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Madame CJ Walker and Anita Roddick are two female entrepreneurs who have made a huge impact on the cosmetics world each using a different entrepreneurial approach. Madam CJ Walker applied the profit-oriented entrepreneurial approach while Anita Roddick used the social-responsibility oriented entrepreneurial approach. I intend to analyze and describe each leader, their leadership style and the major business principles of each of their entrepreneurial approaches. I will then determine the approach and leadership style that I most identify with and explain the reasons for my choice.
Born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, 1867 on a Delta, Louisiana plantation, the daughter of former slaves transformed herself from an uneducated farm laborer and laundress into one of the twentieth century’s most successful, self-made women entrepreneurs. (Bundles) During the 1890s when she was in her late 30s, Sarah’s hair had started falling out due to a combination of stress and years of using damaging hair-care products. She was not alone. In fact, most black women of the time experienced the same problem, but there were no hair-care products on the market to correct it.
She tried everything that was available, but met with little success, so she started experimenting with her own hair-care products. (Contributors, 2008) In 1905, Sarah married her third husband, Charles Joseph Walker, a St. Louis newspaperman. After changing her name to “Madam” C. J. Walker, she founded her own business and began selling Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower, a scalp conditioning and healing formula. (Bundles) Realizing that she could only do so much selling herself, Walker recruited and trained a team of door-to-door sales representatives to demonstrate and take orders for her products.
With a team of trained sales representatives crisscrossing the country, Walker’s company grew rapidly. (Contributors, 2008) The Guinness Book of Records cites Walker as the first female, black or white, who became a millionaire by her own achievements. (Continuing the Legacy Madam CJ Walker Estate, 2012) As a result of being from a very poor upbringing, Madam CJ Walker began her business endeavors using the profit-oriented entrepreneural approach. Her primary goal was to sell a worthwhile product and earn money from the business.
However, she ran her business using the democratic leadership style in that she wanted to create opportunies for African American women and promote them in her organization. When Madame C. J. Walker’s business became a moneymaking, success, she did not keep the wealth to herself, but instead became a charitable philanthropist. The agents Walker employed not only went door-to-door advertising and selling her products, they also taught women how to become their own boss. “This was important to Walker because it gave women hope and dignity and made them feel that their lives had been altered, deepened, and enriched for the better. Nosotro, 2010) Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, was born in 1942, in an English Seaside town. Read also about my networking skills essay
She was born to Italian immigrants. Anita has been a challenger since a young child. After getting married to her husband, the couple engaged in multiple projects including running a restaurant and eight-bedroom hotel. After selling the restaurant and while her husband traveled, in order to make a living to support herself and her children, Anita decided that she wanted to open up a cosmetics store. The desire to earn money to support her family, while providing a service describes the profit-oriented entrepreneurial approach. Famous Women and Beauty Featuring Anita Roddick, 2008-2012) However, Anita did not want to open just any cosmetics store. She wanted to draw her beauty products from what she saw women use on their hair, skin and body. Roddick wanted her operation to be natural and environmentally conscious, thus without even realizing it at the time, she wanted to and became a socially-responsibility entrepreneur. On March 27, 1976, the first Body Shop opened up. Because there was no money to buy enough bottles, the customers were offered to refill the empty containers.
Refilling, reusing and recycling became the company’s way of life even before it became fashionable elsewhere. The first franchisee opened in Bruxelles, UK in 1978. The company became public in 1984 and is opened in more than 49 countries. Anita didn’t think business was about financial science. She felt it was about buying and selling. If you sell a product that would be good enough that people would buy it. She felt that as long as people would buy it then she would make a profit. The Body Shop’s mission statement begins by saying “To dedicate our business to the pursuit of social and environmental change. Anita felt that campaigning and good business is about putting forward solutions. Instead of following the norm of focusing on the business, profits, and costs, Roddick made corporate social responsibility the center of her business model. She loves to keep social responsibility, respect for human rights, the environment and animal protection and an absolute belief in Community Trade. She feels her company has always been a global operation. It is the people working towards common goals sharing common values and as her business is making a profit, she is able to give back to the community.
I believe Anita used the connective leadership style as an example of her social responsibility oriented approach to business. Employees and customers alike are drawn into her controversial crusades. The leader, the staff and trainees and customers are together committed to the aims of the leader (becoming thus the aims of the company): protecting the rain forests, saving the whales, aiding Third World and tribal nations, helping the homeless etc. (El Recon Del Vago, 2002) These common issues create interdependence and encourage diversity into the company.
By appointing a head franchisee in each major national market, Roddick was able to concentrate on the development of new product lines and the company’s global vision, rather than worry about the complexities of administration or personnel management. ” I believe that the profit-oriented entrepreneurial approach along with a democratic leadership style is the most effective method in managing any organization. The original principle of all businesses is to gain a profit. Otherwise, one could start a non-profit organization while fulfilling their mission to help others.
Philanthropy, giving back, being socially responsible, and including employees in the decision-making process are all great qualities for any organization to implement into their mission statement. However, those things are optional, and cannot get accomplished if the organization is not turning a profit. The democratic leadership approach involves giving subordinates the opportunity to make decisions and to prosper in the company. This is important in that some of the subordinates are the people that deal directly with the customers and therefore more than likely have a better idea of what the customer wants.
Democratic leadership style can bring the best out of an experienced and professional team. It capitalizes on their skills and talents by letting them share their views, rather than simply expecting them to conform. (Leadership-Toolbox. com, 2008) I believe the three resources/tools available on the Small Business Administration website that would be most useful to the type of business and entrepreneur approach are: Leading Your Company, Local Resources, and Growing Your Business. These three tools are in my opinion the most important resources for any business owner and they can be utilized at any time during the operation of a business.
Leading Your Company is a tool that is designed to help employees to understand the various leadership styles and to define your role in an organization. It involves making sound decisions for the good of the organization. This tool offer guidance on managing employees and informing them of your expectations and letting them know what you expect from them. The Local Resources section of the Small Business Administration website offers a wealth of information and can direct people to information resources in their area.
SBA provides small business counseling and training through a variety of programs and resource partners across the country. One of the local resources provided by the SBA is the Women’s Business Centers, which represent a national network of nearly 100 educational centers designed to assist women start and grow small businesses. The Growing Your Business resource of the SBA is a tool that help entrepreneurs to plan ahead, and ensure that you’re poised for the new challenges that a growing business will face in a changing world.
Continuing the Legacy Madam CJ Walker Estate. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.madamwalkerestate.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=54:madam-cj-walker&catid=35:history&Itemid=73
Contributors, E. S. (2008, October 10). Madam C.J. Walker From Poverty to Prosperity. Retrieved from Entrepreneur: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/197708
El Recon Del Vago. (2002, August 3). Retrieved from Leadership: Encouraging teamwork. Empowering. Styles. Types. Organizations. Coaching: http://html.rincondelvago.com/leadership.html
Famous Women and Beauty Featuring Anita Roddick. (2008-2012). Retrieved from Famous Women and Beauty: http://www.famous-women-and-beauty.com/anita-roddick-biography.html
Leadership-Toolbox.com. (2008). Leadership Styles: Democratic Leadership Stylies. Retrieved from http://www.leadership-toolbox.com/democratic-leadership-style.html
Nosotro, R. (2010, September 2). Madame CJ Walker: First African-American Millionaire of the Early 20th Century . Retrieved from http://www.hyperhistory.net/apwh/bios/b4walkercj.htm
US Small Business Administration Local Counseling and Training. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/counseling-training/local-counseling-training
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