Illustration by Yohanes Fitri, text by Jörg Puma How do we successfully emerge from the crisis? The examples of KRONES, BioNTech and Tesla in the previous blog post (link), showed how important enthusiasm is for success. What do the principles of success look like in detail? Below we look at their recipe in a little more detail.
Which 7 principles do all successful visionary entrepreneurs use?
Open eyes to the problems of the world, learning in the network, creativity and openness to new things, curiosity, intuition and the courage to persevere during lean times.The visionary leader walks through the world with open eyes, recognises the problems and wants to help solve them. His enthusiasm infects the team members and attracts the best talents.
Why do insights come faster in a network?
The second ability that I have noticed in all visionary entrepreneurs is the ability to learn in a network. The exchange beyond one’s own nose is the best and easiest basis for quickly finding new solutions.The rule of all innovators: The best solutions emerge at the boundaries of disciplines. Whether in Silicon Valley, in the incubator or in the industry association: Why do successful visionary leaders seek platforms for a fruitful exchange? The CEO finds the missing building blocks of his long-term strategy at an aperitif in Davos at the World Economic Forum. The head of an institution recognises the new trends and successful new approaches at the conference. The family entrepreneur learns together with politicians on a trip. With ministers and peers global problems and their solutions. This enables him to help shape the solutions for the benefit of his business. The more diverse the groups, the better the network results. Creativity and new ideas develop automatically from enthusiasm. Do you have many trainings on creativity techniques in your company and do you employ many external coaches for problem solving and decision making? Then you should definitely check why this is necessary.
Why do successful visionary companies rarely have creativity training?
Of course – design thinking, the creativity workshop in the mountains, the coach for an agile sprint, there are many things that have proven particularly effective in critical situations. But nothing replaces the basic attitude of successful entrepreneurs to dare to question common assumptions and explanations and to try out something new. The best way to learn is together in innovation projects, because curiosity is the most natural human drive. If you are excited about a topic, you want to know more about it. Whether it’s the latest computer game, the Netflix series or a new research project: we want to know more about it and don’t experience it as exhausting. This is one of the core success factors of visionary entrepreneurs: their enthusiasm is transferred to the employees and that is why the organisational learning process organically follows human psychology. An editor who finds it exciting when a sales platform is used is curious about the best usability. An editor who is demotivated and shunted off to the online department in an established publishing house will learn more slowly. And this is exactly where the management task begins:
How do I find the right employee for the right task?
Only those who are intrinsically motivated and interested in the subject have the curiosity that is critical for success. Pressure and financial incentives are taught in classical business studies as the means of choice. That this is not enough can be seen impressively in the market shares of the e-cars from Mercedes and Tesla. Enthusiasm and genuine involvement based on open communication brings more. Intuition is the best guide to success: we all have two halves of the brain. Successful entrepreneurs use both. Of course, a business plan, cash flow planning and rational risk assessment is necessary. But that is not sufficient to make a risky move. Visionary leaders make this move precisely because, in addition to the plannable facts, their intuition leads the way.
Independence of thought is a necessary prerequisite for real development.
Those who want to do everything right logically remain trapped in existing thought patterns. The need not to make mistakes obstructs the chance to question things. The only constant in the economy is the power of creative destruction. The digital camera was Kodak’s downfall, the iPhone meant the end of long-time market leader Nokia, decentralised environmentally friendly energy production replaced large-scale power plants. What all these examples have in common is that it improves social prosperity by providing more benefits with less raw material consumption.
The prerequisite for success is the freedom of the entrepreneurial spirit to break existing market rules.
Doing something different and better is always clear as day in retrospect and easy. On the way, however, one must be prepared to stand up for one’s goal without compromise. Edison certainly needed mental independence when, even after 8,000 attempts, the light bulb was still far from being ready for the market.
Never give up – resilience gives strength and nonchalance in lean times.
Yes, enthusiasm leads over many barriers. But all the visionary entrepreneurs I have met have had to overcome real lean times. Breaking the rules to create something new requires perseverance, assertiveness and also an unwillingness to compromise, to put all one’s eggs in one basket. This is rarely found in corporate self-representations, even at the entrepreneurial meeting. A retired billionaire recently told me that one of his three essential recipes for success was “never give up”. In current language, that means “resilience”. Asked more specifically what it meant to him, he said: “Courage, serenity and self-confidence.” In our dynamic times, it is to be expected that precisely these three elements will become even more important for the mindset of successful leaders. Linear management is no longer enough. Visionary leaders manage to overcome dilemmas: high speed and security at the same time, that requires an agile mind and courage. Those who apply the previous six principles are already well on their way to continuously improving this seventh skill. Why does this bring more than the normal day-to-day work? By the way – in addition to better economic success, these principles automatically lead to a more fulfilling work environment for employees. Sure, results can be achieved with pressure and control. But it takes more force. While these seven principles can be applied by anyone and everyone, one thing is not quite as easy: to really become a visionary leader. Now enjoy applying these seven leadership principles: Open eyes to the world’s problems, network learning, creativity and openness to new things, curiosity, intuition, independence of thought and the courage to persevere in the face of adversity.