It’s a furphy that who we become is genetic or even environmental; surely it’s both and further shaped by choice. I hated maths, yet the reality of business has honed my ability to calculate returns, profits, and time vs. financial investment so much I enjoy the number crunching now. Needs must!
One of my business marketing heroes, Ingvar Kamprad, grew up in Sweden on a farm with his family. He did not, however, inherit the family farming gene but was instead passionate about business and innovation. Kamprad would import whatever the thought he could sell and grew his sales ability with practise, developing strong techniques and spiel.
Ingvar Kamprad went on to create business history, founding IKEA and fostering a whole new way of selling furniture via clever marketing and almost terrifyingly scientific store design. IKEA has more than 200 million customers worldwide and is worlds away from the family farm. For me, it’s just more proof that people become who they want to be, backed by hard work and commitment to their own ideas.
A good read is Bertil Torekull’s book, Leading by Design, which tells the inspiring story of Kamprad’s journey and how he created one of the biggest furniture and design companies in the word. The book provides insight into Kamprad’s incredible management strategies, innovative methods and how he thought outside the box (sorry, it had to be said!) to develop an incredibly successful company that still stands apart.