The Shoe Dog Billionaire, by Phil Knight is a remarkable story that explains the honest path to business success. From running track at the University of Oregon to meeting his first business partner Bill Bowerman who coached him in college. Bowerman, the mastermind behind the first designs and implementation of improving the experience for every athlete performing in Nikes. The book takes you through a roller coaster ride of how Knight started Blue Ribbon Sports and changed the name to Nike in 1971. Winning law a suit from one of the biggest Japanese shoe companies that he partnered up with to create shoes for his company Blue Ribbon Sports, to owing $25 million to the United States Custom Service.
Knight had a unique leadership style of giving autonomy without affirming you of your success. Knight would push you to never rest on your laurels, but to build a hunger for more. Knight was an athlete at heart with a competitive spirit to always find a way to WIN. His leadership style pushed you to discover your unique gifts and to maximize them to your best ability. What Warren Buffet calls, defining your circle of competence. By the 90s Nike had finally overcame there achilles hill, “Adidas” as the number one shoe company in the world.
The Nike swoosh logo that Knight paid Carolyn Davidson only $35 to own, changed the brand to what people now know worldwide. The growth of Nike skyrocketed after the change of their logo and helped expand nationally. Despite the growth, Knight was constantly looking for ways to be mentally present and balance family life with his wife Penny and two sons. Success demands sacrifice. Knight believed, “Hard work is critical, a good team is essential, brains and determination are invaluable, but luck may decide the outcome.”
From signing the likes of Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, and Andre Agassi, Nike has recreated the shoe and sports apparel industry. With over 1.152 retail stores today and a networth of 34.8 billion. Nike employs over 73,100 people worldwide. They consistently pivot and innovate on all levels within there company. I will leave you with the last passage from the book She Dog Billionaire that defines who Phil Knight is and what compelled him to keep going through the storms he endured. “Have faith in yourself but have faith in FAITH. Not faith as others define it. Faith as you define it. Faith as faith defines itself in your heart.
Quote of your Day: “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”-Benjamin Franklin