According to management thought leader Herminia Ibarra, the only way to grow is by stretching the limits of who you are.
Leading figures from a variety of fields describe the transition that had the strongest impact on their leadership identity.
"Today, the idea of a social entrepreneur is generally defined and understood. But when I started TOMS, this definition and career path actually didn’t exist. For me, a transition clearly happened when I changed my way of thinking about business as solely a way to earn money and profits, and instead starting thinking about giving and mission. And how incorporating giving into business would actually make that business stronger in the long term. This did not happen overnight, and it did not come easy. I had to face my fears and trust so many others to help us get to where we wanted to go. But I realize now that it helped shape my identity not only as the Chief Shoe Giver at TOMS, but as a person who hopefully can have a positive influence on business for many years to come."
“I had to face my fears and trust others to help us get to where we wanted to go.”Blake Mycoskie, Founder and Chief Shoe Giver, TOMS
While visiting Argentina in 2006, entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie, born 1976, witnessed intense poverty and what it really meant to be shoeless. He then created Shoes For A Better Tomorrow, later shortened to TOMS and the “One for One” business model: for every pair of shoes sold, his company would donate a pair of shoes for those in need. Today TOMS shoes are sold globally in more than 1,000 stores. In 2011, TOMSadded eyeglasses to its “One for One” offering. Since 2014, TOMS Roasting has been selling coffee and in return donating fresh water to people in supplier countries.