Len Schlesinger (President, Babson College, Harvard Professor) – Action Trumps Everything!
Len believes that entrepreneurship has the power to go a long way in providing for the kind of future we inspire to have. Entrepreneurs believe in the future by creating it first.
Babson college exists to educate leaders to make and find opportunities to create economic and social value everywhere.
Entrepreneurship is a discipline and it can be learned. We are all entrepreneurs; only too few of us get to practice it.
What do we need to do? Understand the natural limitations of everything that you have ever learned in all of your entire life. It is all predicated on a world of cause and effect. It works wonderfully to the extent that we believe that the future can be predicted from the past, which is not true.
The natural response to risk is paralysis, but…
In a world where you can’t predict the future – ACT!
In the face of unknowability, what would rational behavior look like? It would be sitting and thinking. You can’t sit and think your way out of a dark hole, you must act. Get up, take a step, and make a difference. Make a small step with what you’ve got at hand. Then build off of what you find when you actually take that first step.
Don’t start with “where is there a great opportunity” or “where is there something that has never been done.” Start with something you want to do or with something that you think will get you what you want. Then act quickly with the means at hand.
What keeps people from doing this? First, they get completely caught up in “What am I going to do?” Stop worrying about what you want to do and start worrying about what you want to do next! Next, they are deathly afraid of taking a step because of failure. We’ve been educated to believe that failure is a dirty word.
The issue of failure is central. What do you do with failure? Quite likely, you’ve just learned something that nobody else knows. It is a step!
-Know what you want.
-Stop obsessing about all the things you need to do something and start with the means at hand.
-Make reality your friend and asset and build off what you find.
-Bring other people with you.
-Remain flexible in how you achieve what it is you want.
-With action trumping everything, you get more times at bat in the same elapsed time, thereby taking us all on an incredibly powerful journey from the “here” that we have identified to the “there” that we believe in.
Honorable Corey A. Booker (Mayor of Newark, New Jersey) – Stand Up!
What does it mean to stand up for something?
You will always face outrageous adversaries in this life, but you must be one who is willing to stand regardless of the storm.
Understand that you are born as a magical result of a grand conspiracy of love!
Are you just getting drunk on the wine of other’s sacrifices and hard work? Or are you willing to stand up from the banquet your ancestors prepared for you and metabolize your blessings into action?
Your attitude about the world says nothing about the world. Instead, it speaks to your character!
Do you see the problems? Or do you see the potential and have hope that it can be better?
Be the change you want to see in your world!
Personal Insight: This last comment sparked something in me. I’ve been well aware of things that need to be changed within my church, mainly that we need to become a house of prayer. But through this talk and through the words of a guy who has been helping me a lot lately, I realize that the only way for me to make change in this situation is for me to do it myself. I must stand up by getting down on my knees and becoming that person of prayer. The thought that I can or should change everyone else around me and not change myself is absolutely insane! I need to infuse my own life with the truth that God is calling me…me…to be a “house of prayer.” This has nothing to do with my role as a worship pastor or the condition of my life in its various seasons. It has everything to do with my position as a beloved child of God and as a worshipper who desires to be changed in God’s presence.