Tyra Banks taught the world to "smize," and now she will teach the next generation of business leaders how to turn such neologisms into a brand.
The Stanford Graduate School of Business, currently ranked the second best business school in the nation by US News & World Report, has enlisted Banks to co-teach a short-term class next year on the powers of personal branding. Banks will share secrets with students about "how to harness all forms of old and new media to showcase their strengths," according to The Wall Street Journals.
Banks has, of course, built herself an enviable public profile. Her ability to parlay modeling success into pop culture success — and vice versa — has provided something of a blueprint for today's social media-savvy models like Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner. Plus, she's written books, starred in movies, started a global reality TV phenomenon, and is currently attempting to conquer the beauty world with her own line, Tyra Beauty.
Clearly, there will be skeptics who bristle at the thought of Banks educating future industry leaders and disrupters. Close followers of hers certainly know, however, that Banks has already gifted the world with golden rules to conquer business.
Here are six tips that prove Tyra is more than ready for the gig. Call them "how to succeed in business while, really, really smizing."
1. Adapting Your Skills To Different Situations
Banks took a career of posing in front of cameras and walking on runways, and turned it into a full-blown media empire, most notably with America's Next Top Model. On that show she taught her contestants to take skills they already have (like being "a hoe") and turn them into skills they can use as fashion models on TV.
Never be afraid to take your unique existing skills and apply them to the task on hand.
2. Employee Management
For many, the hardest part of management is confronting and correcting employees who have let you down, but Banks has never been afraid to let a subordinate know when they've disappointed her, as any watcher of ANTM knows.
3. Creating Hype For Your Product
If you can get customers as excited about your product or service as Tyra got her audience excited about vaseline that one time, well, you've already won half the business battle.
4. Knowing When To Cut a Loser Lose
Does anyone remember Tyra Banks's music career? She released two singles, and was also featured on a track during Kobe Bryant's equally regrettable musical dabblings. Nothing was particularly successful, and rather than continue to pursue the endeavor Banks quietly hung up her microphone.
Which is an important lesson to future business leaders: All sorts of companies have faced hardship after their leadership sunk resources and money into "Spruce Goose" projects that never turned a profit, but not Banks. She's able to assess a situation and act accordingly.
5. Knowing When To Delegate
ANTM may have ended its time both on The CW and with Banks as the host and main judge, but Tyra savvily knew there was still life left in the format. She's tasked Rita Ora with the role of leading the revived series when it reboots on Vh1.
6. Never Be Afraid to Admit Your Fears
Far too many business leaders are afraid to confront their personal fears and have their judgement cloud because of it, but not Tyra. Not only did she confront her deepest, darkest fear (Naomi Campbell), she turned it into one of the most talked about episodes of her talk show.
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