Here are a few examples of innovation leaders who consistently have stayed, or did stay, one step ahead of their competitors by inspiring those around them. They’re all very different people! Some are “high profile,” while others are low key. With LeaderLogic, there’s no predetermined template.
To become an innovation leader, you first start by being yourself.
• Steve Jobs wasn’t just a person who had lots of ideas; the late co-founder and CEO of Apple had a keen sense of how to convey those ideas to other people and inspire them to take action. His example shows business leaders how to deliver expertly tailored rhetoric. He was a master of the art of persuasive and effective speaking, using a variety of techniques to adapt to differing situations and scenarios, all while delivering a consistent message. He often used stories and metaphors to make his point. Such devices are more memorable than statistics and dry assertions.
• Beyoncé. Sure, pop music stars are supposed to have charisma; that’s part of the job description, isn’t it? But through her music, Beyoncé leverages her charisma to start conversations about society’s most difficult topics. She influences her vast audience by weaving cultural messages into her catchy lyrics, spurring listeners to rally around social issues.
And let’s not forget that Beyoncé sits at the top of an impressive business empire that’s given her a net worth of $350 million, and earned her a spot on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list for 2016. They include her launch of a clothing line, the “athleisure” brand Ivy Park, and her investment in WTRMLN WTR, a “female-founded watermelon-water startup.” She’s also part owner of the music streaming service Tidal, and she co-owns House of Deréon, a contemporary women’s fashion line.
• Warren Buffett. If running around in gold tights like Beyoncé isn’t your style, fear not! Some of the most innovative business leaders are quite ordinary in their appearance, and their charisma comes purely from what they say and the business decisions they make. The chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors in the world; and with a total net worth of $80.6 billion, he’s the third wealthiest person in the world. He’s totally unassuming in his appearance, and yet when he speaks, millions of investors analyze his every word. He’s a brilliant communicator who knows how to convey life lessons in easy-to-understand morsels. One typical Buffett-ism is this: “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” Super simple—and absolutely true.
• Elon Musk. Leadership charisma doesn’t have to be highly polished and packaged. Commentators agree that Elon Musk—the founder, CEO, and CTO of SpaceX; a co-founder, CEO, and product architect of electric carmaker Tesla; co-chairman of OpenAI; and founder and CEO of Neuralink, among other groundbreaking ventures—isn’t the most rehearsed or polished speaker in the business world. While his speeches are characterized by stuttering and rambling, he manages to convey he’s got both incredible vision and impressive command of even the finest details to make his innovations a reality.
• Donald Bren. I’ll bet you’ve never heard of him, which is why I’m including him on this list. Donald Bren, who lives in Newport Beach, California, happens to be the most successful real estate developer in the United States. With an estimated net worth of $15.2 billion, Bren is a self-made mogul who turned a $10,000 bank loan into the Irvine Company, a multi-billion-dollar real estate company that’s the largest landowner in California. An intensely private person who never seeks the limelight, through his privately held real estate company and the Donald Bren Foundation he has provided generous funding to many charities, including more than $220 million to support education in California.
All of these innovation leaders stay ahead of the pack in their own ways—and you can too!