Leaders solve problems and a great example of a problem solver is Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes. In his twenties he started and sold multiple companies, showing that he was well suited for an entrepreneurial career. While traveling through Argentina in 2006, he noticed children in the area were so poor they didn’t even have shoes, and many of them had blisters, sores, and infections on their feet. After seeing this problem firsthand, he came up with a revolutionary solution: to create a for-profit, “one-for-one” business. For every pair of TOMS Shoes sold, one pair would be donated to children in need of shoes.
This business turned into a global movement, and Mycoskie continued to solve additional problems. TOMS Shoes has provided over 60 million pairs of shoes to children since 2006; TOMS Eyewear has restored sight to over 400,000 people since 2011; and TOMS Roasting Company has helped provide over 335,000 weeks of safe water since launching in 2014. In 2015, TOMS Bag Collection was founded with the mission to help provide training for skilled birth attendants and distribute birth kits containing items that help a woman safely deliver her baby. So far, safe birth services have been provided for over 25,000 mothers. Mycoskie continues looking for new problems to solve. As he says, “The goal isn’t how much money you make, but how much you help people.”