Thursday, August 11, 2011

GLS 2a: Len Schlesinger “Action Trumps Everything”

len_schlesingerGlobal Leadership Summit Session Two A: Len Schlesinger

[I had a hard time understanding his point. Read below at your own risk.]

Leaders try to get people from “here” to “there.” 

Before Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech, he spent 3-5 years working on it and living it, hammering it out.

What is the “here?”  Global poverty, poor education, world hunger, unemployment that leads to violence, inadequate political processes.  How can we change it?  Create an alternative future, a better human future.

Entrepreneurship: believe in the future by creating it first.  Entrepreneurship is a disciplined that can be earned.  We are all entrepreneurs.

Most stories of successful entrepreneurs (Jobs, Gates, Zuckerberg) are nonsense.   Its not all about silicone valley.  The half-life of Fortune 25 companies is 10 years.

Successful serial entrepreneurs (according to studies) have a low appetite for risk.   Most don’t start with a clear vision. They don’t necessarily start original businesses, they just do things better.  42/50 successful entrepreneur teams just got together at first because they liked each other- there was no idea.

How can we all practice entrepreneurship? 

Understand the natural limitations of everything you have ever learned all your life.  The future cannot be extrapolated from the past.  Believing this can paralyze people.  We must live with unpredictability. 

If you can’t predict the future, create it. How?  Take small steps with what you’ve got at hand.  Limit the risk for each step.  Learn from each step.  Start with things you care about.  Successful entrepreneurs are always doing what they want to do.

Start worrying about what you want to do next, not what you’re doing now.

Failure doesn’t mean game over, it just means try again with experience.  You will learn things that nobody else knows.

Lead where you are.

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