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 leaders of some of the world’s most admired companies, 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, and he’s delivered more than 500 keynotes and workshops on five continents. His fifth leadership book—How Leaders Decide: A Timeless Guide to Making Tough Choices—examines 52 of history’s greatest triumphs and tragedies and debuted in April as the #1 new historical reference book on Amazon.

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