Bill Gates. Warren Buffet. Steve Jobs. These are business leaders of the past two decades who have made headlines for the right reasons, creating value and driving innovation for the companies they lead and serve. Leadership at the highest level is not just about conceptualizing and creating great products and services. It is about effective branding, advertising, and product positioning. It is about creating new markets for products that consumers didn’t know they had a need for, but now wait in line anxiously to purchase.
Steve Jobs, whose recent passing saddened many entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-at-heart, exemplified many core leadership qualities. In the late 1970s, he took existing data processing technologies developed by IBM and other corporations and married them with the graphical-user-interface and mouse conceptualized a decade earlier at the Stanford Research Institute. Integrating these items into one user-friendly package, Jobs and the Apple team developed the world’s first PC.
Two decades later, Steve Jobs was back at the forefront of consumer technology, revolutionizing the portable music industry through the iPod. This in turn transformed the sales of music and video, propelling them into the digital sphere. Five years later, the iPhone represented a similar breakthrough for cell phones, creating handheld devices that offered many of the same user-friendly features of laptops and PCs. In creating these and many other products, Steve Jobs identified market opportunities and capitalized through decisive and coordinated execution.
At Leader Report, we focus on the trendsetting entrepreneurs, financial wizards, technological gurus, health care innovators, and other visionary leaders who have exerted a substantial impact on business and society. The leaders we profile on are not necessarily the biggest or the brashest. Often they are those who have quietly gone about their business, improving society in significant and under-recognized ways. Our featured leaders range from social media-driven entrepreneurs to those who have created shareholder value in the board room. Leader Report casts a light on leadership in all of its multifaceted forms, recognizing individuals who have made an impact in the corporate sphere, while bettering our everyday lives.
- Rakesh Jhunjhunwala: Savvy Indian Investor
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was born on July 5, 1960, in Mumbai, India. His father was an Income Tax Officer. Rakesh graduated from Sydenham College and then enrolled at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He is a qualified Chartered accountant.
Rakesh is a partner in his asset management firm Rare Enterprises and manages his own portfolio.He has correctly predicted the return of the bull run in the Indian stock market and is enjoying the fruits of this prediction. The market is up by 44 percent in the past year and so is his portfolio.
- Susan Hirt Hagen: Insurance Heiress
Susan Hirt Hagen who is in her late 70s hails from Erie, Pennsylvania. She graduated with dual degrees in Psychology and English from Wittenberg University, a liberal arts college in Springfield, Ohio. Her father Henry Orth Hirt, was one of the pioneers of the car insurance industry.
H.O. Hirt co-founded Erie Exchange in 1925. It began with a business plan written in a 10-cent notebook. It was one of the first in the US to offer auto insurance, selling premiums for $34 in its first year. H.O. grew the company in the following decades
- Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone: Italian Construction Tycoon
Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone was born on March 2, 1943, in Rome, Italy. He comes from a successful construction family originally from Palermo, Sicily. His grandfather founded a construction company in Palermo and constructed the first building there in the last decades of the 1800s.
His father moved to Rome to expand the family construction business. While he was still studying for his engineering degree he partnered with his two brothers and a cousin to resume the family business that was stopped in the 1940s due to the death of his father. Francesco would later