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The Many Faces of Benjamin Franklin: A Masterclass in Versatile Leadership

Versatile leadership involves the ability to adapt communication as per the needs of others.



benjamin franklin leadership

Versatile leadership involves the ability to adapt communication as per the needs of others.  It is different from situational leadership where the leaders have to adopt the strategies as per the situation.  

In versatile leadership, the leaders have to demonstrate the skills and abilities by suiting to various kinds of people and situations.  It requires lot of flexibility, maturity and emotional intelligence on the part of the leaders to balance various kinds and aspects of people.  

It is also about having expertise and experience in multiple areas. 

Leadership is about managing complexities and diversities.  At times leaders lose some to gain some.  

However versatile leadership helps in eating the cake and having it too.  It balances and manages diversified people with diversified opinions and views thus keeping the flock together.  

In this context, let us look at Benjamin Franklin who displayed his versatile leadership by venturing into various facets of life in his lifetime.

A Versatile Leader

Benjamin Franklin was one of the rarest Americans. 

He will be remembered forever in the history of mankind for his unique and unparalleled incarnations as a printer, publisher, postmaster, philosopher, author, inventor, entrepreneur, intellectual, statesman, and humorist.   

He was also the rarest of the rare American leaders who wrote a lot to enlighten the world and who did a lot to write about him.

Ben was a multifaceted personality with in-depth knowledge in several domains.  He excelled in various areas and aspects and evolved as a versatile leader.  Versatility was his personality.  

He preferred the road less traveled.  He was a rag to riches story that also epitomizes an inspirational leader. He created a group—Junto that emphasized on self-improvement. He was the brainchild for self-improvement books.  

His writings influenced Andrew Carnegie and Dale Carnegie.  He laid the foundation for human development and progress.  He opined that everyone deserved success irrespective of their poor parental lineage.

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.” —Benjamin Franklin

Ben’s incarnations

Ben was self-educated and learnt through voracious reading.  He learnt the tricks of the printing trade from his brother, James.  He deserted the press due to the differences with his brother and worked as a typesetter in London.  

After returning to Philadelphia he worked as a shopkeeper and bookkeeper.  He donned the role of publisher of a newspaper called The Pennsylvania Gazette.  He proved as an author with the publication of Poor Richard’s Almanack.  

Let us briefly profile few of his incarnations as an inventor, entrepreneur, intellectual and statesman.

Inventor: He had passion for inventions.  He indirectly championed for the cause of industrial revolution through his scientific inventions.  He invented lightning rod, bifocal glasses and Franklin stove to name a few.  He was liberal to share his inventions with others as he did not patent.

Entrepreneur: He had business acumen and risk taking ability.  He set up his own print shop and first franchisee system.  He competed and collaborated with his competitors as a business strategy.  He converted business threats into opportunities and came out profitably in his business endeavors.

Intellectual: Ben diversified his reading into diversified domains such as politics, history and science that widened his mental horizons.  He is an example to the present day youth that anyone can start the journey towards success anywhere at any age and stage of life.  It is the bad tradesman who blames his tools.  Ben did not blame his poor parental background.  He proved to the world that anything and everything is possible through passion, perseverance and persistence.

Statesman: Ben proved his statesmanship through his diplomatic skills with an emphasis on win-win approach. He was an effective negotiator and net worker.  He was a successful diplomat who promoted better relations between France and America.  He was a statesman par excellence.

Thirteen virtues: Ben was a practical man.  He practiced what he preached.  He practiced thirteen virtues by following one virtue for a week.  The thirteen virtues necessary for true success are: temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility. One of Ben’s friends advised to add humility as the thirteenth virtue as he was proud in his conversations.  Subsequently he included humility as the thirteenth virtue and practiced rest of his life.

Extraordinary leader: Ben was an extraordinary leader who gave due credit to others.  He empathized with others.  America was blessed with a leader like Ben who was instrumental in drafting the constitution and one of the founding fathers of American constitution.  He was the most accomplished American during his time.

Benjaminism: He strove for innovation and creativity irrespective of the area he explored.  He was the first to include pictures in newspapers.  He influenced every aspect and area of human life.  All human beings use his inventions and follow preaching either directly or indirectly.  There is an element of Benjaminism in every human being in this world.

American legend: It is difficult to replicate his charisma in the current context.   However, the present leaders can learn several lessons from this American legend.  Ben’s ideas and ideals and values and virtues are relevant to the humankind.  He demonstrated to the world that an individual can do anything and everything in a lifetime.

Ben was an extraordinary leader, inspirational leader, innovative leader, visionary leader, strategic leader, servant leader, passionate leader and above all a lasting leader.  He left his footprints in the history of mankind through his versatile leadership. 

Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. is the Father of “Soft Leadership” and the Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an International Leadership Guru with forty years of experience and the author of fifty books including the award-winning ‘See the Light in You’ URL: He is a C-Suite advisor and global keynote speaker. He brings a strategic eye and long-range vision given his multifaceted professional experience including military, teaching, training, research, consultancy, and philosophy. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. He is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine. He trains a new generation of leaders through leadership education and publications.

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10 Lucrative Buy and Sell Businesses to Start in 2024

The buy-and-sell business model provides opportunities across many niches



Businesses to start in 2024

In the dynamic landscape of 2024, starting a business that capitalizes on buy-and-sell models can be incredibly lucrative. This article explores ten different models that entrepreneurs can consider. These ventures range from real estate flipping to trading in domains and luxury items, providing a broad spectrum of opportunities regardless of your initial capital or interest area.

1. Car Flipping

Flipping cars can be a very lucrative business venture for an individual with business acumen, an eye for value, and mechanically adept at cars. It involves buying under-priced cars, restoring, and selling them for a profit. For deeper insights and opportunities in this market, refer to

2. Real Estate Flipping

Flipping real estate—be it houses, condos, or even commercial properties—remains pretty solid business, especially in markets where real estate values are on the way up. Investors buy properties relatively low, do rehab or renovation, then sell at a profit.

The success of the area is endowed with a huge potential spotlight, the ability to juggle various elements such as local real estate market knowledge, and efficient management of renovations.

3. Vintage E-commerce

With the advent of technology, it became easy to sell vintage or retro items over the online selling platform. Be it clothes, furniture, or even collectibles, consumers these days prefer something unique that is eco-friendly and which may have a nostalgia quotient in it. Hence, it brings the opportunity to open an e-commerce shop effectively.

4. Domain Flipping

If you have the skill to predict catchy phrases or business names that would be popular in the future, then buying and selling domain names would be a very profitable business. Register prices are available to purchase domains, which later can be sold at high prices to interested parties or businesses that wish to get an early online identity.

5. Luxury Items

One of the most promising buy-and-sell businesses is the luxury market, and what makes it very attractive is its less sensitivity towards economic downturns. Some of the common items in the luxury market include high-end watches, jewelry, and art, rare cars, all with high yields. Most times, items do appreciate, especially when they are limited editions.

6. Sports Memorabilia

While the sports memorabilia trading business can at times seem lucrative, especially when one focuses on big personae or big events, authenticity and rarity can definitely help items fetch top dollar. Provenance and limited supply both go towards inflating their values.

7. Sneaker Reselling

In recent years, the sneaker resale market has exploded, fueled by a commodity of scarce releases and athletic brand collaborations with a list of celebrities. Today, with operations such as StockX and GOAT, it’s really that easy to break into the worldwide market. It’s pretty easy to find your buyers and make a very good profit if you’re targeting the right trend and releases.

8. Book Flipping

Flipping rare and first editions can become a really meaningful, and yes, one more profitable, business for a book lover. Sometimes the signed ones, rare manuscripts, or those early editions of famous novels could sell for thousands of dollars, usually done by collectors or academic institutions.

9. Furniture Upcycling

Upcycling furniture consists of restoring and using second-hand furniture to sell it at a higher price. For the environmentally aware consumer, this business model has great appeal. It could be pretty profitable if done with good taste and talent in design and restoration.

10. Electronics Flipping

Smartphones, tablets, and laptops resell at values significantly high; hence, business ensues. Buy, refurbish, and sell in better condition to appeal to budget-minded consumers looking for technology at more affordable price points. 

Overall, The buy-and-sell business model provides opportunities across many niches. Be it real estate flipping or vintage item upcycling, you can succeed in both models with market understanding and trend application. That, with careful planning and strategic investment, will throw huge financial returns for these business models in 2024.

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