Al Jazeera’s Steve Hirsch reports from New York City on the launch of the book ‘The Business Leaders’ by Robert E. Schiller, the author of the best-selling book ‘Mastering Business: The Art of Being a Mastermind in the Age of Technology’.
We spoke to Robert Schiller to find out how he came to write the book, and what he learned from working with the world’s top CEOs.
First, how did you get started with business?
Robert Schiller: My dad is an industrialist, he bought the New York Stock Exchange.
My mother was a factory worker and she wanted me to do something with my life.
I didn’t know how to start a business at that point.
So I ended up going to college and studied management at the University of Southern California, and I came out of there with a degree in finance.
So my goal was to be a manager of a big company.
So after that, I went into private equity and worked for Merrill Lynch, which was the largest bank in the world.
Then I started up a hedge fund in New York.
And I’ve been managing a lot of hedge funds.
Then in the early 2000s, I founded my own investment fund.
I started it with $250 million in capital, and it was really quite successful.
But then it was just kind of like a dream of mine to have a global empire.
So in 2010, I got a call from a friend who told me that his son was in the process of getting an MBA from Harvard Business School, and that he wanted to go into business.
I was like, “Wow, this is a dream come true.
I’m not going to waste my time.
Let’s go do it.”
And he said, “You’re going to be my next CEO.”
So I had to choose.
And it turned out that I was a great candidate, because I had been the CEO of a company that had more than $300 billion in market value, which is a big business.
So when I started thinking about my career, I thought, this should be something I do.
I had no idea how to get my MBA from Stanford.
But I think the most important thing was that I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur.
So the first question that came to my mind was, “What are you going to do when you get to the top?”
And that was: “How do I make money?
How do I grow my business?”
And then, as the years went by, I realized that I had learned a lot about how to be the best business leader.
It was a very different process to getting to the head of an entire company, so I was always trying to figure out what my strengths and weaknesses were.
But that’s the way you go to the summit, I think.
So you just have to make the right decisions.
Robert Schuster: What are you most proud of?
I am most proud that I have the confidence that I’ve done everything I’ve set out to do, which has made me a very successful businessman.
Robert Schuster, the owner of an investment firm and founder of the Schiller Group.
Al Jazeera: So you’ve worked with some of the most powerful business leaders, like Bill Gates, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Wozniak.
What were some of your favorite ones?
Robert Shiller: You know, the ones that I’m most proud are Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs is the founder of Apple, the greatest innovator and the greatest entrepreneur, and he’s a huge influence on me and my family.
And one of the things I think about him is the fact that he created a company and he took the company to the next level and then he put a team around him and the product on the shelf and then the consumer went out and bought it, and then we got to see it go up and become the most successful company in history.
So he’s one of my heroes.
Steve Waz, he’s been the most influential person I’ve ever met.
He’s a very innovative person.
And he created this company called Apple and he went on to become the CEO.
So Steve Waze is also an amazing person.
I think it was Mark Zuckerberg who helped me with the idea of Facebook and it’s really helped me understand how to work with people.
And then of course, Tim Draper is an amazing CEO, and you know, we both had to start at the bottom, and we both ended up at the top, and they’re both amazing people.
I really respect the fact they have a very humble attitude.
And of course Mark Zuckerberg has done so much for our world, he has created such an amazing company and a phenomenal ecosystem.
So it’s great to be able to share the stories and the successes and the