Four great leaders who overcame adversity

Leaders fight through adversity.

Great leaders have shown the ability to get punched in the gut with devastating news, take the hit, catch their breath, regain their composure, move forward and, most important, get their team to follow them forward.

Be moved by these these four leaders:

1. Bill Gates’s first business failed.

Gates wasn’t always worth $76 billion and known as one of the most genius leaders in world history. He and Paul Allen started a business called Traf-O-Data, which allowed for an automated way to read and organize data taken from traffic tapes. Traf-O-Data was a complete failure, and the product fell far short of working as intended.

2. Albert Einstein was rejected from college.

Einstein is known as the “father of modern physics.” That’s a rather big title for someone who didn’t make it into college. Einstein’s grades were bad. His focus in the classroom was inconsistent. He didn’t pass his college entrance exam. But Einstein developed some of the most critical scientific theories of the modern world — they still amount to the fundamental basis for modern physics. Even if you don’t know the importance of Einstein’s work, you know his name — it goes hand-in-hand with scientific intelligence.

 3. James Dyson tried and failed 5,127 times.

Thomas Edison is constantly exemplified as to why failure shouldn’t stop you from trying; it is estimated that Edison built 100 to 1,000 light bulbs before finding one that functioned. James Dyson is an Edison of our day. He experimented even more than Edison did before finding success — finally. For 15 years, James Dyson fell short in building a better vacuum cleaner; he got rid of a reported 5,127 prototypes in total. Nonetheless, Dyson knew that each prototype brought him a step closer to an ideal. Today, he’s a billionaire.

 4. Oprah Winfrey was undeterred by a tragic past.

After being abused for years, Winfrey ran
away from home and at age 14 bore a child who died shortly after birth. Despite a childhood and adolescence filled with disaster and catastrophe, Winfrey was a high school honors student and garnered a college scholarship. Now, she’s one of the most instantly recognizable people in the world, with a net worth in billions.

As for that part of getting your team to follow you… Good leaders have a way of inspiring others to not just “soldier on” but to face the adversity head-on, with gusto and enthusiasm, even when the odds are dauntingly stacked against them. When that happens, you know you’ve developed responsible followers.

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Art
During the past twenty-five years, Art has worked in leadership positions with a number of global firms and their call/BPO centers worldwide. Currently president and CEO of KomBea Corporation, Art has served for more than a dozen years developing and marketing tools that blend human intelligence and automation to improve call center phone interactions.
Art has also served as executive vice president of business development and strategic initiatives for First-Source; CEO and founder of Echopass Corporation (the world’s premier contact center hosting environment, which was acquired by Genesys for about $110 million); CEO of Sento Corporation; and managing director and VP of European business development for Sykes Enterprises.
Art is a widely-published author of methodologies for BPO/contact centers, outsourcing, customer service, and technical support, and has served in leadership positions at Hewlett-Packard, VLSI Research, and RasterOps.

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