What makes a great leader?


Bill Taylor wrote a great article for the Harvard Business Review, Do You Pass the Leadership Test?

Building a small business takes great leadership. Making your company stand out above the competition also involves insight and taking risks. Taylor uses two great examples of what great leadership entails.

Luxottica, a global eyewear company with annual sales of $6.6 billion, took risks in creating a customer experience that some might have thought excessive and costly. This includes a touchscreen that is both a mirror and a computer and the ability to upload pictures of trying on glasses to social media channels.

Andrea Guerra, CEO of Luxottica says, “Where the world is changing and changing fast, your thoughts have to be bold.”
Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, however, has a much different take. The Kindle, will release another version that will be cheaper yet only slightly improved than the current Kindle on the market. Many were wondering why Bezos and his colleagues were not going with the trend of making an iPad competitor.

Bezos answers, “There are going to be 100 companies making LCD tablets. Why would we want to be [company] 101? I like building a purpose-built reading device. I think that is where we can make a real contribution.”

Here are two examples where being bold and being simple are not actually opposite strategies. The strategy is leading your company against the grain. Luxottica stands out by investing in a more glitzy customer experience while the Kindle wants to be the best of its kind, not the best version of an iPad.

Taylor puts it best when he asks: “How are you planning to zig while everyone else zags?” Small businesses will have many opportunities to stand out, but that is up to the leaders behind them.
Read the entire article here:

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