Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. Great business leaders are entrepreneurs who have made a difference, those who displayed strong leadership, guided their companies to success, and created many hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process. Some had minimal education, some no education, and some were graduates of Harvard. These are a few of the women and men who have made a difference:
Kelly Services is a global leader in supplying temporary service employees. Taking over his stepfather’s role, Terence E. Adderley was responsible for Kelly’s global reach. From $60-million in revenues in 1967 when he took over, Mr. Adderley grew the company into a multi-billion-dollar leader in the “Temp Employment” industry, and provided thousands of folks with a foot in the door at hundreds of companies.
How about Elizabeth Arden who is recognized as a pioneer in the development of the personal care industry by founding her company, Elizabeth Arden Company, in 1910. Ms. Arden guided her company to become an industry leader. She ran her company until her death in 1966.
When William M. Batten took control of JC Penney Company in 1958, it was a sleepy department store on main street. Under his guidance, he transformed JC Penney by expanding the merchandising line, introducing the Penney credit card, and launching their catalog business. By 1974, when he left to renovate the New York Stock Exchange, Mr. Batten had repositioned the company into shopping malls throughout the USA. JC Penney is an industry leader.
Living in a rural area in Maine, Leon L. Bean (LL Bean), a farmer and rancher, created a retailing giant that became one of the leaders in the mail-order industry. Mr. Bean ran his company from 1912 until his death in 1967.
Like Tacos? Thank Glen W. Bell, who founded Taco Bell Corporation in the early 1960’s, and built a chain of businesses that is principally responsible for making Mexican food into a fast-food industry leader.
What’s the first name you think of when it comes to getting taxes done? H&R Block. Thank innovator and business creator Richard A. Bloch, who founded H&R Block, and pioneered the franchise tax preparation business.
Like buying books online? Thank Jeffrey P. Bezos, who created the world’s largest on-line bookstore, Amazon.com. Realizing that bookstores carry more than 100,000 books, Bezos created an alternative source that delivers more than 2.5-million books. He has created one of the most popular internet shopping sites on the globe!
Taking a trip? Going to fly? Thank William E. Boeing, who founded United Airlines, outfitted it with 25 specially designed, heavy-duty Boeing planes, and created a leading company in the passenger air travel industry, while simultaneously leading Boeing into an industry leader in the Aerospace Industry. Mr. Boeing ran Boeing Company from 1916 to 1934. Yes, 1934.
Ever ship a package? You need to thank James E. Casey. Starting with two bicycles and $100 in capital in 1907, Mr. Casey went on to build one of the most respected and recognized companies of our time, United Parcel Service. UPS’s trademark brown delivery vehicles have become a hallmark for efficiency and reliability. Mr. Casey ran UPS from 1907 through 1962, that’s 55 years of hard work that provided a fabulous service and thousands of jobs.
Like beer? Consider the journey of Adolph Coors, orphaned at age 15, who worked as an apprentice in a brewery in his native Prussia. He was a stowaway aboard a ship headed for Maryland. Gradually moving west, he eventually landed in Colorado. He quickly became the leading brewer in the western USA. Mr. Coors ran his company from 1873 to 1923, and established Coors as one of the leading brewers in the world.
Ever chew gum? Thank William Wrigley, who ran the Wrigley company from 1925 to 1961.
Handy with your hands? Use power tools? Alonzo G. Decker, Jr. may be your hero. Decker virtually invented the “do-it-yourself” business by developing cordless tools in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. He moved the family company from a 100% focus on business-to-business tools, to one that focused on the household consumer. He was a pioneer in the home improvement industry.
Can you make a sandwich? So could Fred DeLuca, who founded Subway Sandwiches in 1965. Subway is now a world leader of the “healthy alternative” for fast-food. You see his storefronts everywhere. Subway is currently the #2 fast food franchise after Ray Kroc’s McDonalds, which is the clear industry leader at #1.
What about the story of Richard M. Devos and his business partner, Jay Van Andel. These two fellas established one of the most profitable direct selling companies in the world by developing an elaborate pyramid-like distribution system in which independent distributors of Amway Corporation products receive a percentage of the merchandise they sell, and also a percentage of the merchandise sold by recruited distributors. DeVos ran Amway from 1959 to 1992.
Fan of Mickey Mouse? Donald Duck? Bugs Bunny? You probably chuckle when you hear their names. Their creator was Walter E. Disney who founded and ran the Walt Disney Company from 1929 to 1966. Mickey Mouse started out in 1928 with an animated cartoon named Steamboat Willie, which starred Mickey Mouse. He founded his company in 1929, and the world has been awarded with theme parks, fabulous movies and television programs. A media empire, thanks to Mickey and Walt.
Are you creative? Do you recognize a need in the marketplace? Do you see a better way of doing things? Got what it takes? Willing to take a risk? “Believe and succeed” said success guru Napoleon Hill.
All of these companies, and many more, have created millions of jobs for America. Want more examples of entrepreneurial excellence? How about Daniel F. Gerber of Gerber baby foods. Levi Strauss. Milton S. Hershey who started the Hershey Chocolate Company. Irwin Jacobs who started Qualcomm here in San Diego. Henry J. Kaiser of Kaiser Industries / Steel. Estee Lauder. Arthur Black and Bernard Marcus who founded Home Depot. Oscar Mayer. Fred Maytag. Jean Nidetch who founded Weight Watchers. David Packard and his business partner Bill Hewett – yes, you guessed it: Hewlett-Packard Company. And of course California’s Steve Jobs who created Apple, whose stock is currently among the most valuable stocks on the New York Stock Exchange.
These are uniquely American companies. Started by a determined entrepreneur, they have literally created one industry after another, and often remain a leading company in the industry they created. Be a job creator. Be an industry pioneer. Become another American entrepreneur — or be lucky enough to work for one!