Saturday, 12 September 2015

Thought: R~A~J~E Book Club - Superstar CEO's

Be inspired by the superstars of the business world.

Welcome back to R~A~J~E book club! Superstar CEOs are becoming something of a 'thing'. What with Zuckerburg, Jobs, Mayer, and the like, you might be forgiven for thinking that a) any Tom, Dick or Larry can head up a multibillion pound brand, or create an overnight web success or b) that these people are some sort of celebrity magical creature, not a real person at all. 

As an entrepreneur, you are continually learning, but sometimes it can be overwhelming to be learning so much, and the more you learn, you realise the less you know! It is fascinating, inspiring and encouraging then to read about these superstars that have made it, that have succeeded in what often feels like the impossible. You may not be launching the next accessible luxury airline, or inventing a world-changing piece of tech, but reading about these pioneers can help you learn a lot about success, and failure, and everything in between.

Onward: How Starbucks Fought for it's Life Without Losing it's soul - Howard Schultz

Starbucks has been on quite the journey. Since it's inception as a single coffee stall in hipster Seattle, to  being one of the most ubiquitous brands on the planet, it's been loved and hated, it's been close to failure and it's seen massive triumph. This is CEO Schultz's tale in his own words.

Like a Virgin: Secrets They won't Teach You at Business School - Richard Branson

Branson has become one of my heroes. I am a huge fan of the Virgin brand, as a consumer I value it's irreverent approach to marketing and it's customer service. Branson started business in his teens, and today Virgin is a global brand representing everything from consumer space travel to TV and mobile phones. What has stuck with me is Branson's insistence on remaining true to the brand's core values. The core values of adventure, the importance of people, customer service and innovation have informed the group's growth and ensured it's success.

Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson

Jobs is the ultimate superstar CEO, founding a small computer company that would eventually become one of the biggest companies in the world. Like with Branson and Virgin; I am an Apple devotee. I admire their dedication to innovation, design and intuitive user interfaces. I am, to be honest, challenged by Job's single-mindedness and confidence in his own ideas. 

Girl Boss - Sophie Amaruso
Amaruso is the founder of clothing line Nasty Gal, one of the fastest growing companies in the US. She started out selling her clothes on eBay and built her way up, on her own, from there. I haven't read this one yet, but as a woman in business, I think I just might.

Let My People Go Surfing - Yvon Chouinard

The more I hear about Patagonia, the more I like the brand. Not being an outdoorsy person at all, I have little need of their products, but the revolutionary, and reluctant, CEO Chouinard keeps cropping up in my reading. Founding the company through his passion for the outdoors, and surfing, Chouinard champions sustainable sourcing and has instituted various initiative for his staff, for example, being able to go surfing on your lunch break!

A x

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