Management Mantras from 4 brilliant minds of our times

The world as we know it would not exist without the work done by these five exceptional entrepreneurs. Each of the leaders have unique approaches but the only thing common between these brilliant minds is the ambition to materialize their vision without being afraid to fail. Here are some management mantras that helped these great men write their success stories.

Steve Jobs

The cofounder of Apple, Steve Jobs focused on building “insanely great products” without any compromise. He always put the product before profits. But it is Job’s infamous mean streak that drove his innovations. Often known as his “Bending the reality” trick, Jobs could push his employees to do the impossible. Jobs would understand his employees and their capabilities well enough to motivate or humiliate them to surpass themselves, to achieve his goals and create extraordinary products.

“Yes, you can do it, get your mind around it. You can do it.” – Steve Jobs.

Author Justin Bariso says Job’s management style was rooted in his emotional intelligence – “The ability to identify, understand and manage emotions.”

Elon Mask

Elon Musk is the eccentric genius known for his high standards. He cares for nothing less than extraordinary. The self-proclaimed “Nano-manager” has started many companies, most notable of which are Tesla Motors, SpaceX and PayPal. Musk has set out passionately to accomplish big goals. Be it his determination to change the world’s resource management or reaching the great depths of space, Musk wants to take humanity forward. And he expects his employees to work with matching passion and the moment they don’t, he lets them go. Often to meet Musk’s standards employees burn out and leave.

Musk once tweeted: “Nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week.”

Due to his harsh management style, he is often perceived as heartless, but it has been clarified that Musk puts the company’s interests as the topmost priority.

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, the richest man on earth is a ruthless manager and aggressive entrepreneur. In his letter to shareholders in 1997, he said all potential hires were told

“it’s not easy to work here” and “you can work long, hard, or smart, but at you can’t choose two out of three.”

In 1999, Amazon employees in charge of answering emails were expected to answer 12 mails per minute and they could lose their jobs if the number fell below 7. It is because of Bezos’ high expectations from his employees that he was able to create a system where Amazon can make same day product deliveries all around the world. Leading from the front Bezos has resumed daily management operations at Amazon post-Covid and about 175,000 new hiring are expected to cater to the present online demand surge.

Bill Gates

Gates rose to tech superstardom by working tirelessly.

“I worked weekends, I didn’t really believe in vacations, I had to be a little careful not to try and apply my standards to how hard [others] worked.” – Bill Gates.

It is often said that Gates has been successful owing to his controlling management style. He used to monitor his employees mercilessly to create a highly productive company. He once made a surprising revelation: “I knew everybody’s license plate so I could look out at the parking lot and see, you know, when people come in. Eventually I had to loosen up as the company got to a reasonable size.”

In the latter half of his entrepreneurship, Gates changed his management style and started delegating work. He hired the best talent and empowered them with his vision.

“The vision is really about empowering workers, giving them all the information about what’s going on so they can do a lot more than they’ve done in the past.”

It is evident that all 4 of these great men kept a tight grip on their businesses but one must learn from them with caution. Over exhausting employees to drive productivity or micromanaging have huge shortcomings can have quite opposite effect on companies if practiced without context and proper expertise.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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