after a lesson the day before, the next day customers come to my store to buy the necessary supplies to make that dish.

The "good news" spread far and wide, to promote that effect, I cataloged the goods and sent them to customers and they ordered by mail. Our customers are more and more crowded, I have to often go to France to buy goods.  

For 17 years, my “company” prospered but had only one store; I had to do everything by myself from organizing merchandise, selling goods to bookkeeping. I finally realized that I wasn't knowledgeable enough to expand my business.

I am not a financier, I sold 50% of the shares, hired Eddie as a manager, a few months later Eddie died, the company made a loss, I sold the company to Howard Lester but had to stay in charge of the inventory. I feel not happy very much. Joint Stock Company! You are part of it, but it is not yours.

Les Wexner and Limited Brands

I don't want to go into the retail business. My parents ran a women's clothing store, but never made $10,000 a year. I usually go shoveling snow or mowing the lawn to earn money.

After entering law school, I dropped out. I hate this school because it's not creative enough. After dropping out of school, my father asked me to look after the store, especially during my parents' leave. Out of curiosity, I tried to figure out which products sold the most and made the most profit. After that, I consulted with my father, but my father and I argued. My father said, "I don't know anything about retail".

I decided to prove my opinion right and my father wrong: I started Leslie's Limited, which sold women's sportswear. With $10,000 in savings, I opened a store in March 1963 in Columbus. Sales for the first year were $160,000, much more than my father.

I opened a second store, at first my father was angry and said I was crazy, later he said: "You are winning, take the money to the bank".

Then I bought Victoria's Secret, and then I bought Abercrombie & Fitch and Lerner New York; followed by the opening of Limited Too store and then Structure store. It took me a year to read and understand what a multi-industry company is.

People say, "You have so much money, so why should you work?" I think, if you were going and stopped to smell the scent of roses, you would be hit by a truck. I wish I could live more in a day, but I'm happier thinking about tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, everything that comes next is always new.

Great work practices – Expert advice and skills

Compare everything you do with your competitors

Best practices: HP executives love numbers. Among the primary methods he uses to keep pace with his competitors is benchmarking, from more than a dozen variables, and then calculating a percentage of the total balance.

Idea lending library

Technical room: The technical room is the size of an ice cream cabinet with up to 2000 items. The creative engine of the Ideo designers works continuously. The technical department kicks off new projects. Ideo helps create hanging phones for Palm, recliners for Steelcase, toothpaste tubes for Procter & Gamble and hundreds of products for top manufacturers.

Challenging the success of buying and selling

Opposite: Toro, a lawn mower company – Whenever an M&A pitch comes in for the job of the executive, he asks the product review team to work with the company's board of directors. But he also turned to the opposing faction - about half a dozen vice presidents - to express his dissent.

Close connection

Honeycomb: Bloomberg's headquarters is structured like a beehive. The CEO sits on the 6th floor; surrounded by 125 staff of departments. He can see people and everything that happens: they make phone calls, the stress level on each face indicates how much trouble they're in.

Always be on the lookout for troubles

Folders containing bad information: Every day at Colgate, more than half a dozen blank red plastic files appear on executives' desks. Each episode is a situational “report” on declines, worker accidents and other alarming issues. It is the ability to self-manage possible trouble before it explodes.

Research and analyze ideas

Internal R&D: In 2006, the Corning Company spent $450 million on R&D. First, a team of 15 people combined with an external expert to analyze and synthesize improvement issues. Then, a team of 5 people came up with advertising ideas to attract customers; then a team of 2 worked for 4 months to analyze the feasibility, and finally presented the plan to the operator for implementation or further adjustment.

Don't bet until you win

Attracting investment capital: Since its launch in 1998, Honest tea has become a brand name in the US. They raised capital by presenting a plan to investors; and they get their capital after doubling, tripling, and fivefold the share price. Within 2 weeks they had $500,000 to start up.

Turn the interview process into a quality check

Trial: When job applicants apply to Southwest Airlines, they receive a special ticket and notify the doorman and other departments, who notice how friendly the new recruits are to you. other or not. If not, they are referred to human resources for an interview. Job applicants present 3 minutes about themselves in front of about 50 people. Candidates with attention will pass, if they seem bored will be disqualified.

Turn petition resolution meetings into endless debates

Report on strategic campaigns: The director of P&G asks each branch manager to send him a report before the official announcement, he will send back important notes. The report must not last longer than 5pm, debate can take weeks until an agreement is reached. The content focuses on “product improvement” and “how to win”.

Let employees choose a leader

Nominated by your own colleagues: If you want to be a “team leader”, don't lobby and people with higher positions to get promoted. Form an alliance of people who are willing to commit themselves to a specific purpose.  

Reward workers for not taking goods

Limit the deficit: Men's Warehouse pays managers quarterly bonuses when the stores report a deficit (inventory) that they consider good or great.

Decide salary on two factors – profit and seniority

Fair system: Egon Zehnder stipulates one seniority point per year. The newcomers can outperform the old by increasing profits.

Use market forecast information

A New Environment: Forecast Markets – Environments in which shares are traded to take advantage of current events. Microsoft uses them to identify the next successful products.

Let employees speak their mind

Art in the workplace: Google displays dozens of whiteboards in common corridors throughout the company, for workers to exchange ideas on it or draw cartoons, funny stories under the slogan "planning of Google to rule the world”.

Listen to the advice of a pensioner

A long goodbye: Retired Intel employees receive a gift: a computer, a printer, a free internet account, and an invitation to quarterly consultation talks with key executives.

Let your customers do the marketing for you

Extensive advertising campaigns: Mozilla where users submit ideas for marketing plans and voluntarily implement the most popular ideas. Mozilla has drawn 10 million other browser users to its side.

Turn employees into detectives

Late-night sleuthing: Retail company Outfitters gives away free concert tickets and nights out to employees, letting them “tell what they see and hear” to the design and purchasing teams.

Start each day with a quick brainstorming session

3-minute conference: Every day, UPS managers gather employees for a mandatory meeting that lasts exactly 3 minutes. These meetings ensure that employees stay in check at all times.

Preventing troubles from shareholders

Chief shareholder officer: Coke's director of shareholders often reports directly to the chief attorney to direct investor concerns to the company's board of directors.

Take actual "acts"

Always be on the board of directors c: The President of Home Depot requires all 12 board members a year to go on field trips to a dozen stores, then each must report back to the board of directors .

Hear "disgusting" comments from customers

Research visits: The CEO of Medtronic - a company that makes medical equipment - requires all engineers and designers, a year to attend a surgery by doctors. doctor, to see how Medtronic's products work, and to announce that Medtronic will make more high-quality products.

Percentage for employees

Benefits: At Whole Foods Market, when the department store team ends a month of work, the company does not keep the balance, but passes this balance to employees to work efficiently and economically.

Become your own customer

Buy by phone: When the phone rings at any of Guitar Center's 165 stores, salespeople are obligated to pick up the phone before the fourth ring.

How did I work? – Bill Gates

On my desk there are 3 main screens. I can drag an item on one machine to another. The screen on the left has a list of my e-mails; the screen in the middle is usually the email I'm reading and replying to; and my browser is on the right screen. This layout makes it possible for me to glance over and see what's new and find links. I know what people are praising about us, complaining or asking for.

Instead of having to go through all the folders to find the information I need, I just type the term into the toolbar and all the emails and documents containing that information appear.

Immersed in information, to get the right information or contact the right people, I use the program Shar-Point, a tool to create a website that anyone in the company can create with a few clicks. .

I have a note-taking software called OneNote, so all my notes are digital. If I come up with something out of the ordinary, I just pull out my pen and write it down on the Tablet.

No matter how busy, everyone gets my reply.

How do super-achievers stay at the top of the fast track? – Carlos Ghosn

(CEOs of Renault and Nissan)

Stay focused: I have an assistant in France, one in Japan and one in the US, all bilingual. The assistants see all the mail and texts, know what issues I care about, what issues just need to be passed on to another member of the executive team.

I usually spend a week in the US, a week in Japan and two weeks in France. Each meeting usually runs for only 90 minutes, half of the time for presentations, the other half for discussions. Meetings usually start after 8 a.m., because early morning is my time to think, and every night I have to sleep for 6 hours.

I don't bring work home, I usually play with the kids and weekends are family time.  

I often visit shops and factories. The pressure builds when you know there's a problem but you don't realize it and don't have a solution. Me too.

Wise decisions – Choosing the right audience at the right time

Henry Ford pays 5 dollars a day

Since the assembly line crashed in operation, Henry Ford could no longer keep workers. 370% worker replacement rate; which means he has to hire 50,000 people a year just to maintain a workforce of 14,000.

Henry Ford announced: Will reduce working hours from 9 hours to 8 hours and pay $5 a day (twice the prevailing wage of $2.34). This announcement shocked America (1914). He also set a standard that in order to receive $5, workers must maintain good moral character, accepting home visits by the company's social investigation department.

That decision saved Henry Ford from fatigue (because of worker instability). Ford raised the mass production of cars to the market. And, for the first time, the capitalist gets a contract with the worker, creates a close relationship between the employer and the worker, builds the basic symbol of the company's paternalism.

Reginald Jones chooses successor

Jack Welch is not on the list of successors at GE because he is too young, impatient and has a stutter. Especially Jack Welch is against GE's policy and hates chairman Reginald Jones. But in 1980, Reginald made Jack CEO of GE Reginald's decision to hire people became famous then. Because Jack brought GE out of the global crisis and forward.

Reginald said: “When looking for a successor, the first thing you need to do is not look for someone like you. Second, you should look at the environment in front of you and choose someone who can fit in with that environment, not the environment you live in."

Jim Collins with tough decisions

The best decisions are not about "what" but about "who". Those are decisions about people. Few important decisions are made at a time when everyone is unanimous. The right decisions are always contested; It takes intense debate to find wisdom. But after a conclusion is reached, people will agree to make it successful. The successful companies are those that work from the inside, and realize the outside. But the most important factor is in our control. Decision making is basically the art of creation.

Great role models

Genetech – The best place to work today

Domagoj Vucic came to Genetech just because he wanted to experiment to know the properties of the butterfly rod virus to serve the treatment of cancer.

Dr. Napoleone Ferrara also came to Genetech just because of his passion to study the formation of blood vessels to supply tumors and find antibodies to stop that process.

And many other scientists, want to go to Genetech. It is these things that make Genetech the best company voted in 2006. Genetech's culture has a lot in common with Google and Apple, and they have attracted the best, brightest people.

Genetech invests 50% of revenue in research, especially in the fields of oncology, immunology, tissue development... Genetech becomes a paradise for scientists to satisfy their research and serve children. people.

The art of "breaking all limits"

What most people don't realize about Steve Jobs is that he was not only good at accessing technology, but also turning it into products that were easy to use and eye-catching. He has the ability to do it faster than anyone. Jobs has proven himself to be a champion in the art of managing boundaries.

When it comes to two prominent companies, Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios, when this studio merged with Disney and Jobs joined the leadership team, Jobs became the most powerful investor in the field. entertain. With his beginnings in digital animation combined with a rapidly growing Internet empire, Jobs was right in the middle between Hollywood and high technology. Jobs had the right environment to make leaps and bounds. Imagine the terrifying resources of both Apple and Disney when run by Jobs!

The Best Teams – How do great people work?

The Natural Talent of Abraham Lincoln

At the 1860 republican national convention, a lawyer in his first term in Congress defeated three seasoned politicians and became president: Abraham Lincoln. Unlike previous presidents, who only chose their supporters, President Abraham Lincoln did the opposite. "These three opponents are the best in the country, I have no right to take away their right to serve their country," he said. He invited three opponents to hold three important posts: Secretary of State, Minister of Finance and Minister of Justice.

When Lincoln was angry with one of them, he wrote them a harsh letter and then put it aside until his anger subsided and he never sent the letter. He limited his ego, always having a bigger purpose in front of him. He thinks I can let go of all old grudges, as long as I feel we are drawing closer together to accomplish the ultimate goal of saving and freeing the slaves.

Bite an apple

The initial group of four people, later increased to dozens of people, wanted to make a personal computer that the common man could use easily. These are cheerful, optimistic people who work in the Mac company, led by Apple computer co-founder Steve Jobs. They work 90 hours a week for extremely low wages. After three years of operation, in 1983, the Mac was born for $ 2,495. When it is opened, a friendly little icon smiles to the outside world and the world smiles back. It sold very quickly, marking a turning point in personal computers.

Why do ideal teams fail?

The basic theory of the ideal team is wrong. You can't assemble a group of stars and watch them conquer the world. Because it's not a working group but just a group of people.

Having too many stars in a team makes it difficult to have an effective team. Because the members of the group may have their own reasons for not trusting each other, because everyone thinks they are stars. In business, ideal groups are often part of escapism, not the real world. When such groups do exist, they will have usually two people, couples.

John McConnell said, “Give us people dedicated to making our team work, not a bunch of talented people with great egos, and we'll win every time. , everywhere".

Great Tips – Leadership Definitions for the Best Managers

Peter Drucker (Business Consultant)

The personality of an effective executive is built on the strengths of people (colleagues). It is necessary to go out to see, hear and feel the market for yourself. Effective executives have a habit of keeping track of time, and it's important not only to get rid of failed programs and products, but also to get rid of successes that are no longer potential.

Warren Buffett (Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway)

You are right not because everyone agrees with you but because your rationale is correct.

Richard Branson (Chairman of Virgin Group)

Freddie Laker advised Branson: “You will never have enough money to pass British Airways for advertising. You have to get out of that mindset, and use what you have. Behave like an idiot, or you won't survive. They used tricks to knock you down, you have to sue."

Howard Schultz (Chairman of Starbucks Corporation)

Warren advised Schultz: “Find out the skills and qualities you don't have and hire people with those skills and qualities.” But, beyond this, Schultz thought, he needed to attract like-minded people to tie the knot in building a company that strikes a delicate balance between profitability, shareholder value, benevolence and social conscience.

AG Lafley (President and CEO of Procter & Gamble)

Lafley resigned and resigned from Procter & Gamble because he thought the bureaucracy was too suffocating and change was too slow. Steve Donovan, his superior, advises: “You're on the run, you don't have the courage to stay and change it. Then you will run away from your next job.”

Lafley stayed at the company and was determined to change the bad things.

Meg Whitman (Former President of eBay)

Whitman always remembered his father's words: "There is no reason to be mean to anyone at any time. You never know who you will meet in your life. Be kind, do your best, and most importantly, keep things moving in the right direction.”

“There is no reason to be mean to anyone at any time. You never know who you will meet in your life. Be kind, do your best, and most importantly, keep things moving in the right direction.”

Dick Parsons (President and CEO of Time Warner)

Steve Ross advised Dick: “Always remember this is a small business but a long life. On a case-by-case basis, when you make a deal with someone, leave a little something for everyone to enjoy instead of trying to get everything on your side.”

Anne MulCahy (Xerox CEO)

Albert C. Black advised MulCahy: “When things get too complicated and you find yourself overwhelmed, think this way: “There are three things to do. First, bring the cow out of the ditch. Next, find out why the cow got into the ditch. And lastly, make sure you do whatever it takes to keep the cow from falling into the ditch again.”

Hector Ruiz (AMD CEO)

Bob Galvin advises Ruiz: “If you surround yourself with people with integrity and they all understand the goals and requirements of the company, then the leader simply gets out of the way.”

Donny Deutsch (CEO of Deutsch company)

Deutsch inculcated his father's advice: "Humans must be respected and trusted as human beings, not because of their title or position."

Carley Roney (Editor-in-Chief of The Knot Magazine)

“Being a leader is like being a parent. It is a process of overcoming difficulties and letting them become their own flesh and blood. You have to make sure you've set up an organization that can function with or without you."