Delegation is the key for success

The Coca-Cola Company only produces a syrup concentrate, which it sells to bottlers throughout the world, who hold Coca-Cola franchises for one or more geographical areas. The bottlers produce the final drink by mixing the syrup with filtered water and sweeteners, and then carbonate it before putting it in cans and bottles, which the bottlers then sell and distribute to retail stores, vending machines, restaurants and food service distributors

The Company operates a worldwide franchise system supplying syrups and concentrates to over 1,200 bottling operations, (there are more than 350 in the US alone!) which thus involves local companies and suppliers in the 200 countries in which Coca-Cola is sold.

The bottling companies distribute the world’s favourite brand using the most sophisticated technology and distribution networks available. The Company supports its international bottler network with sophisticated marketing programmes seeking to guarantee the Company’s brands are available where anyone is seeking refreshment. Coca-Cola’s bottling system is the largest and most widespread production and distribution network in the world.

The Coca-Cola Company isn’t one giant company; it’s a system of small companies. This pattern helps it scale new products, new communications, new equipment, etc. Designing for this pattern is critical; when it wants to scale fast, it can.


Never doubt the talent of people from poorest countries

Coke’s been in Africa since 1928, but most of the time they couldn’t reach the distant markets, because they had a system that was a lot like in the developed world, which was a large truck rolling down the street. And in Africa, the remote places, it’s hard to find a good road. But Coke noticed something — they noticed that local people were taking the product, buying it in bulk and then reselling it in these hard-to-reach places. And so they took a bit of time to learn about that. And they decided in 1990 that they wanted to start training the local entrepreneurs, giving them small loans. They set them up as what they called micro-distribution centers, and those local entrepreneurs then hire sales people, who go out with bicycles and pushcarts and wheelbarrows to sell the product. There are now some 3,000 of these centers employing about 15,000 people in Africa. In Tanzania and Uganda, they represent 90 percent of Coke’s sales.

Start selling when you’re a kid

Ralph Lauren’s real name is Ralph Lifshitz. He is an American fashion designer, whose net worth is $5.5 billion.

Ralph Lauren was not born into privilege. He was born in the Bronx, New York City, to Jewish immigrants.

At the age of 12, he worked after school to fund his extravagant taste in clothing and was known for selling hand-made ties to his fellow students at school – little did he know this would become the driving force of his entrepreneurial success.

It had taken him two decades to progress from his first low paid job as a glove salesman to multi-millionaire status.

Rich parents who raise NOT spoiled kids

Oprah: How have you instilled that integrity in your children, who were raised with every material thing anyone could want?

Ralph: We just passed on our values by how we lived. My kids also knew our parents, and both sets were very humble. My kids and I had a very normal life. My work is my work and, yes, they were exposed to things other kids weren’t, but they know what my wife and I value—we’ve always had the right value system about what’s important in terms of family and people. That has nothing to do with being rich or poor. I could have less and essentially be the same person. Having success at an early age gave me more of a sense of what’s important in life rather than always driving to make it. I loved what I did, and my satisfaction came from my own sense of stretching. I was fulfilled inside as opposed to needing outside fulfillment. Now, did I want good things that I’d never had? Yes. Did I have dreams about living this kind of life? Sure. Most everyone has those dreams—a nice house, a pool. That’s part of the American thrust. Did I give up my family in order to have it? No. Did I jump to another group because they were going to make me bigger? Never. I have always been who I am.


Ralph Lauren: Don’t doubt yourself

He did not let fear of acceptance or failure stop him from living the life he wanted to live and running the company he wanted to run. If you are constantly worried about how people perceive you or how you think you should appear to others, you will never be able to pursue your own true ambitions. Be comfortable in your decisions and your lifestyle, and make sure that you are not living anyone’s dream but your own.


Ralph Lauren: Stand out from the rest

Oprah: I saw an interview you did when you were about 26, and you said, “I always wanted to be special.”

Ralph: And I still do.

Oprah: Unless you’re set apart.

Ralph: Well I don’t want to be a zero. I want to say something, to do something, to have a voice.

Oprah: There’s this wonderful line in East of Eden where Steinbeck writes: “Will liked to live so that no one could find fault with him, and to do that he had to live as nearly like other people as possible.” That struck me because it made me realize that if you’re going to be extraordinary, then you can’t be like most other people.

Ralph: Yes. And yet I’ve seen a lot of bad people become successful. You don’t want anything they have because they’ve sold their souls.

Ralph Lauren: Connect with your customers

Oprah: I feel you have a connection with people, just as I have a connection with my audience.

Ralph: Yes, I’ve always said that. Sometimes when I walk into one of my own stores, I look at the display and say, “This looks so good—I want to buy it.” Yet other times I walk in and the displays and mannequins will be all wrong, and I don’t want to buy anything. When a customer walks into a store, she’s looking for inspiration. So I’m tuned in to people, and I care about what they need and who they are. Where do they go on vacation? Who are their families? What do they value?

I’ve lived through dreaming and not having, and I’ve lived through having. The basics are still getting up in the morning and feeling good about yourself—I don’t care how rich you are.

Ralph Lauren: There will always be copycats – but nothing replaces the real deal.

Not long after Bloomingdale’s started selling his neckties, another rack—right next to his—started selling neckties that looked exactly like his. “Oh no,” he thought, “where am I going to go from here?”

But a Bloomingdale’s employee advised him not to worry because his ties were made with love and passion. Love & passion trump the competition!

Ralph Lauren: Be yourself

In the world of fashion, being comfortable in what you are wearing (both physically and socially) is vital to your success. Ralph Lauren understood that fashion trends come and go. What really lasts is a person’s personal taste and style. In his pursuit of the American Dream, Ralph Lauren never cowered to express his own individuality. He once said, “Personal style is about having a sense of yourself and what you believe in everyday.” He never failed to remain true to his own beliefs and tastes, and he tried to show a piece of himself in his work everyday. We cannot have a vision or a dream if we do not know who we are underneath. Staying in touch with our morals and our values is what keeps our dream in focus, and allows us to persevere in working towards accomplishing it.

Every once and a while, take the time to remind yourself of why you are doing what you’re doing, whether that’s trying to start a business, get a college degree. Keeping your goals in line with your beliefs will make chasing them much more enjoyable.

His mother was disappointed in him for not becoming a rabbi. Bloomingdales rejected him for being too daring in his designs. In his early years, it seems as if no one was on side with Lauren. But he did not care. He stood his ground, followed his passion, and designed how he wanted to design. That was how he made a name for himself.


Bill Gates: How innovations impact the world

Whether it’s the environment or medical costs, all of those, I think innovation will be what gets us out of the problem. At the turn of the century, around 1900, people were projecting how much horse manure there’d be and that our cities would just be inundated. Well, of course, the car solved that problem. It introduced some new challenges like, okay, where’s the oil going to come from. But it’s always innovation that gets us out of just straight-line thinking of problems look like. So I have very little doubt that in the next 20 years cheaper, friendly ways of generating energy will come along and that will avoid a big problem and also let us live better lifestyles. Clearly in health we need big breakthroughs for the big diseases. The diseases in this country and the diseases elsewhere. I think the world is educating more people. We’ve got better collaboration. So I’d be optimistic that the right things will come, but it’s a long list of problems, and the only reason I feel good about them is that innovation will be able to surprise us with solutions that aren’t just zero-sum trade-offs, but rather take us into a whole new way of looking at things.

Bill Gates: Accepting Criticism

The toughest feedback to hear, is the feedback you need the most.
You get better by listening to your toughest critics. Your greatest source of growth can come from the people that will tell you what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear. Bill says, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

Bill Gates: How to produce great teachers

The most reliable way to evaluate teachers is to use a three-pronged approach built on student test scores, classroom observations by multiple reviewers and teacher evaluations from students themselves, the foundation found.

The large-scale study is the first to demonstrate that it is possible to identify great teaching, the foundation said.

Researchers videotaped 3,000 participating teachers and experts analyzed their classroom performance. They also ranked the teachers using a statistical model known as value-added modeling, which calculates how much an educator has helped students learn based on their academic performance over time. And finally, the researchers surveyed the students, who turned out to be reliable judges of their teacher’s abilities.
They used all that data to identify teachers who seemed effective. And then they randomly assigned students to those teachers for an academic year. Teachers who seemed to be effective were, in fact, able to repeat those successes with different students in different years, the researchers found. Their students not only scored well on standardized exams but also were able to handle more complicated tests of their conceptual math knowledge and reading and writing abilities.

Researchers found that multiple classroom observations of teachers by several people — a principal, a peer, an outside expert — result in the most accurate assessments. Many school districts currently rely on observations by just one person, usually a principal.

For decades, teacher evaluations were little more than a formality in most school systems, with most educators getting top ratings based on little more than a principal’s checklist. Tenure, rather than student achievement, largely determined whether a teacher was rehired at the end of a school year.

Bill Gates: Teaching his own kids to live a meaningful life

The rich are different from you and I, but they still want to give their kids an allowance. So what do the world’s richest man’s kids do with their money? Melinda Gates focuses on women and children. but she spilled some secrets about how she tries to get her kids to be purposeful with their money.
First of all, she tries to be true to her values, to articulate them and live them out.
Additionally, Melinda says they do a lot of volunteering together for “whatever tugs at their heartstrings…They have that connection I think to the developing world. And of course, they’ve traveled with her. “They have that connection I think to the developing world,” she says. “They see the difference a flock of chicks makes in a family’s life. It’s huge.”

Bill Gates: Encouraging kids to innovate

I think exposing kids to the stories of innovation is something that’s important. I think having them get where the frontier is, what the tough problems are. I’m often saying to my son when he asks, “Is there a product that can do this?” I say, “No, you’ll have a chance to invent that.” Show him that he has that ability and should be encouraged. So recent examples, I think, are particularly powerful. Then even the stories of where somebody tried to innovate but hit a dead end get a sense of why it’s so daunting and yet the benefits are so incredible when it does come to pass.

Bill Gates: Encouraging innovation

Have a lot of people who from a young age get a great math and science education and get exposed to the idea that new innovations can really fundamentally change things, whether it’s a new seed and a new way of generating energy or a new kind of software. Our future will be defined by those innovations and we have to have all the IQ of our smart, young minds being ambitious and dreaming and understanding that the status quo can be greatly improved. Getting those minds to come together and try out different experiments, have the right incentives so that if they do invent something that there’s this great reward and they can be an exemplar promoting that idea.

Bill Gates: Why innovations matter

I think scientists and inventors are particularly important because many of them faced long odds. They had to see the world in a new way. In fact, if we think why is our lifestyle so much better, whether it’s food or medicine or transportation, it’s because of these great innovations.
My friend, Paul Allen, and I wanted, the personal computer we dreamed about having and then that we were able to shape so that eventually billions of people could benefit from it.

Bill Gates: Make ideas happen

Take action. Execute. The problem isn’t a shortage of ideas, it’s execution. Lots of people have ideas. There is an overload of ideas. The real gap is bringing ideas to market in a way that matters. The secret sauce is ruthless prioritization of the ideas that make the most impact.

Bill Gates: Leadership & Innovation

Leadership and innovation aren’t qualities that people are born with; they’re earned after a lifetime of hard work and diligence. In the face of overwhelming odds or critical failures, it’s easy to lose sight of your aspirations, but the charismatic leaders we admire throughout history don’t give in to that temptation. They work to overcome any challenge. Leaders will be those who empower others.

Bill Gates: Thinking Differently

I’m still trying to innovate in my 50s, but I have to say some of the new and different ways of looking at the world, you have to have a fairly blank mind where you’re willing to see things that are quite different. You often have to assume other breakthroughs. See that those are coming. In our case, knowing the miracle of the microprocessor and this Gordon Moore prediction of exponential improvement allowed us to not worry about the size or the memory or the speed, but just dream of almost infinite capacity and how could software take advantage of that. An innovator is probably a fanatic, somebody who loves what they do, works day and night may ignore normal things to some degree and therefore be viewed as a bit imbalanced. Certainly in my teens and 20s, I fit that model.

Bill Gates: Surround yourself with the right people

Don’t go it alone. You’re better when you’ve got the right people around you. Bill Gates built a culture of the best and brightest and was good at convincing his friends, such as Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer to join him on his adventures. By surrounding himself with smart people, Bill was able to scale. He also had a sounding board for ideas. More importantly, ideas could get better from the combined smarts and perspectives. Bill also knows how to complement his strengths by having the right people around that make up for his weaknesses.

Bill Gates: Work hard for your dreams – there is no shortcut

During the first five years of Microsoft, he was not only in charge of running the business, but he also oversaw product development, taking it upon himself to rewrite code if need be.
As a younger man, he also frequently pulled all-nighters. One time, an employee came into work and found a man sleeping on the desk. She was going to call the police, but then realized the man was Bill Gates.

Bill Gates: Passion for learning

One of the most pronounced qualities of Gates is his discerning passion for lifelong learning.
After landing billionaire lists several times, it would be easy for Gates to become prideful or think he knows it all. But he looks to improve on his communication and public speaking skills. Gates is also known for his wisdom in seeking council from others. He often speaks of how much he has learned from Warren Buffett. Gates once commented that Buffett has a “brilliant way of looking at the world” . Like a sponge, Gates tries to soak in lessons learned from his mentor in order to become a better leader.

Bill Gates: Qualities of a great leader

“I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you work to address the world’s deepest inequities, on how well you treat people a world away who have nothing in common with you but their humanity.” This is the kind of caring and empathy that causes people to stand behind a leader. He is the type of person who isn’t working toward his own goal of personal gain; he is working to help others grow. This is a key quality that successful leaders often embody.

Bill Gates: Changing the world

Bill Gates is a guy with all the money in the world, yet he showed up to work every day to change the world. He’s not a seeker of fame or a seeker of fortune, although he has both.
He has given some $28 billion to charity over the past five or six years. Rather than just retire and play with his money, he focuses his time, energy, and resources on making a better world through innovative approaches.

Bill Gates: 20,000 hours of Teacher’s videos

BIll & Melinda Gates foundation invested in studying the very very good teachers. We have been working with 3,000 teachers in districts across the country on a project called measures of effective teaching.
We took 20,000 hours of video and looked at various measures; what were they doing differently. We’ve created a lot of model districts. We had observers, their peers,evaluators, watch videos of teachers in the classroom and write how they did, observing, giving feedback.
For example, did they ask their students challenging questions: Did they find multiple ways to explain an idea. We also had students fill out surveys with questions like, does your teacher know when the class understands a lesson? Do you learn to correct your mistakes?

The results were very good. What we found is very exciting. First the teachers who did well on these observations had far better student outcomes. So it tells us we’re asking the right questions. Second, teachers in the program told us that these videos and these surveys from the students were very helpful diagnostic tools, because they pointed to specific places where they can improve.

If we could get it adopted currently and scale it up it would start to move the the dropout rate and the math and reading achievements.

Bill Gates: Using other’s talents

When IBM came to him to ask if he had an operating system for its first line of personal computers, he said yes. Then, he purchased an operating system from small software outfit in Seattle, modifying the software program and called it MS-DOS. He licensed it to IBM for $50,000, retaining the copyright.
Gates formed Microsoft when he was a sophomore in college. He decided to drop out of Harvard to focus on building his new company. A partnership with IBM and the development of DOS set the stage for Microsoft to become the computer giant it is today and to make Gates the richest man in the world. Microsoft’s vision is “A computer on every desk and Microsoft software on every computer”.

Bill Gates: How Gates’ children spend their allowance

Bill and Melinda Gates are trying, just like the rest of us, to ensure their three children think about others. That’s why the über-rich couple make sure their trio set aside a portion of their allowance for charity.

She’s similarly rigorous about her home life. Her kids save a third of their allowance and designate a charity they’d like to give it to. As further incentive, their parents double the amount.

Bill Gates: Advice for today’s kids

Well, I’d encourage kids to learn science, to find a way to enjoy it, and experiment. Just the model of the world you get the depth of your understanding, and the opportunities that you’ll have will be fantastic. We need society to be more literate about science and innovation. We need to challenge people and take their innate curiosity, not let it face away. Even innovation in education, using these tools to let you see the best lecturers or learn about an experiment that you might want to try. So if you’re young today, you’re actually exposed to more things and I envy kids growing up now. They’ll have a chance to solve big problems and they have better learning tools than certainly my generation had.

Ralph Lauren: Taking Risk

Ralph Lauren had only a high school diploma and a few business classes under his belt, when he made the decision to start his own company, which was the first of many risks Lauren would take in his legendary career.

The next was designing wide, colorful neckties at a time when narrow and plain was the norm. The radical approach won over Bloomingdale’s — and loads of customers. He sold $500,000 worth of ties in one year.

Despite such quick success, Lauren relentlessly expanded his company. Ralph doesn’t sit on his laurels for one minute, you can enjoy the moment, but you have to keep things going.”


Ralph Lauren: Have Vision

Oprah: What you do is beyond clothes—it’s about life. I get you, Ralph!

RalphBrooks Brothers was very important to me; I worked there when I was 24. But Brooks Brothers got to be boring. One day when I was coming out of Brooks Brothers, [1930s film star] Douglas Fairbanks Jr., who was then in his fifties and wore a double-breasted suit and spread-collar shirt, walked by me. I thought, “Wow—that guy looks cool.” Later it hit me: The reason I was looking at this older guy’s suit instead of at guys my own age was because his look represented something I didn’t see around me. Back then everyone was wearing cookie-cutter clothes: button-down shirts, thin ties. I wanted the spread collar, the wide tie, the shaped suit. At the time, you couldn’t find those clothes, so I made them, piece by piece. Then a businessman offered to lend me $50,000 if I would come and work for him. I told him I’d go into partnership with him if he’d put up the money. So he did, and I made my suits, and they started selling.