Some of the world’s most promising innovators share their secrets to creating improvements to our world—to being change-makers. These are their tips:
Lead the Way
“A leader anticipates and prepares for change,” says the innovator behind the LifeStraw water filter, Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen. That means staying abreast of technology, responding to issues that may present problems and adopting new strategies to adapt to market changes ahead of everyone else.
“Fortune does favor the bold, and you’ll never know what you’re capable of if you don’t try,” says Sheryl Sandberg. As the Facebook COO discovered, that often involves putting yourself in unfamiliar situations and rating opportunity and self-education ahead of security. “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat,” she adds. “Just get on!”
“Don’t be afraid to change the model,” says Reed Hastings. The CEO was roundly criticized for rushing to change Netflix’s business strategy in 2011, but his instincts were spot-on. Video streaming is the future, and his company is now a global leader in providing it. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg would no doubt approve. His advice?
Move fast and break things.
Sweep ’Em Off Their Feet
“Build something 100 people love,” says Airbnb’s Brian Chesky. “Not something 1 million people kind of like.” Real change only works if people follow your lead—and for that you need passionate fans.
Believe in Yourself
The best ideas often defy imagination. “If you don’t believe it, no one else is going to believe it,” says VICE’s Shane Smith. “But if you believe it and keep saying it, then slowly one person will believe you, then two, then three, then four….” Once they come around, you look like a genius.
Rethink the Way You Keep Score
“Doing good is good business,” says Andrew Hewitt. On his website GameChangers500.com, the business consultant argues that companies that strive to make the world a better place are more attractive to consumers than companies that simply chase profits. The best way to make the shift, he says, is to adopt new metrics: Start measuring your impact, not just your revenue.