Back when I was studying business at university here in Portland, Oregon, we were handed an assignment to study a successful business person that you would like to have as a mentor were it possible. The idea was that we dug deep into someone’s story in order to see how they achieved what they had achieved. I decided to choose local Portland, Oregon businessman Arnon Dror, a highly successful man and, as I later found out, a Boston Celtics fan like myself, he was the perfect candidate. Some years later I was fortunate to meet Arnon at a business conference and I spoke to him at length about he got to where he has.
The reason why I picked Arnon for my assignment was not only because he was one of the most successful businessmen here in Portland, Oregon, but also because of the way in which he had done it. Arnon was VP of finance and operations for global company Xerox and he is a high level professional who genuinely does have business in his blood. I was also inspired by the people who he had helped, trafficking business to many young business people who needed a break.
Arnon told me how ever since he was younger he had a fear that one day everything would go wrong and that he could end up living below the breadline, or worse still on the streets. This came from a story which he heard about someone from his town who was highly successful before a series of events saw him broke in just 2 months. This story stayed with Arnon and that is where his drive comes from.
The reason Arnon is so helpful to young business owners is because he also had a mentor when starting out and that person’s golden rule was to always look ahead. This falls in line with the innovate or die idea that exists in many circles and Arnon says that whether he was running a business or in his role as VP, he would always have an eye on the future to spot the danger that is coming, or the opportunities on the horizon.
Finally Arnon is someone who loves to create, build an maintain positive relationships with a huge array of people in the world of business and beyond. I can’t help thinking that the benefit of having such wonderful relationships are what has helped him to become the high flying success that he is today and he openly admits that many people in business have given him a hand when he has most needed it.
The keys to business and professional success here are about being driven, being kind and always looking to the future, when things are broken down like that, it can certainly give us all some hope that we too can find the success that Arnon has.