Thursday, July 14, 2005

Lessons from the Front Line: Malcolm Bricklin

Inc.’s profile of auto industry entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin in “Would You Buy a Chinese Car from This Man?” offers some refreshing insights into the business acumen of a 50-year veteran of the car industry. Here are some of his sage words of wisdom:

1. Persevere
“Where would we be if Edison had stopped after 10,000 tries?”

2. Hiring
“I love nepotism. My friends and family are smarter than most people and they certainly care more.”

3. Leadership
“As CEO I don’t have all the answers, just the questions.”

4. Failure
“The things that people see as failures are often the steps to success. I got my fame and power from the failure of the Bricklin. What did I get for the biggest failure of my life? I got a stamp and a $20 coin in Canada with my car’s likeness on them.”

5. Working with international partners
“I have gone out of my way not to learn other languages because I will inevitably say something incorrectly. Besides, listening to me is like listening to a fire hose. So I depend on an interpreter. If the person I’m speaking to isn’t smiling then I know the interpreter is saying the wrong thing.”

6. Business Savvy
“Being smart can keep you from being wise. Logic is the biggest deterrent to awareness.”

7. Email
“If there are too many e-mails on my computer, I just turn it off. I had so many e-mails recently that I just got up and erased them all. If you want to be in touch with me you’d better do it in person.”

Draw some inspiration from Bricklin’s words and see if it can help you build a stronger business.

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