a.k.a. Executive, Leader, Principal
Path to create value: Manager
Manager is an individual whose biggest passion is managing a functional team and steering it towards the chosen goals. Managers feel the happiest when they can orchestrate a group of people and lead the team towards success in a friendly, collaborative atmosphere. They are good at finding synergies between people and putting the team members in the right roles. Managers also notice the unique qualities of the team members and take an individual approach to motivate each one of them.
There is no one type of manager, but rather, there are multiple types. If you are a “people person,” you might be material for a Team Leader, a.k.a. an Executive. Team Leaders lead organizational units within companies and institutions. They need to coordinate their team members to reach the targets specified by the organization. Team Leaders ensure that the team members communicate smoothly and make progress as expected. They often know their team members better than themselves, spot and stimulate their talents and potential, and make sure that the team members develop to the best of their abilities and progress further in their careers.
If you are less into people but more into logistics and coordinating projects, you might consider working as a Project Manager. In short, a Project Manager is supposed to coordinate a specific project, all the way from the conceptual phase until the output is successfully delivered.
Unlike the Team Leader, the Project Manager is not superior to more junior employees but rather gets assigned to specific projects. Corporate Project Managers are usually expected not to make their own hands dirty with executing the projects but rather divide the work, instruct, and pace the employees involved to deploy the project on time.
On the contrary, if you are more of a “numbers person” and have some interest in marketing—namely, you are into technology, production, and sales— you might be material for a Product Manager. Product Managers have an overview of the product.
As a Product Manager, you need to make sure that the end product has good quality, reasonable production costs, and a good product-market fit. The Product Manager needs to take care of the quality control during the process of building the prototype on the one hand and of the marketing side on the other hand. Marketing involves setting the right price for the product, training the sales team, preparing and managing the marketing campaign, etc.
Typically, a Product Manager is an individual position. However, in some cases, multiple Product Managers work together as members of the Product Managing Team. Product Managers need to have in-depth knowledge about the product and understand each step of the production process. As this job involves high-level business intelligence, it requires a lot of experience and an in-depth understanding of the market sector that the company operates in.
The term “Product Manager” is sometimes used interchangeably with “Product Owner” although, in theory, these should be two different functions. Namely, Product Owners are supposed to coordinate the development of one specific product feature while Product Managers are responsible for the whole product and should supervise a team of Product Owners. As such, a Product Manager is higher in the organizational structure than a Product Owner.
STRENGTHS AT WORKPLACE
Managers Are Efficient and Learn How to Focus on Priorities
Management is a school of life. Every decision has its consequences—and, as the executive, you are held responsible for the success of the whole project. You have so many objectives in the project and yet, so little time and so few pairs of hands!Therefore, you will naturally learn how to prioritize while working as a manager. And, you will learn how to forgive yourself small mistakes and imperfections.
What managers also learn early on is that the day only has 24 hours—as a manager, you need to cherrypick what you spend your time on. The necessity to manage time also helps managers to manage their households and relations with their families.
Due to their self-discipline, they also tend to be skillful at managing the other aspects of their lives, including their finances and free time. That’s why managers often become highly functional individuals in the process.
Elastic Communication and with Good Understanding of People
As a manager, you learn that regardless of what you say, your words will always have real-world consequences. For this reason, good managers always praise their team members’ work in public and criticize it in private. They also learn to criticize in a positive way so that they employee feels motivated to improve rather than disciplined.
Furthermore, they adjust their tone to the situation. They are elastic in communication—they know when to be a diplomat, and when to say precisely what they think to achieve the results they need.
What you also learn as a manager is that, every individual has their preferred working style and is motivated by yet another set of incentives—and they might not even know what motivates them! Good managers know their team members better than they know themselves.
Good Command of Stressful Events
Most people freeze when it comes to unpredicted, stressful situations. However, in such situations, managers get a boost of adrenaline and react fast. Good managers feel like captains. They first think of the well-being of their team members, soothe the atmosphere, and then distribute the tasks or initiate a brainstorming session to come up with viable solutions to the problems.
In either case, they can hold their posture and keep emotions to themselves. After all, stressing the team members would only make the situation worse. Good managers can keep a poker face so well that no one else knows how bad the current situation is. It doesn’t mean that poker face is always the best solution, of course.
Today, new trends in management emerge. In the world after the corona crisis, it is preferred that managers are empathic and share some emotions or even failures with their team members. Yet still, stress resistance is a viable aspect of working as a manager on all levels.
Lots of Opportunities in the Job Market
In most industries, executives have lots of options. They can apply for all the open executive positions within the company and jobs in other companies in the same sector. If you are an experienced executive with a well-developed LinkedIn profile, you don’t even need to actively apply anymore—the specialistic agencies oriented at hiring executives will most likely chase after you.
Good Benefits and Social Approval
The management structure is the backbone of every company. Therefore, competent managers are valued as employees. In principle, in the capitalistic world, the remuneration for your work should be proportional to the influence that your work has on the overall revenue of the company. The managers’ influence is quite substantial.
Of course, a large part of job satisfaction comes from nonmaterial aspects of the job. However, you naturally feel more appreciated and more valued as an employee when you see a lavish amount transferred to your account every month.
You also get lots of nonmaterial benefits in management positions, such, e.g., personal satisfaction whenever other people show you some respect and value your opinion. Let’s be honest: most people enjoy the feeling of knowing what’s going on and being a boss. It just feels nice when people kindly greet you, report to you, and execute tasks that you appointed them to do. That makes you feel important. And, your status as a manager lets you experience this feeling every single day.
As an Executive, You Can Become a Leader One Day
Regardless of which career track in management you choose, you have a long way to go. You start from the very bottom: from solving tiny problems for the company. Then, you get more and more responsibilities along the way, while building the credit of trust. You get more and more pivotal projects, and your teams get bigger and bigger.
If you choose the path of a Team Leader, or an Executive, then at the advanced career stages, you can also climb up to the highest layer of management in the company. At this point, you not only execute projects that your superiors assign to you but also delineate new directions for the company and create projects for managers standing lower in the hierarchy. In other words, you are expected to (co)lead the company. For the managers with natural leadership skills, this scenario is heaven!
WEAKNESSES AT WORKPLACE AND CAREER PITFALLS
Demanding Towards Others
Managers are well-organized and self-disciplined by nature. Self-discipline comes so naturally to them that they often expect the same from others—including their team members.
Many managers need to learn that employees work best when they get an individual approach, and when the management style is adjusted for every team. For many managers, it takes years and years to learn how to handle people with different working styles and varying degrees of self-discipline.
You Are Held Responsible
Well, a manager is a responsible position to be in. As the project manager, you are held accountable for the project results. Multiple things could go wrong in the process—such as insubordinate team members, internal conflicts, wrong assumptions behind the project and unrealistic targets, delays caused by other teams, a human mistake, etc. Whatever happens, you will need to explain why your team didn’t meet the targets. And, you will need to be diplomatic not to give an impression that you blame others for your own mistakes or lack of competence.
One way of mitigating this issue is taking multiple projects with multiple teams on your plate. In that way, even if a single project fails, it still becomes clear from statistics that you are, on average, successful as an executive. Which is what most of the early-stage managers do.
Having that said, most managers are also employees. As such, managers are protected but the local labor laws and fall under the rules established by their employers. As a manager, you will not be liable for your company’s market losses, and you cannot be blamed for a market failure of any major endeavor of the company. You will only be evaluated for taking actions that lie within your competencies.
At some point, after a few years in the office, you will maturate as a manager. Namely, you get enough hands-on experience with planning and executing projects to predict what is necessary to complete tasks in time. You will develop your individual management style and learn all about handling various personalities and coordinating team members with diverse working styles. At that point, you won’t experience as much work-related stress anymore. Your life will be hectic—but it doesn’t mean “stressful.” Most experienced managers refer to themselves as “busy but happy.”
To land the management position, one often needs to first go through many years of apprenticeship or work as a specialist in the team. It is a common practice, e.g., in reputable corporations in the IT industry, in consulting, or in academia. It is a bottleneck to many talented in-born managers. As a consequence, they might drop out from their career path too early—before they ever get a shot to prove themselves.
Therefore, if you know that managing teams is your dream career path, you might need to take the sacrifice first, and spend a few months or even a few years on paving your path towards your management position.
Furthermore, even after landing your first management position, you will be challenged. Careers in management are hierarchical—on every level of the pyramid, there are fewer and fewer seats. To get promoted, it’s not enough to be good at what you do. You need to excel.
For this reason, early-stage managers often take lots of projects at a time and do anything they can so that the company notices their energy, creativity, dedication, and their ability to work with lots of different people. It is easy to work yourself into burnout at this stage.
Your Promotion Might Depend on How You Are Perceived
Most managers have a natural drive to grow and get promoted, as it comes along with more responsible and more interesting projects. However, your chances for promotion depend on multiple factors—and these factors might be more or less objective depending on the field.
In some companies, promotions rely on quantitative measures. E.g., in large consultancy companies, you build a personal record of managed projects. The project results are recorded together with the scores that you, as a manager, received from your team members.
Additionally, at some stage, you might start bringing in new clients for the company. It has quantitative value to your employer (as every deal has a price tag). There are rules for getting promoted to higher management positions—you can get to the next level only after fulfilling specific requirements. The candidates often don’t meet all the official requirements straight away. Therefore, they need to negotiate the conditions and the plan of further professional self-development with their superiors first.
However, in most companies, the rules for promoting managers are much vaguer. It might depend, e.g., on the subjective impression of your superiors upon whether or not you are material for a leader in the long run. In that sense, charisma is often a factor in the assessment—rather than shear project results. For this reason, in most companies, early-stage managers are under pressure to show off. They need to become noticeable and appear active, dynamic, and creative. No need to mention where the term “the rat race” comes from.
In Some Organizations, You Might Be Shipped From One Plant to Another
Some international companies have a policy that requires managers to change teams and offices and travel around (usually, every 2-3 years). The purpose of this policy is to allow managers to grow and increase their competencies by working with multiple teams in various settings.
The second reason for this policy is that the company needs to ensure that informal cliques and power structures don’t form in the international offices. Circles of mutual adoration are detrimental to any company as they prevent talent from being supported and promoted. One proven remedy for this issue is moving managers around. This policy is often encountered in corporations in engineering rather than in IT.
For all these reasons, while developing a career as a manager in an international organization, you need to take into account that you might need to lead a nomadic lifestyle for many years. It is a “path of a hero” of sorts—you will need to embark on this journey to learn absolutely everything about the company. And eventually, become one of the company leaders.
Trends in Management Change
Management needs adaptation skills, as it is one of the areas in which trends rapidly change. The corona crisis was an example of a critical situation in which the standards in management had to rapidly adjust to the situation—most teams moved online, which required developing the team culture in brand new ways.
For instance, unlike it used to be in the past decades, today the organizational structure in the private sector becomes more and more flat. Managers are supposed to lead by example, show emotions, and build brotherhood with their team members rather than playing roles of patriarchal figures who distribute directives and communicate in a dry, factual way.
But there are multiple new trends in management today. Many companies switch from the “traditional” ways of developing their products according to the detailed plan, stage by stage, towards agile, which means iterative improvement in self-organizing and cross-functional teams. Every year, new hot trends in management appear, and companies experiment with management schemes in their efforts to become market leaders.
Of course, these new trends might either be the best or the worst thing about management—it all depends on your personality and flexibility. Most managers develop a personal style of going around projects and people. However, what you become an expert in, might not be what the company will expect from you five or ten years from now. On the good side of things, whenever the company expects you to change your management style, they will send you to specialistic training.
As an Executive, At Some Point, You Are Expected To Become a Leader
As mentioned before, if you get promoted high enough as an Executive, the company will expect you to lead. It is what most managers dream of—but not everyone! Not every strong manager will also become a strong leader. Some managers are happy with executing predefined projects and would like to avoid the responsibility and stress related to delineating new trends for the whole company. Or, they do not see themselves as visionaries.
For this reason, there are two different types of people who become leaders of large companies and organizations. The first group is creators, namely professionals who are creative and open-minded by nature yet need to learn how to manage people and projects properly. The second group is managers who need to learn how to act like creators when the situation requires—how to free their minds and come up with original concepts that might give the company an edge in the market.
Leaders need to know the drill: to be familiar with the company at every possible level. For this reason, future leaders often go through special training. E.g., engineering companies sometimes send promising candidates for future leaders for an internship to the production line—so that they work hand in hand with blue-collar employees. Therefore, if your employer challenges you with a number of management stunts, don’t feel annoyed or disappointed. It can be a sign that the company plans to put a lot of trust in you in the future!
Decisions strategic for the whole company are rarely taken by individuals, but rather, by teams of leaders. Such important decisions rely on analysis, data, and discussion. However, if, as a leader, you don’t stand up to the expectations (e.g., if you notoriously make poor decisions and give wrong recommendations to your team), you can lose your credit of trust as the company loses lots of money at this point. Usually, the company sends you to additional training in such a situation, but chances are that they could also put you on the sidelines for good.
EXAMPLES OF MANAGERS IN VARIOUS WORKING ENVIRONMENTS
Manager In a Private Company
Some managers working in the private sector are creators who come with their vision and pave their way to become the company leaders or achievers who primarily aim to become role models to others. However, most industry managers primarily have the characteristic of a manager. Unlike the specialist with the overarching goal to become the “to-go-to” person, managers usually launch their careers with the intention to get promoted. For managers, getting promoted is a sign of competence and professional progress.
The answer to the question of “What does it mean to be a corporate manager?” is not as straightforward. Every company has a different culture, and the higher the headcount, the more layers of management with a varying range of duties that you can find. Furthermore, there are various types of industry managers, such as, e.g., Project Managers and Product Managers mentioned in the introduction.
Industry managers not only need to be good at handling various types of personalities, motivating people, and combining people into working teams, but also down-to-earth, goal-oriented, dynamic, and resilient to stress. Companies press on their managers so that they maximize the results of their teams and hit the financial targets delineated by the company. As a manager in the private sector, you will be put under pressure of getting good quantitative results—and getting promoted will not save you from this pressure (often the opposite!).
Therefore, if you are passionate about managing teams, yet, you don’t feel prepared for the rollercoaster associated with working for private companies (especially the large and prestigious ones), you can also consider working as a manager in public institutions. On the good side of things, private companies value strong, experienced managers, and usually reward them higher than public institutions reward their managers with the same amount of working experience.
Manager In a Public Institution
The workflow in public institutions is also project-based. However, in managers in the public sector have a different scope of duties from managers in the private sector. Since public institutions are supplied from the government, the main focus of managers here is, “How to well distribute the money to pull off our initiatives?” and “How to measure the societal impact?” Rather than “How to bring in money and clients to the company and increase the company’s profit to reach our financial targets?” In other words, it is, “How to spend the money well?” rather than “How to make money?” If you are the type of person who is oriented at projects with societal impact rather than making profits, perhaps this is the right direction for you.
The working dynamic is also different. Of course, there are deadlines and hot periods at work. But in general, as a rule of thumb, managers in public institutions can afford better work-life balance than managers in the private sector. In terms of remuneration, in most countries, the Collective Labor Agreement regulates the salaries of all employees within public institutions—which is a stick with two endings. On the one hand, you don’t need to be worried about the salary talk while discussing your position. On the other hand, however, the quality of your work will not influence your salary—for many people, this is a demotivating factor.
Conductor, Movie Director
If you are not into business but rather into arts, there is room for you as a manager. Managers are necessary everywhere—including in the arts and entertainment industry. If you have an education in music, you might become a conductor in an orchestra or a choreographer in a dance group. Movie directors and directors of theater play also need to display strong management and leadership skills.
Furthermore, museums, art galleries, and other art centers hire managers to run their businesses. Wherever there is a group of people that needs to be coordinated, and some goal that needs to be achieved, managers are needed.
HOW TO DEVELOP A CAREER WITH THIS PROFILE?
How to Start a Career
Management skills tend to reveal early on—in primary school or even before. However, they often get overlooked by the parents and teachers. Instead of supporting a kid with management and leadership skills in developing in the right direction, they often give the kid the pejorative label of “the bossy one.” Therefore, many future managers need to discover and develop the talent for managing people all by themselves.
If you are convinced that management is the path for you, you will need to build your personal network as soon as you possibly can. Even during your undergraduate studies, you should start attending professional conferences and meetups in the market sector that you are heading towards—these contacts might turn out invaluable later, when it comes to landing your entry-level management position. Taking courses in project management is also highly advisable—although the truth is, no course will fully prepare you for the challenges that are waiting for you in “the real world.”
You should know that our opportunities for getting management jobs right after finishing your public higher education much depend on the career track that you choose. If you prefer to become a Project or a Product Manager, you should remember that these manager positions are not as prestigious and well-paid as the Executive positions.
In general, it is possible to land first jobs as a Project Manager or a Product Owner (and sometimes, even as a Product Manager) without formal prior experience. You can easily find hundreds of such openings on LinkedIn and other websites (although, no need to mention that networking and contacts help).
Of course, it is not guaranteed that you will get a shot without any formal experience—it depends on your location and the market sector. If you try for a few months with no success, then most probably, you will need to enter the company of your choice at some other, more specialistic position first.
One popular entry point to project/product management is also an internship. Many companies conduct internships in a form of 2-3 month-long training periods, when a batch of interns not only learn in a group but also conduct small projects. After that period, participants are offered entry-level positions depending on the skills and talents that they exhibited during the internship. If the program leaders notice the potential for an entry-level manager in you, you might get such an offer.
On the other hand, the Team Leader, or Executive, positions are typically not announced in public. They are much better-paid and much harder to get. Mind that typically, it is impossible to jump from a position of a Project Manager or a Product Owner to a Team Leader—an Executive track is a separate career track! Therefore, if you dream of becoming a Team Leader, you need to take a different approach.
Most Team Leaders start their careers from working as specialists and enrolling onto special, certified study programs in Business Executive Management. Becoming a Team Leader is a long process! On the good side of things, once you finally get promoted to a Team Leader, you won’t have any more issues with looking for jobs in the foreseeable future. Most likely, other companies will try to buy you out sooner or later!
How To Look for Jobs / How To Start Working
Regardless if you try to get in through networking or applying in an open application process, you will eventually end up at a formal job interview. When it comes to that, you might meet with the classic interview question, which is, “What is your management style?” A tough question to respond to without dipping into platitudes. After all, your management style usually becomes a combination of the management standards in your environment and of your own style reflecting your personality, working routine, and values.
No wonder that most fresh candidates for managers are flabbergasted by this question. They don’t feel like they have any specific style yet. Well, you need to prepare for the question nevertheless—if you don’t have an answer at hand, it is a sign for the recruiter that you might not have as much experience with working with people as you claim.
Therefore, it is good to read about management styles before the interview and reflect on yourself. There is more than just one popular classification of management styles—check, e.g., the classification by Tannenbaum & Schmidt (autocratic, paternalistic, democratic, and laissez-faire style, 1958, 1973).
However, the paths to becoming a Project or Product Manager, and Team Leader, differ. Namely, in general, it is harder to become a Team Leader than Product or Project Manager. The reason is that most employers first expect you to have multiple years of experience working in the field, multiple projects behind your belt, and additionally, specialistic training such as Executive MBA. Most Team Leaders start their careers as specialists. Once they reach senior roles and get classified as prospective, their employers fund the training for them.
Team Leader positions are rarely openly announced, but rather, these positions are only known to the insiders in the field. However, if you feel that you were born to lead a team in a large organization, this adventure is definitely worth embarking on! On the contrary, Product and Project Manager positions are more often announced in the media and on platforms such as LinkedIn and are more likely to get without formal prior management experience.
How To Self-Manage in Daily Life
Well, managers are called managers not without a reason. They can manage themselves, and they enjoy it—even before they manage anyone else. As a natural-born manager, you might enjoy planning your day, and you have an affinity to classic time- and task-management techniques. The whole challenge is not how to manage yourself but rather how not to expect that everyone around you is as perfect in their self-management skills as you are. It usually takes some time for new managers to learn that not everyone works like a Swiss clock and that one has to create a margin for errors and delays in the projects.
As mentioned before, there is more than just one style of management. Autocratic managers prefer to micromanage their team members. Democratic managers tend to ask the team members for an opinion before making decisions. Laissez-faire style managers prefer to put a group of smart people in a room and give them space to come up with new solutions on their own. None of these styles is better than others—they are as individual as personality traits. You will need to observe yourself in the process, follow your talents, and hone your craft as a manager.
EXAMPLES OF FAMOUS LINCHPINS
An American professional manager, the CEO of Apple (2011-present), previously Apple’s COO. Cook started his career in Apple in 1998 as a senior vice president for worldwide operations.
Since he started managing Apple, the revenue and profits of the company have doubled, and the company valuation quadrupled. With this time, the company also increased its focus on non-profit activities and started investing in new renewable energy sources. Cook also put more focus on supporting American manufacturers, cybersecurity, and activism against domestic surveillance.
He is known for starting his working day at 4:30 am by sending a round of emails. He uses to say that his leadership style is focused on people, strategy, and execution—and that combining the three is all you need to succeed.
An American-Polish IT executive, the CEO of YouTube (2014-present). Wojcicki graduated from history and literature at Harvard University. She also graduated from Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Then, she caught the bug for IT. She was with Google from the beginning—in 1998, Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin set up their office in Wojcicki’s garage.
In 1999, she became the first Marketing Manager for the company. She later led the company’s online advertising initiatives and contributed to Google Doodle. In 2003, she also contributed to Google’s flagship algorithm, AdSense. In 2006, she proposed the acquisition of YouTube, and eight years later, she became the CEO of the newly acquired company.
She contributed to developing dozens of new services at YouTube, such as additional forms of monetization or channel memberships, and new functionalities for fans of music or gaming. She was responsible for tightening the YouTube policies concerning hate and violence and increased the percentage of females among employees. She also advocates for expanding paid maternity and paternity leave, and she is actively involved in promoting education.
An Indian executive and philanthropist, a former chairperson, and CEO of PepsiCo (2006-2018). After finishing her studies in Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry, Nooyi started her career as a Product Manager in Johnson & Johnson and Mettur Beardsell, as a strategy consultant in Boston Consulting Group, and then as the Vice President and Director of Corporate Strategy and Planning at Motorola.
In 1994, she started working for PepsiCo. Twelve years later, she became the CEO of the company. Nooyi led the company restructuring, create the spin-off company Yum! Brands including Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, and many others. She proposed the acquisition of Tropicana and Gatorade.
Since her admission as the CEO, PepsiCo’s annual net profit grew from $2.7 billion to $6.5 billion. She promotes the concept of Performance with a Purpose—grown the company while caring about the environment and the society. In 2015, she removed aspartame from Diet Pepsi despite the lack of evidence for its negative consequences for human health. In 2019, she took the position of co-director of the new Connecticut Economic Resource Center. She made the biggest donation to the Yale School of Management in the school’s history (for an undisclosed amount).
An American entrepreneur, investor, and IT executive. She served as the CEO of Yahoo! (2012-2017). She graduated from Stanford University, where she studied symbolic systems, which combined computer science, philosophy, cognitive psychology, and linguistics. Mayer started her professional career in 1999 as… the twentieth employee of Google where she was coding and managing small teams.
She was soon promoted to a Product Manager and then to the head of Consumer Web Products. She also actively contributed to Google’s flagship AdWords algorithm. In 2002, she started a mentoring program within Google, i.e., the Associate Product Manager program. Each year, she embarked a large group of junior employees onto a two-year program, where they had extra assignments and evening classes with the intention to become future leaders.
She played Mayer crucial roles in many of Google’s key initiatives, including Gmail, Google Search, Google Images, Google News, Google Maps, Google Books, Google Toolbar, and iGoogle. In 2005, she was promoted to the Vice President of Search Products and User Experience. While working at Google, she was still serving as an academic teacher at Stanford. In 2012, she started her service as the CEO and President of Yahoo! In 2017, she left the company and established Sunshine (previously, Lumi Labs) with her ex-colleague. The company is focused on applying Artificial Intelligence to consumer products.
She has been a skillful manager throughout her career. Some of her decisions within Yahoo! were criticized, however, the company was already losing the market position to Google on the day of her admission, and most probably, nothing could reverse this trend at that point. Mayer’s resume is often referred to as “perfect” and imitated by thousands of job hunters.
A Scottish former football player and football manager, managing Manchester United (1986-2013). He won the most trophies in football’s history. He started his career as a football player and then became a football coach. Finally, in 1986, he was appointed the manager of Manchester United.
During his 26 years of service, they won thirteen Premier League titles, five FA Cups, and two UEFA Champions League titles. Ferguson not only developed and trained the team but also encouraged plenty of football players to follow his path and become football managers. In 1999, he was knighted for his achievements on behalf of Manchester United.
A British talent manager, entrepreneur, and movie producer. He created the television show The Idol and produced other successful shows such as So You Think You Can Dance.
Fuller was starting his career in 1981 as an employee of the talent management agency Chrysalis Records in the UK where he signed in Madonna for her first single. Then, he proceeded to open his own management company in 1985. He first became known as the manager of Spice Girls, the superstars of pop music. He also managed the careers of many other successful artists and sportsmen including, e.g., Amy Winehouse, Lewis Hamilton, Annie Lennox, David and Victoria Beckham, Lisa Maria Presley, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Will Young, Steven Tyler, and many others. Billboard magazine named Fuller the most successful British music manager of all time.
Two of his biggest talents are spotting promising artists and the ability to maintain relationships for many decades. For instance, he is still on good terms with Spice Girls, and he remains the closest advisor of David Beckham even after Beckham retired from his football career.
An American entrepreneur, executive, and author. He served as the chairperson and CEO of the Starbucks Coffee Company (1986-2000, 2008-2017).
He began his career by working for Starbucks in 1982. In the same year, at age 29, he was appointed as the Director of Retail Operations and Marketing. Influenced by a trip to Milano, Italy, he tried to convince the owners of Starbucks to serve traditional espresso next to whole bean coffee and tea. They rejected the concept due to the high cost of the espresso coffee machines, so he found investors to launch his own coffee place, which he called Il Giornale. Seeing the success of Il Giornale, the Starbucks founders brought him back and allowed him to rebrand Il Giornale coffee to Starbucks. Schultz expanded Starbucks all around America. He did not believe in the concept of franchising and was a strong advocate of retaining ownership of every domestic Starbucks local.
In 1992, he brought the company to the stock exchange. In the late-2000s and early-2010s, he led the expansion in China, opening more than two new stores per day. From the day of his admission as a Starbucks employee to the day of his retirement, Starbucks grew from eleven coffeehouses in Seattle to almost 30,000 locals in 77 countries. Between 2008-2017 alone, the company valuation grew by $100 billion. Schultz is a strong advocate for fair trade, sustainability, and education. He also authored four books on business development.
An Indian-American professional manager, currently the CEO of Microsoft (2014-present). He was born and raised in India. In 1988, he traveled to the US to study Computer Science and enroll for an MBA.
He started his career at Microsoft by working on cloud computing. In 2014, he was appointed the CEO—the third CEO in the company’s history after Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. He puts a strong focus on collaborating with competitive companies, e.g., Apple, IBM, and Dropbox. He also declared that “Microsoft loves Linux” and made the company join the Linux Foundation. He executed substantial acquisitions for Microsoft, such as Mojang (the owner of Minecraft), Xamarin, LinkedIn, and GitHub. Since Nadella’s admission as the CEO, Microsoft’s stock price had quadrupled. He revised the new mission statement for the company, which is now “to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” Under his leadership, Microsoft achieved a culture of lifelong learning and growth.
A French military, commander, strategist, and political leader. One of the greatest strategists of all time.
He was starting his career as a second lieutenant in the La Fère artillery regiment in 1785. By 1799, he has already become an unofficial leader of the country serving as the First Consul (1799-1804). Then became the official Emperor of the French (1804-1815). He led France in the so-called Napoleonic Wars. He won the vast majority of the battles and conquered almost all of continental Europe before the ultimate collapse of his campaign in 1815. Napoleon was one of the most incoming figures in history. His strategic mind and his decisions on the battlefield are still studied in military schools until this day.