Throughout my career as a business and financial journalist, the most time I've ever been granted to spend with a successful (read: rich and powerful) person for a story has been one hour — tops! Usually I can snag 20 minutes over the phone, but rarely without an eavesdropping publicist sharing the line.
In "Follow the Leader," my CNBC show debuting April 6, I have the rare chance to spend an incredible amount of time with some of the world's greatest entrepreneurs, usually between 48 and 72 hours.
In that time you can learn a lot about a person's beliefs, habits and tastes. You begin to see how they dissect problems and arrive at solutions. You witness how they treat people and learn what others think about them. For example...
With John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and Patron Spirits, I learned how little he relies on technology. He doesn't use email or carry a smartphone. How does he work around that, exactly? And why does he wear almost the same thing every day? On a more serious note, I discovered JP is extremely generous with his charities, his employees and even strangers. "Success unshared is failure," he told me.