“Creating a Better Future” by Len Schlesinger

Len Schlesinger spoke at The Willow Creek Leadership Summit. The President of Babson College shared these ideas:

“Entrepreneurship helps us create the kind of future we desire to have.

Believe in the future by creating it first.

Most entrepreneurs aren’t like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg. Most don’t have original ideas. Most aren’t egotistical. Most aren’t geniuses. Effective entrepreneurs don’t fit these stereotypes.

Effective entrepreneurs find opportunities to create social and economic value everywhere. We can use entrepreneurship to intervene in the normal cycle of creation, enjoyment, and destruction that happens over the course of three generations.

We need to go to war with our business models and be willing to reinvent ourselves.

‘Most of what you hear about entrepreneurship is wrong. It is a discipline that can be learned.’ – Peter Drucker

‘We are all entrepreneurs, but too few of us are able to practice it.’

Everything we’ve learned is predicated on a world that is predictable and based on cause and effect. This only works when the future can be predicted by the past. Since the future isn’t a linear result of the past we get paralyzed. Effective serial entrepreneurs know that creating the future does work since we cannot predict the future. This is called creative-oriented action.

How can we do this?

Take small steps with what you’ve got at hand.

Start with things you care about (rather than just looking for opportunities) and team with people you enjoy.

Act quickly with the means at hand.

Making decisions based on an expected return doesn’t make sense in a world with an unpredictable future.

Instead of worrying about what you can’t do, concern yourself with what you want to do next.

Failure doesn’t mean game over. It means it is time to try again. When you fail, you’ve learned something no one else knows.

The Steps: Know what you want. Stop obsessing about what you need and determine what you already have. Make reality your friend. Take steps needed to make progress. Small wins lead to big changes. bring others with you. Remain flexible.

This doesn’t guarantee success but gives a person more attempts at success.”

Check out Len’s book Action Trumps Everything: Creating What You Want in an Uncertain World.

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