5 Things We Can Learn from Leonardo da Vinci

Posted October 27th, 2012 by bbsadmin & filed under General Business, Motivation.


Leonardo da Vinci is considered by many to be one of the foremost inventors, innovators and thinkers of all time. Some of his ideas are very helpful to business leaders today.

1. Sketch out your ideas in multiple ways

Leonardo da Vinci would sketch out his ideas in multiple ways with different perspectives and different stages. If Leonardo da Vinci were a CEO, he would plan out different stages of the business and look at different perspectives of the business. He would have some ideas of possible outcomes of possible situations. He would have a very developed risk management plan. He would know the ultimate goal of the business from the beginning and would have a step-by-step plan of how to get there. It is important for a business to master strategy and planning skills. Keep your business in perspective and recognize what state it is in. Make sure you have taken the time to understand and make plans to manage your risks.

2. Thinking ahead of everyone else

Leonardo once said, “Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.” Leonardo is known for his sketches he made for many inventions. Many of his inventions and ideas were ahead of his time. Business owners can learn from his example by seeking new ideas, processes, and tactics which can move them ahead of the competition and give them a competitive advantage. Questions to ask include: how can I lower the cost, increase the quality, improver the speed, or lower the amount of defects? What can you do that is different and better than the rest? Doing what everyone is doing does not offer security. You must be doing things better than everyone else and considering things that customer want but other businesses have not identified.

3. Perspective

We can learn perspective from da Vince. It is not only the subject matter or the realistic quality of the paintings that make them valuable, but also the perspective. It is evident that the perspective was very important to Leonardo as he took the time to sketch out several perspectives before making the final work of art. As applied to business, one must consider the perspective of the consumers of the products and services provided from the outside as well as the perspective of management from the inside. Lack of correct perspective can lead to loss of market share. What would you think of your business if you were the customer? What would you think of the services? What would you think of the value of the products or services? What would your competition think of your business? There are many methods of obtaining an outside perspective to compliment the inside perspective you have.

4. Know the Needs of Your Audience

Leonardo da Vinci sent what would be considered a cover letter of today to the Duke of Milan. In this document he focuses on the needs of the person he was writing to, instead of simply listing off his accomplishments. He teaches us a key to the art of persuasion- focus on the needs of the person. In the business world, it is easy to get so focused on the product or service that we forget who it is for and what it can actually do for the customer. We forget the customer’s needs. For example, employees of a restaurant may become so busy that they forget to offer the service which the customer came for in the first place.

5. Visual appeal

Leonardo da Vinci was an artist. He was able to get people to get a peak into his brilliant mind and see his thoughts in ways that words cannot express. Language has its gaps. Images can be powerful. As a business owner or manager, remember the impact images have in your business. Some of the placed of impact include: body language, images used in marketing, the point of contact you will have with your customer and your website. Remember, these images are what you are painting for the company. The customer enters the mind of the business, or the perspective or feeling you wish the business to convey to the customers. Are the images you are giving off consistent with the perspective you with to give your customers?

Notable Quotes

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.“

“Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else. “

“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.”

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”

“All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.”

“Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation… even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.”