1. Free yourself
He went to work for his father’s company, originally called Semler & Company, then a mixer and agitator supplier in São Paulo.
2. Manage the issue of ego
He clashed with his father, who supported a traditional autocratic style of management whereas young Semler favoured a decentralised style.
3. Find your definition of success
His father resigned as CEO and vested majority ownership in his son in 1980 when Ricardo was 21 years old.
4. Share as you go
On his first day as CEO, Ricardo Semler fired sixty percent of all top managers.
5. Let go of the past
As of 2003, Semco had annual revenue of $212 million, and it employed 3,000 workers, as opposed to 90 in 1982.
6. Do the things that interest you
He was named Brazilian businessman of the year in 1990 and in 1992.
7. Have the courage now
The World Economic Forum named him as one of the Global Leaders of Tomorrow.
8. Give up control
He wrote a book Maverick on his experience at Semco which became a worldwide bestseller in 1993.
9. Know your limitations
He has been Vice President of the Federation of Industries of Brazil.
10. Ask three whys in a row
He founded the Lumiar School, a democratic school where children from 0 to 14 years old engage in projects of their interest.