Category Archives: Leadership

How many languages do you speak?

 

Living here in California, 40% of the people you run into speak another language besides English. (2007 census data). In fact, as of the 2000 census there were 207 languages spoken here.

What do all those folks have to teach the rest of us? Well, if you remember studying another language in your past, you discovered >

Who is telling your story?

With all the opportunities to tell your story in person as well as on social media – to comment on current events, to talk about movies, the Olympics, your friends’ behavior or anything else you would like to say, do you >

How do you lead?

At the APICS Symposium on April 30th, the panelists were asked ”How do you lead?”

Dr. Chris Gopel, executive director at the Drucker Center for Supply Chain & Logistics, said:

Lead by: >

What is it about entrepreneurs?

 

After pilates, we were going to the nearby Trader Joe’s when I spotted a new coffee place in the hip area of Eagle Rock. After finding an Ethiopian blend roasted there, we wandered into the craft beer shop next door. Sunday at 11:20 am, who greets us but the owner who opened the shop 2 ½ months ago. He casually mentioned that he and his wife sold their house and put everything they had into opening this shop. What is it about entrepreneurs?

Well, the entrepreneurs in my Vistage groups have very similar stories. They saw a market opportunity in an area they were passionate about. They had a skill set that matched what the business would need. They didn’t have every skill needed to run a business, for sure, there are always gaps. And, they had a certain joy in solving the problems unique to the business they were creating.

For my jewelry designer, it was an ability to make a product women wanted at a price they could easily afford. For my retail toy store owner, it was a joy in specialty toys, and creating fun environments for kids and their parents. For my furniture distributor, it was finding the perfect product and joy in closing a deal. I have many more stories like this from my Vistage groups.

And, if it wasn’t this generation that had the idea and the drive to throw everything into creating something that had not been there before them, it was a parent or grandparent who got the ball rolling. How cool is it when a risky idea created jobs or maybe even wealth for more than one generation? Isn’t that the American dream?

Having just been in Myanmar and Vietnam, let me say something further about the environment here that encourages and supports entrepreneurs. We have extremely good infrastructure. We have access to capital. We encourage risk taking and accept failure. We have little corruption. Education is available, and the internet has begun to equalize access to information.

No excuses, now. Take a look at where you need to be a little more entrepreneurial in your business this year. Put some allocation of resources and time to exploring that little idea that is shimmering in the corner of your eye. Did I tell you how much fun entrepreneurship can be?

 

photo by Paul Dye of a Myanmar entrepreneur selling to American Scott Gibb