Researcher Amy Wilkinson spent years interviewing 200 of the nation’s most successful entrepreneurs. Six skills shared by those who innovate and scale well:
- Spotting gaps in the marketplace
- Maintaining a long-term vision
- Iterating quickly
- Failing intelligently
- Being generous.
Her biggest surprises:
- Those who succeed want others to succeed. “When you get in front of Kevin Plank, for example, at Under Armour, you realize he very much wants to raise up other people in the sporting industries.”
- They never feel comfortable. Elon Musk of Tesla is a hero, but when Wilkinson congratulated him for having a good year, he said, “Really, do you think so?”
“Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable” is a mark of hungry leaders, Wilkinson says. “I don’t think people ever get completely comfortable scaling up ideas.”
— Adapted from “What the founders of JetBlue, Chipotle and Tesla have in common,” Lillian Cunningham, The Washington Post.