I asked, what if there was a way, without being an athlete, to feel what athletes feel?
Every runner understands that the frontrunner (the one who sets the pace) always works the hardest and risks the most.
Linear thinking is nothing but a delusion, one of the many that keep us unhappy. Reality is nonlinear, Zen says.
No future, no past, all is now.
‘Tycoon’ comes from the Japanese ‘taikun’, meaning warlord.
You are remembered for the rules you break.
My running coach called himself “professor of competitive responses” as he said that his job was to get you ready for the struggles ahead.
Belief is irresistible.
In 1965, running wasn’t a sport. It wasn’t popular or unpopular. Running for pleasure hadn’t begun yet.
In all startups, lack of equity was a leading cause of failure.
Business is war without bullets.
Accounting is problem solving and the problem accountants are always trying to solve is assets equals liabilities plus equity.
The single biggest way to find out how you feel about someone: Say goodbye.
In Japan, you couldn’t predict what your competitor or partner would do.
Life is growth. You grow or you die.
One task, well done, often clears the mind every day at work.
Shoe dogs are people wholly devoted to making, buying or selling shoes.
Supply and demand is always the root problem in business. It has been so since Phoenician traders tried to bring the coveted purple dye for the royalty in Rome.
No brilliant idea was ever born in a conference room, but many silly ideas have been killed there.
“Somebody might beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it” – Steve "Pre" Prefontaine, US athletic record holder and Nike employee.
Losing is death, and I never wanted to lose.
I watched shoes evolve into a cultural artifact in 1976. People might start wearing this to class, to work, to the grocery store. Adidas tried this with their Stan Smith tennis shoes and failed, but Nike succeeded.
The shoe took off when we introduced blue shoes to go with blue jeans.
If one manager of a company can think strategically and tactically, that company will do well. If you have more in the leadership team to do the same, that’s fantastic.
Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and they will surprise you.
When we withdrew a product that didn’t do well, consumers were not angry, but showed gratitude because they saw Nike as the only company innovating and trying new things.
In 1977, a TV show showed actress Farrah Fawcett wearing our shoes and then all shoe shops cleared out the stocks.
When we started a new type of advertising saying “there is no finish line”, it created a new philosophy for brand advertising.
Beating the competition is relatively easy. Beating yourself is a never ending commitment.
When you hire an accountant, you know he can count. When you hire a lawyer, you know he can talk. When you hire someone in marketing, what do you know? Nothing!
In 1978, because of our ecosystem partners, I instituted a dress code of a tie and jacket. Anyone who didn’t comply was fined.
The cowards never start, the weak die along the way, the brave move ahead.
In all Nike offices, the phone number ends with 6453, which spells out Nike on the keypad.
You measure yourself by the people who measure themselves to you.
To study the self is to forget the self.
The only answer to poverty in emerging markets is to create entry-level jobs.
President (Corporate Strategy and Business Development)
Aditya Birla Group
Before his current assignment at Aditya Birla Group, Shivakumar was Chairman & CEO at Pepsico India. Prior to that he was Managing Director at Nokia India. Before joining Nokia, he worked with consumer electronics maker Philips and top consumer goods firm Hindustan Unilever. He is an engineer from IIT Chennai and an MBA from IIM Calcutta.