Mary Kay 50th Anniversary: The Bumblebee that Could

September 24th, 2013  | 

Published in Customer Service, Leadership, Organization Health

Mary Kay Ash launched her cosmetics business 50 years ago this month, using her life savings of $5,000 to start her company in a 500-square foot industrial storefront in Dallas.

Fifty years later, Mary Kay Inc. will achieve annual revenue of $3.5 billion with 70 percent coming from international sales.

In commemoration of her company’s 50th anniversary, enjoy these insights from Mary Kay:

  • “We must have a theme, a goal, a purpose in our lives. If you don’t know where you’re aiming, you don’t have a goal. My goal is to live my life in such a way that when I die, someone can say, she cared.”
  • “The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang.”
  • We treat our people like royalty. If you honor and serve the people who work for you, they will honor and serve you.
  • “You can have anything in this world you want, if you want it badly enough and you’re willing to pay the price.”
  • “Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”
  • “A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.”
  • “Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.”

Congrats to the Mary Kay Inc. organization on the celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary.

To everyone else, we can learn from Mary Kay: Set your sights, spread your wings and soar.

About the Author: Greg Bustin advises some of the world’s most admired companies and leaders, and he’s dedicated a career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in a range of industries. He’s facilitated more than 200 strategic planning sessions, he’s delivered more than 500 keynotes and workshops on five continents, and he coaches leaders inspired to take their career to the next level. His fourth leadership book—Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture (McGraw-Hill) — is a Soundview Executive Best Business Book.

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