President’s Day is a federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February. The celebration honors the presidents of the United States, particularly America’s first president, George Washington.
The job of the president is never easy. He has to take charge of vast government entities and deal with foreign governments. The President of the U.S. is also the recognized leader of the free world. Now that’s pressure!
Though company presidents may not be saddled with the same weight of responsibility, they also have plenty on their plate. They take charge of vast business operations and deal with other companies. As the leader of his or her company, a president is also charged with being a mentor and role model to employees.
Some of the outstanding company presidents who have left an indelible mark in their respective include the following:
- Jeff Bezos of Amazon – Bezos is a pioneer in Internet commerce. He helped popularize the predictive analytics concept – a practice of suggesting products to potential customers based on the history of their searches and buying habits. The concept is now a mainstay in the world of e-commerce, making online shopping a rewarding experience for shoppers worldwide.
- Anne Mulcahy of Xerox – Xerox faced a serious financial crisis, and Mulcahy turned the company around. During her term, Mulcahy trimmed the company’s employees by 30 percent. She later eliminated the entire desktop division of the company. Her actions were sometimes controversial and required courage, but they protected the company’s bottom line and were eventually met with recognitions and awards.
- Brad Smith of Intuit – Smith is the leader of one of the world’s largest financial software companies with $4 billion in revenue and a market cap of $16.5 billion. It operates, however, like a group of startups. His 8,000 employees are given the freedom to take risks and grow by learning from their experiences.
- Howard Schultz of Starbucks – Schultz’s life is a true “rags-to-riches” legacy. He grew up in a poor Bronx family, but made it to college on an athletic scholarship. He ended up as head of Starbucks. His courage and hard work were his tickets to achieving the American dream.
If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s good to learn not just from national leaders but from corporate presidents who are shining lights in their respective industries. Many have been faced with challenges and emerged as winners because of their hard work, sacrifices, and determination.