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Leadership doesn’t depend on your designation in a company. It’s an attitude where you take responsibility, go beyond the call of duty and find joy in helping your peers or team succeed. Whether you’re a CEO or an executive, aspiring to be a good leader can help you incorporate skills that will take you a long way in your career.
In your journey towards becoming a better leader, having role models who you can look up to is a great way to keep yourself motivated. They can be men and women who have emerged victorious in the face of adversity to steer their businesses towards profit while creating a distinct work ethic that made them successful.
Here’s a list of 10 business leaders who are worthy of becoming role models for future leaders.
1. Tim Cook, Apple
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Steve Jobs is a hard act to follow. But thus far, Tim Cook has done a tremendous job. Rather than attempting to match the consumer-facing innovations Steve Jobs was known for, Tim Cook is forging into the future with his new advances, such as Apple’s innovative inventory management techniques.
2. Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway
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He’s always been a deeply conservative trader during the times that everyone around him was moving from one extreme to the other, playing to the tune of huge losses and gains. Warren Buffett is a perfect example of patience, proving that the slow and steady win the business race.
3. Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo
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Indra Nooyi, who’s featured on the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women list, has not only led her company to record financial results but is making strides to move PepsiCo in a healthier direction, leading the courageous charge to shed traditional fast food properties and replace them with initiatives to supply healthier foods.
4. Jeff Bezos, Amazon
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Jeff Bezos is a pioneer in the world of e-commerce and was instrumental in defining this space which is now changing many aspects of the internet world. It is Jeff who innovated the concept of “predictive analytics,” which recommends products to customers based on search history and buying patterns.
5. Anne Mulcahy, Xerox
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During her stint at Xerox, Anne was required to reduce the company’s workforce by 30% and later eliminated the entire desktop portion of Xerox. For her courageous execution in the face of adversity, Chief Executive Magazine named her CEO of the Year in 2008, and U.S. News & World Report named her one of America’s Best Leaders.
6. Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation
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Rupert Murdoch is a self-made Australia-born head of an American publishing dynasty, leading the way as the founder, chairman and CEO of News Corporation. He continues to work unbelievably hard at such an old age. In the midst of scandals, he’s found new strength to face accusations of bribery, corruption and hacking by subsidiary firms.
7. Larry Page, Google
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Larry Page is another example of a businessperson who can persevere any challenge. Larry and his company have faced much criticism and received ample praise over the years for their actions. But in the midst of the storm, he has never let what others think to sway him from pursuing the course for his company that he considers the best.
8. Howard Schultz, Starbucks
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From his upbringing in a poor family in the Bronx to an athletic scholarship and eventually the head of Starbucks, Howard Schultz is a consummate example of courage, hard work, and the ability to achieve the American dream.
9. Brad Smith, Intuit
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Intuit is one of the world’s largest and most successful financial software companies. Even as a company with nearly $4 billion in revenue and a market cap of approximately $16.5 billion, Intuit continues to operate like a startup. Brad has fostered a culture where nearly 8,000 employees are allowed to take risks and learn from success and failure.
10. Richard Branson, Virgin Group
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Richard Branson struggled in school and dropped out at age 16—a decision that ultimately led to the creation of Virgin Records. His entrepreneurial projects started in the music industry and expanded into other sectors making Branson a billionaire. Today Virgin Group holds more than 200 companies, including the recent Virgin Galactic, a space tourism company.