Logic and vision aren’t enough; you need passion and ambition to be a great leader according to Leonard Lauder, Chairman Emeritus of The Estee Lauder Companies, Inc.
His mother, Estee Lauder had passion and ambition. She took risks and her philosophy on life was “beauty is an attitude, there is no secret.” She was a woman with a mission, single-minded in the pursuit of her dream and believed that new generations want to buy their own brands … they don’t necessarily want to buy a brand that’s been around for a long time.
Her bold vision, passion and ambition became the foundation upon which Leonard built his career and leadership skills. This underpinning lead Leonard Lauder to do the unthinkable in 1968. He created a new cosmetic product line, Clinique, to directly compete with their already hugely successful Estee Lauder line. This marketing strategy of competing against yourself was an unheard of innovation in the 1960s cosmetic industry. It was in fact, built upon his mother’s philosophy that new generations want to buy new products.
Innovation, a technique you can learn
Innovation is all about you. Once you open the tap and allow innovation and problem solving to flow, you will become a role model for your workforce and in your personal life. Leonard Lauder believed that visualizing, projecting yourself into a successful situation, is the most powerful means there is of achieving personal goals and impacting business operations.
His technique for innovation was also used by other famous people, such as Albert Einstein, renowned physicist who would sit for hours at a time staring into space or out a window, providing him expansive thinking. This is an acquired technique that once mastered can be taught to others. While not everyone will achieve perfection like Lauder or Einstein, you do want to get into the pool of ideas and innovate or expand upon the existing.
Dedicate time several times a week to seclude yourself in absolute silence. Close doors and windows if necessary, put up a “do not disturb” sign so you can be completely alone with your thoughts. Spend at least fifteen minutes in this space each time you go there so you can relax and quiet your mind. Keep a notepad handy to record your thoughts. Your results will amaze you.
Creative leadership matters
Leonard Lauder’s leadership philosophy is “You are only as successful as the people who work for you want you to be. To be a great leader, you first have to like people. If you don’t like people, at the end of the day they will figure this out and you can’t lead them too well.” What a simple idea. Liking people seems so straightforward — something to consider when you are trying to engage your employees or want to make changes in your operation.
He believed “One person can really make a difference.” Today the Estee Lauder Company Inc. owns many brands that market fragrances, hair and skin products, and makeup. Under the Estée Lauder umbrella are Aerin Beauty, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Flirt!, M.A.C., Prescriptives, Smashbox, Tom Ford and Tory Burch. There are numerous other brands that are affiliated in the skin care, hair care and fragrances categories.
While mostly known for his leadership role at The Estee Lauder Company, Lauder also reached out early in his life and started collecting modern and cubistic art, borrowing $30,000 to make first major purchase. It was announced a year ago the he has gifted his entire collection of Cubist Art worth $1.1 billion to the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. This private collection contains 78 pieces, including 33 pieces by Picasso.
Leonard Lauder is an example of a leader with great vision, logic to make it happen, passion and ambition who lead his company to great success, while also enriching the community with his gift to the arts.
© Pat Heydlauff, all rights reserved 2017
Pat Heydlauff, a “flow of focus” expert, speaker and consultant designs workplace environments that fuel the flow of focus, maximizes productivity and yields future sustainability. She is author of the forthcoming book, Focus • Connect • Regenerate 7 Ways to Lead and Fuel Sustainability and published books, Feng Shui, So Easy a Child Can Do It, The Way We Go, Your Roadmap to a Better Future and Selling Your Home with a Competitive Edge. Contact her at 561-408-2708 or www.engagetolead.com.Share