Leadership Lessons: Don't Play It Safe, But Do Play to Win

There's no one "right" way to lead a business. Today's leaders have a lot of wisdom to impart about managing the modern workforce, because each one approaches leadership in his or her own unique way. Every week, Business News Daily will share a leadership lesson from a successful business owner or executive.

  • The leader: Ilir Sela, founder and CEO of Slice
  • Time in current position: 5 years
  • Ilir's philosophy: "Inspire your team to play to win, rather than avoid losing. In business, playing it safe is the most dangerous strategy of all."

Before I started Slice, I was grateful to have a handful of mentors, the most important ones being my friends and family. Growing up in the pizza industry, a majority of my friends and family owned pizzerias throughout New York and this gave me a first-hand look into how pizzerias work and what is needed to be successful. From ordering ingredients to delivering orders, my family and friends showed me how much dedication it takes to run a successful business.

A big part of my leadership philosophy has been shaped by sports and observing the successes and failures of well-known technology companies. I'm a big sports fan and believe that teams who play just to get by almost always lose. Teams who invest in that philosophy usually end up being mediocre and lose that quality of what made them great, simply because they're not giving it their all.

I believe this philosophy also applies to business. From major companies such as Kodak or Microsoft, too often people are afraid to fail and that stops them from taking the risks that are necessary for creativity and innovation to thrive.

Edited for length and clarity by Nicole Taylor.

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