Dreams, Goals & People: Lessons from Carlos Brito

Carlos Brito is the CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Clearly Anheuser-Busch InBev is an impressive company; it is the leading global brewer and one of the world’s top 5 consumer product companies. It has nearly 120,000 employees in 23 countries, manages over 200 brands, and maintains the number one or two position in 19 markets.

But what’s exciting to me is that the lessons given by Brito at the recent World Business Forum Event don’t just apply to large organizations, but are equally (if not more) applicable to earlier stage entrepreneurs and business owners.

These lessons include:

1. “Dreaming small or dreaming big takes the same energy, so dream big.”

I’ve heard similar comments before and it’s true. Not only does it take the same amount of energy to dream small or big, but the amount of energy to execute on a bigger opportunity is often not that much greater than the energy required to successfully execute on a smaller opportunity. So think big.

2. “Keep raising the bar to dream, and be public about it.”

Brito explained how a high jumper’s mindset is relevant when setting company goals and expectations of people. The point is this — no matter how high the bar is set, the high jumper merely needs enough height to clear it.

By seeing the specific goal, the high jumper focuses all of his energy on achieving just that, and no more and no less. Likewise, having a specific business goal allows an organization to laser focus on it, and it thus has a much higher likelihood of achieving it.

To grow your company, you continue to raise the bar. And the more public you are about telling others about your goals, the more accountable your organization becomes.

3. “You have to worry about getting the best people. Great people attract other great people and challenge them. Similarly, mediocre people attract mediocre people.”

Great organizations are built on great people. Leaders can’t be afraid to hire people that are smarter and better than they are. In fact, they need to seek these people out. Leaders must also spend time to really know and develop their people to build winning organizations.

It takes a unique type of person to successfully run a 120,000 person organization. It also takes a unique type of person to start a business and/or take a small business to a high-growth, high-profit one. In each of these cases, that person needs to dream big, set and achieve goals, and surround themselves with high-quality people. Follow this simple formula to achieve the success you desire.

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