Alpha Leader

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt used to say, “It’s a terrible thing to look over your shoulder when you are trying to lead, and find no one there.” To avoid this, you must be a leader who has specific characteristics and behaviours. This is the only way to be a leader of the third decade of the 21st century.

The leaders must be authentic in what they do, think and say. Otherwise, they won’t be able to get others to follow. Many leaders learnt this the painful way, because they publicly proclaimed great slogans but privately led a life that was clearly contrary to the views they presented. You can’t call for thriftiness while basking in luxury. You can’t direct a moral renewal movement by acting immorally. You can’t be a military commander if you’re a coward. You can’t demand hard work from subordinates if you’re lazy yourself. A leader who doesn’t inspire people with their authenticity and example is not a leader.

The charisma and authenticity of a leader are based on giving hope to others, even in the most critical moments. A true leader will always find the right way and the best solution that will be safe for everyone. Only then can you achieve extraordinary things by working with ordinary people.

The DNA Model of a Company

Examples of companies such as Starbucks, Zara, LVMH, IKEA and Virgin show that building a global corporation almost from scratch in sectors unrelated to new technologies is doable within the period of one generation. This phenomenon can be explained in many ways: the charismatic attitude of leaders (such as Steve Jobs) or the discovery of great new markets the existence of which no one had ever suspected. Finally, there are companies the creation and development of which are enabled by new technology; however, in such a situation, many similar entities usually appear, and few end up winning.

In just 14 years of his renewed leadership (1997-2011) at Apple, Steve Jobs was able to transform a declining company that was unable to cope with Microsoft’s competition and PC manufacturers and was in danger of collapse or a takeover into an enterprise with the highest market quality in the world, with capitalisation exceeding USD 500 billion at the beginning of 2012. No one in the history of global business has ever even come close to this achievement.

Simply Business – the Next Step

The political breakthrough of 1989 launched a real ownership revolution. The most spectacular manifestation of ownership changes was the process of privatising state-owned enterprises, and the creation of the stock exchange together with the complete infrastructure of the public securities market. At the same time, we saw the beginning of the expansion process of hundreds of thousands of private companies started from scratch or developing based on small craft, service or trade companies.

Chapter 1 outlines the problems related to the broadly understood topic of selling a business. Many times being a seller myself, I was often very hungry for knowledge about the sale process of a company. Irrespective of the fact that each transaction is different, there are many common points. It’s similar when travelling by car – each trip is different, there are different weather conditions, the traffic varies, perhaps we have a different car and are ourselves in a different mood. All this means that each time the same path ends up being a little different.

Risk in Banking

The financial crisis brought to light the shortcomings of existing risk measurement and modelling methods in financial institutions, and forced the need to seek new approaches to risk management in financial activities – banking activities in particular.

The financial crisis that began in the US at the end of 2007 completely changed the paradigm of managing financial institutions. The approach to risk measurement, budgeting, and financing of operations changed; in general, this applies to every important aspect of running a banking business. Earlier, it was thought that most major risk elements could be described and forecasted using econometric models, and that models that worked in one country would work in every other one. By starting to build the company’s budget for the upcoming year, managers would collect historical data in every possible cross-section of the company’s activity, and then, assuming that the stability of the market situation wouldn’t change, extrapolated historical trends into the future, sometimes correcting them using previously known one-off events that may occur.

Simply Business

From this point of view, inventing a product, creating it, building a sales network, and promotion are not as far removed from other common types of art as novel writing or film directing.

It’s worth highlighting an important analogy here. It’s difficult to imagine a writer writing a new book without a thorough understanding of the topic to which the given book relates. Similarly, when making a film, the director must thoroughly study the topics related to their work. The same is true when building a business. As in the case of film production, you must have all the scenes written out, a well prepared budget and, of course, good actors who will bring the vision to life.

You can’t be a good seller and dislike the company of others. You can’t be an introvert not interested in the surrounding world. If you get upset by someone who doesn’t want to buy your product from you, you can forget about being an entrepreneur.