Words of Wisdom from the Most Successful CEOs

Mark Dohnalek  |   January 02, 2018

When December rolls around, and the year moves quickly toward its close, I always find myself reflecting on the past year.

I think about the progress that I’ve made professionally. I think about how our company has moved forward.

And of course, I think about the things I could have done better. Leading a company is nothing if not a learning experience, no matter how long you’ve been sitting in the CEO chair. In that spirit of learning, I’d like to share some words of wisdom from some of the most successful business leaders out there.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Warren Buffett is, as we all know, a hugely successful CEO – but he’s also an example of integrity in an industry where that’s not always the case.

This quote is a great reminder that there are no shortcuts in building a successful, trusted business. Integrity is of paramount importance, in both our business and personal dealings.

At my company, Pivot International, integrity is a top value. Our clients place a great deal of trust in us – they trust us to help them get their product idea designed, prototyped, manufactured, and distributed around the world. Earning that trust through excellence, transparency, and integrity is something we strive to do each and every day.

“It’s in our best interest to put some of the old rules aside and create new ones and follow the consumer – what the consumer wants and where the consumer wants to go.” – Robert Iger, CEO of Walt Disney

Giving clients what they want has always been a pillar of successful business, but it’s even more important now, when a consumer can find not only you, but 50 of your competitors, with a single Google search.

Listening to the client is the only way to stay ahead of the game. In today’s economy, it’s that listening, rather than telling, that will help companies earn their clients’ business.

“We are competing against ourselves. We have no control over how other people perform.” – Peter Cashmore, CEO of Mashable

It’s a maxim in business just as it is in life: you can only control yourself. I can only control what I do as CEO, and how I lead my company. Am I making the best decisions possible for my company, my team, and our clients? That’s the question that will make us more successful tomorrow than we are today.

“In business, what’s dangerous is not to evolve.” – Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon

Capabilities and expectations are evolving at a rapid pace – especially in the manufacturing world. Rapid prototyping, additive manufacturing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are transforming what’s possible in product development.

As a product development company with our own manufacturing facilities, we have to be ready to adopt new standards and new methods that will let us serve our clients better.

I hope that as the year ends, you find the time for some quiet reflection. Happy holidays!