Books / Leaders & People

Anita Roddick: Managing Success

Heaven, Naive artist unknown, Photo by Keri Douglas

Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, always inspired me to think creatively, strategically and act fairly.

In business – just as in personal relationships – we must create a win-win for everyone that makes the enterprise essential. This notion of win-win for everyone ensures success. Her founding success was to take a risk to find a way to do fair trade, sustainable, with indigenous communities so that they could have a vital role in the developed world’s economic framework.

One passage in Anita Roddick’s book Business As Unusual always repeats in my mind.

“How do you keep a fearless entrepreneurial spirit when your business gets institutionalized and its success gets institutionalized? As I said earlier, this is the hardest part. Managing success seems to kill the entrepreneurial spirit.

What every entrepreneurial company needs is crazy people reshaping strategies, coming up with ideas, constantly experimenting. For an entrepreneur to maintain a sense of entrepreneurship, there should be half a dozen pockets of small-scale experimentation going on all the time.”

And, then that abundance of bold, contagious vital energy to create. When asked where it came from, Roddick responded with four key points:

Sense of panic: do it now before you die

Being an outsider: an immigrant or some how marginalized in some way gives a unique perspective

A sense of outrage

And, the best, tomatoes: as an Italian and consumed plenty of tomatoes, Roddick mused there must be an enzyme that contributes to the vital energy that propelled her forward to risk, create and be an entrepreneur.

Innovation requires entrepreneurs, people crazy enough to dream, imagine and create a new process, product or dynamic.

Who are the innovators? My next story …

By Keri Douglas, writer/photographers, Washington, D.C. (Please follow 9 Muses News copyright use policy.)

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