James Dyson is the embodiment of determination and dedication, not only to himself, but to his cause. Most entrepreneurs, without financial backing, wouldn’t risk $40,000 on an idea, let alone $4 million, and they wouldn’t have the patience to try 50 different models of a new product, whereas Dyson tried over 5,000. If you glance at the first 40 years of Dyson’s life, you may judge him as a failure, but if you look at his entire 66 years, you might judge him as one of the most innovative and successful businessmen on the planet. However, the most impressive thing about this visionary British business mogul is not the ingenious nature of his designs, but rather the stubborn drive to realize his dreams, no matter what the cost.
He risked his family, his house, his reputation, and his future in order to make his vision into a reality, and for that, he stands above much of the timid and secure leaders of the modern business world. He embraced failure as a learning tool for so many years that it must have become synonymous with going to work. He was ahead of his time with many of his ideas, and as is often the case with visionary thinkers, he was also going against the grain of popular culture and the market of his chosen industry. He wasn’t looking to fall into the rat race of product design; he wanted to create a completely new sport instead.
The new generation of leadership must be confident enough to spread their creativity in all directions, both forward and behind, so long as they don’t become stuck in the present and remain stagnant and comfortable. Labeling something as “good enough” cannot be in the vocabulary of an entrepreneur, innovator, or corporate leader, because that implies being content with something less than perfection. Today, at the Dyson laboratories, more than 600 engineers disassemble and reassemble the products that they have already “perfected”, trying to constantly update and improve the things which hundreds of others may have already overlooked. These might be the most creative minds of the industry, but they have been taught by a master of diligence and detail that nothing can be overlooked, and that perfection is never to be assumed.
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