Business Lessons from Guy Kawasaki (excerpted from the Corner Office Interview, NY Times)
Guy Kawasaki is a one-man business idea factory. We link to his blog on our blog roll, and I follow him on Twitter, and I have presented synopses of two of his books, The Art of the Start and Reality Check (which Bob Morris called the best book he read in 2008). Here are some excerpts from his terrific interview in the NY Times Corner Office (Note: Bob usually posts about the pieces from the NY Times Corner Office, and will probably do so again with this one. But I liked it so much that I decided it would be more than ok to give our readers a double dose of Kawasaki).
On the centrality and primacy of sales:
You truly have to understand how to take care of your customers.
I learned a very valuable lesson: how to sell. Sales is everything. As long as you’re making sales, you’re still in the game. That lesson has stuck with me throughout my career.
On Steve Jobs and his brilliance:
I learned from Steve that some things need to be believed to be seen. These are powerful lessons — very different from saying we just want to eke out an existence and keep our heads down.
The most important thing is that you hire people who complement you and are better than you in specific areas.
…make yourself dispensable — what greater accomplishment is there than the organization running well without you? It means you picked great people, prepared them and inspired them. And if executives did this, the world would be a better place.
On clear and simple, easy to understand, to the point communication:
business schools should teach students how to communicate in five-sentence e-mails and with 10-slide PowerPoint presentations. If they just taught every student that, American business would be much better off.
On work ethic:
…success in business comes from the willingness to grind it out. It’s not because of the brilliant idea. It’s because you are willing to work hard. That’s the key to success.
The issue with consulting is that if you go straight to work for a consultant (after college graduation), you develop this perspective that the hard part is the analysis and the decision. In reality, that’s not the hard part. The hard part is implementing the decision, not making it.
You can purchase my synopses of both The Art of the Start, with handout + audio, on our companion web site 15minutebusinessbooks.com. The synopsis for Reality Check should be available soon.