Talking to all the different leaders in their respective businesses, all of them brought up something that struck my mind - they were unique in each of their own ways. Whether it was Air New Zealand’s unique approach to tackling the perceptions of their customers, to Stephanie’s beautiful touch to graphic designs, all the companies have demonstrated their own way in which they are different. From Stuart’s talk, I’ve also learnt that unique does not mean offering a product/service at a cheaper price point.
Although it’s one way to do business, it shouldn’t be the only way in which a company is unique. Instead, businesses should have unique backstories, unique products or an innovative way of thinking that breaks a stereotype of some kind. That is ultimately what makes a company better than another company that is really just copying ideas. Another thing that has really made me think differently about leadership and businesses is the importance of a motive or ethos behind a business. Although at the end of the day, businesses are there to make money, the ones that stand out the most are those which have a story to tell.
Eat Smart Nutrition’s ethos, for example, is the desire to help out people who struggle with dieting or athletes wanting to take their training to the next level. Air New Zealand’s story is their desire to bring customers from all over the world to experience the beauty of New Zealand and providing Kiwi hospitality, technology and entrepreneurship that cannot be found on other airlines.
Most interestingly, something else I found that was common among all the leaders was that none of them had thought they would be in the position they are in today back in high school. They all had different ideas and over time their interests changed and slowly started to do what they liked best. At the end they ended up where they are now. This just goes to show that “Nobody survives H-hour”, where you cannot plan everything out and expect everything to just naturally fall in place where in reality, that just won’t happen.