David Rubenstein on key to being a great leader: ‘You make your own luck'

'Hard work is the end that's going to pay off more than anything else'

As the General Election inches closer and America's leadership is at question, The Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein offers insight into what makes a great leader and how great leaders have achieved success.

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“You have to really work hard,” he said. “Hard work is the end that’s going to pay off more than anything else. You make your own luck by working hard.”

In his new book “How to Lead,” Rubenstein explains how being successful is all about creating your own luck. He told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto that general criteria including hard work, luck, persistence, focus and integrity are all important aspects in leading.

“But on hard work, I don’t think anybody ever won a Nobel Prize workings five days a week, 9 to 5,” he said. “If you want to do something significant with your life, and really make a real mark in the world, I think you have to work a little bit longer than 9 to 5, five days a week.”

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Rubenstein said leaders don’t have to necessarily be brilliant but must be reasonably intelligent enough to put in the hard work. He mentioned that good communication skills are also key.

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“You can’t lead people if you don’t have followers,” he said. “You have to learn how to communicate with them by good writing or good oral communication, or by leading by example.”

In researching famous and successful leaders, Rubenstein said not all of them were perfect but most worked hard, were persistent and overcame obstacles in their youth. Leaders like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates whose ideas were doubted proves that there's success in persistence.

“That’s what really marks a great leader: Overcoming conventional wisdom and persisting, persisting, persisting,” he said. “If people tell you ‘no, no, no,’ you should be more inspired to go ahead and try to do it.”

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