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Ingvar Kamprad Quotes: Business Leadership Advice from IKEA’s founder

Today, I will be sharing with you some business leadership Advice from Ingvar Kamprad; the shrewd business leader and founder of IKEA. But before we dive into Ingvar Kamprad’s quotes and leadership advice, let me do a brief run down on Ingvar Kamprad’s bio.

Short Bio of Ingvar Kamprad: Ingvar Kamprad is the Swedish billionaire drop out that started IKEA from scratch and grew it into a conglomerate. His company “IKEA” is the largest furniture manufacturer in the world and the “IKEA catalogue” is the second most widely distributed print material after the Holy Bible.

Ingvar Kamprad is best known for his shrewd spending and the strict business ethics he enforces at IKEA. Ingvar Kamprad is on the list of the richest school drop out billionaires; he dropped out of school at the age of 17 to start IKEA. Below are some of Ingvar Kamprad’s quotes, business leadership advice and personal principles.

 Ingvar Kamprad Quotes: Business Leadership Advice from IKEA’s founder

1.            “Only those who are asleep make no mistakes.”

2.            “Everything we earn we need as a reserve.”

3.            “I am very proud to follow the rules of our company.”

4.            “I’m not afraid of turning 80 and I have lots of things to do. I don’t have time for dying.”

5.            “I am stingy and I’m proud of the reputation.”

6.            “If there is such a thing as good leadership, it is to give a good example. I have to do so for all the IKEA employees.”

7.            “IKEA people do not drive flashy cars or stay at luxury hotels.”

8.            “Our idea is to serve everybody, including people with little money.”

9.            “People say I am cheap, and I don’t mind if they do.”

10.          “We have to still develop the IKEA group. We need many billions of Swiss francs to take on China or Russia.”

11.          “We ought to have more women in various management positions, because women are the ones who decide almost everything in the home.”

12.          “Waste of resources is a mortal sin at IKEA.”

13.          “To do business with a clear conscience is an attitude that pays. We have to find more time for ourselves and to regain respect for the environment in which we live.”

14.          “There are few people who have made so many fiascos in my life as I have.”

15.          “This is part of my life I regret bitterly. After a couple of meetings in pure Nazi style, I quit.”

16.          “Now I have told you all I can. Can one get forgiveness for such stupidity?”

17.          “That was the biggest blunder I have made in my entre life and I regret it deeply.”

18.          “I have said sorry many times but it has left an indelible mark on my conscience that continually haunts me and perhaps, it’s best that way.”

19.          “IKEA is not completely perfect. It irritates me to hear it said that IKEA is the best company in the world. We are going the right way to becoming it but we are not there yet.”

20.          “It’s our duty to expand. Those who cannot or will not join us are to be pitied….we are on to a glorious future.”

21.          “Time is your most important resource. You can do so much in ten minutes. Ten minutes; once gone is gone for good.”

22.          “Ten minutes are not just one-sixth of your hourly pay; ten minutes is a piece of yourself. Divide yourself into ten units and sacrifice as few of them as possible in meaningless activities. Most things still remain to be done.”

23.          “Simplicity and common sense should characterize planning and strategic direction.”

24.          “We discuss too much and in doing so, we lose touch with reality.”

25.          “We have fantastic people who work for us but even managers are incapable of making even the smallest decisions. It’s the directors who are IKEA’s big problem.”

26.          “The feeling of having finished something is an effective sleeping pill. A person who retires feeling that he has done his bit will quickly wither away. A company that feels it has reached its goal will quickly stagnate and lose its vitality.”

27.          “The templates of design in places like Milan or God knows where overflows with beautiful original furniture that costs extortionate amounts of money. The vast majority of people don’t have six figure amounts in the bank and don’t live in enormous apartments. It’s for such people that I created IKEA. For everybody who wants a comfortable house in which to live well; a need that crosses all countries, races and religions.

28.          “To design a desk which may cost $1,000 is easy for a furniture designer but to design a functional and good desk which shall cost only $50 can only be done by the very best”

29.          “What is good for our customers is also in the long run good for us.”

30.          “The objective must be to encompass the total home environment; that is, to offer furnishings and fittings for every part of the home whether indoors or outdoors. It must reflect our way of thinking by being simple and straightforward as we are ourselves. It must be durable and easier to live with; it must reflect an easier, more natural and unconstrained way of life.”

 Ingvar Kamprad Quotes: Business Leadership Advice from IKEA’s founder

31.          “The IKEA spirit is strong and living reality. Simplicity in our behavior gives us strength. Simplicity and humbleness characterize us in our relations with each others, our suppliers and our customers.”

32.          “How the hell can I tell people who work for me to travel cheaply when I travel in luxury/ It’s a question of good leadership.”

33.          “I could regularly travel first class but having money in abundance doesn’t seem like a good reason to waste it. Why should I choose first class? To be offered a glass of champagne from the air hostess? If it helped me arrive at my destination more quickly, then maybe.”

34.          “I could have an office all to myself but since my collaborators don’t have one, then I too am contented to have a desk in a shared room.”

35.          “It’s better to be a bit stingy than to throw money out of the window.”

36.          “I’m a bit tight with money but so what? I look at the money that I am about to spend on myself and ask myself if IKEA customers can afford it.”

37.          “If you want to maximize results, it’s not enough to preach. You have to set a good example.”

38.          “What else could I do with my age? Grow tomatoes in an allotment behind the house? I don’t know how to do anything apart from sell furniture. I am your classic specialized idiot.”

39.          “The word impossible has been and remains deleted from our dictionary.”

40.          “Simple routine have a greater impact. It is not just to cut costs that we avoid luxury hotels. We do not need fancy cars, posh titles, tailor made uniforms or other status symbols.”

41.  “We rely on our own strength and our own will.”

42.  ‘Happiness is not reaching our goal. Happiness is being on the way. It’s our wonderful fate to just be at the beginning.”

43.  “Making mistakes is the privilege of the active. It is always the mediocre people who are negative, who spend their time proving that they are not wrong.”

44.  ‘I don’t think any of my sons is capable of running the company; at least not yet.”

Written by Ajaero Tony Martins

Ajaero Tony Martins

Ajaero Tony Martins is a serial entrepreneur and investor with several successful companies in his portfolio. He does business in one of the world’s toughest environment and has an audacious goal to become a billionaire in his life time. You can click here to read his full bio.


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