4 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Posted by on Mar 26, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off

They say you learn your greatest lessons from your mistakes. But what could possibly be learned about business from a crack-smoking, criminally investigated mayor of Canada’s largest city?

 

Rob Ford, the embattled mayor of Toronto, appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. During his interview, Mayor Ford said, “I’m a businessman, Jimmy. I run [Toronto] like a business – no nonsense.”

 

While Ford’s well-documented public mishaps far outweigh whatever business-like positive efficiencies he champions at city hall, he’s still doing something right to be considered re-electable in this coming October’s municipal election by many media pundits.

 

Here are four things entrepreneurs can learn from Rob Ford:

 

1. Return your customers’ calls and talk to them personally. If Rob Ford’s done anything right, it’s this. Since being first elected to Toronto City Council as a councillor, Rob Ford has become well known for returning his constituents’ calls and – on many occasions – showing up on their doorsteps to help solve problems himself. For all his faults, this one attribute may help keep Rob Ford “in business” after the next election.

 

 

2. Be different, authentic, but professional. Mayor Ford’s garnered widespread international media attention for being, well, himself. His crack-smoking, alcoholic public appearances – paired with his gregarious, caring personality – make him something rare: a genuine politician with real human faults. But that’s where Ford toes the line a little too far. For any entrepreneur looking to learn from Ford’s mistakes, make sure you separate yourself from your competition but remain professional and responsible at all times.

 

3. Own up to your mistakes. Just don’t make them again. When you’ve done something wrong, it’s important to apologize to a customer or business associate – even if that means letter your ego take a slight hit. Doing so shows you care, which is what counts in business when trying to uphold and maintain a strong brand, which important to many franchises. Once you’ve apologized and recognized your mistake, move on – just don’t make it again.

 

4. Manage your stress through positive outlets. Being the mayor of Toronto, home of more than 2.7 million people and thousands of city workers and officials, is definitely akin to being the CEO or president of a large company. Unfortunately, though, the stress got to Ford, who admitted to smoking crack cocaine and drinking heavily in the past. Entrepreneurs looking to manage their stress and improve their productivity can instead turn to daily exercise, meditation, spending time with loved ones, or pets, for instance, to find balance in their life and restore their energy.