9 Nov 2018
If Google or Baidu didn’t exist, would we have search engines? If Mark Zuckerberg hadn’t dreamt up Facebook in his dorm room, would we have social media platforms?
These may seem absurd questions, as the answer is an obvious ‘yes’, yet the god-like status we bestow on the leaders of organisations often borders on the fanatical. However, when you consider that the incandescent lightbulb was invented by 20 different people within the space of a couple of decades, the randomness of who apparently ‘succeeds’ is hard to comprehend.
Nevertheless, every era has its stars – leaders who take ideas and grow them into hugely powerful companies. Martin Sorrell at WPP, Steve Jobs at Apple, Jack Ma at Alibaba, Zuckerberg at Facebook, Elon Musk at Tesla…the list goes on. Often, their success is closely bound with an ability to set out a vision then drive relentlessly towards that goal.