Five inspiring lessons from Linda Rottenberg, Co-founder and CEO of Endeavor

Alain-Patrick Umucyo By Alain-Patrick Umucyo, 19th Nov 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3yba075t/
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Starting A Business

On 7 May 2014(1), Linda Rottenberg gave a talk at Stanford University. The Harvard University and Yale Law School graduate turned CEO(2) was there “on the eve of the launch of her new book (…) called 'Crazy is a compliment' ”(3). The piece has been available since October 2014.(4)

Soon after her talk, Linda's inspirational insights resonated among young people and professors alike.

1 “You're the hardest backer you'll ever have to win”(5)

Linda starts her conversation by remembering her encounter with Wences Casares, when the latter had “the improbable idea of creating the e-trade of Latin America.”(6) She recounts having learned “one of the most important lessons” ever(7) :
"The most important backer you will need to start any venture is not your mother, your father, your spouse, your boss, your banker or your friend, it's you. And you're the hardest backer you'll ever have to win."(8)

The whole story of Endeavor, the global initiative created by Linda, is really about this sole quotation. This organisation aims at “selecting, mentoring and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world”.(9) It operates mainly in emerging markets where the hurdles of launching a business require a great dose of self-confidence. Those who thrive in these markets have often adopted the attitude expressed in the second lesson.

2 "When economies look down, entrepreneurs look up"(10)

Along her talk, Linda constantly stresses how entrepreneurs are people who chose “to be different”(11). To illustrate this second lesson, she goes on by telling the remarkable story of Veuve Cliquot, a lady who took advantage of the invasion of her country to turn the estate left by her deceased husband into a successful business.(12) That lady did not plan anything, she acted in the heat of the moment and thus applied very much the third lesson.

3 “Stop planning, start doing.”(13)

To support this lesson, Linda evokes the meagre plan that lead to the founding of Intel. She adds statistical facts which point out that enterprises supported by a formal business plan are actually the minority of the realm of successful enterprises. She emphasises that : "the greatest entrepreneurs I know, they focus on pinpoints, not Powerpoints. They stop planning, they start doing."(14)

An explanation to this observation is delivered in the fourth lesson.

4 Dream big and execute small.

Referring to the title of Linda's book, the presenter asks Lisa whether everyone has to be crazy in say a company. Rottenberg replies : "I think that (…) even if you plan to be in a consulting firm or an investment banking corporation, your companies are no longer safe, your jobs are no longer safe (...) your path is not secure. Everyone today, I think, needs to think and act more like an entrepreneur. Everyone needs to take more risks (...) as we've been talking about the whole process of entrepreneurship is that tension between taking risk and derisking risk (...) dreaming big, executing small, so I think that everyone today can learn these skills even if they're not necessarily going to create their own organisation".(15) But for those who want to, the fifth lesson is a must.

5 "If you're not called crazy you're probably not thinking big enough"(16)

Linda Rottenberg presents this fifth lesson as a “corollary”(17) to the title of her book, Crazy is compliment, after revealing the story behind this title. Linda is active on twitter @lindarottenberg.

Her talk was an instalment in the DFJ Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series which takes place every Wednesday during the academic year at Stanford University.(18) For 20 years, this series has featured “talks from leaders in technology, business, finance, education and philanthropy”.(19)

Be the first to know about the next instalments with the Weekly update.

SOURCES

(1) STANFORD'S UNIVERSITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP CORNER. About podcast : Crazy is a compliment. 7 May 2014. Ecorner. <http://ecorner.stanford.edu/authorMaterialInfo.html?mid=3300> accessed 05 November 2014

(2) ENDEAVOR. Endeavor Global – Linda Rottenberg. Endeavor. <http://www.endeavor.org/network/endeavorglobal/boardofdirectors/linda-rottenberg/637> accessed 05 November 2014

(3) Audio podcast : Crazy is a compliment. 7 May 2014. SoundCloud. 0:54 <https://soundcloud.com/ecorner/linda-rottenberg-crazy-is-a?in=alainpatricku/sets/existenzgr-ndung#t=0:54> accessed 07 November 2014

(4)
- Audio podcast : Crazy is a compliment. 7 May 2014. SoundCloud. 0:54 <https://soundcloud.com/ecorner/linda-rottenberg-crazy-is-a?in=alainpatricku/sets/existenzgr-ndung#t=0:54> accessed 07 November 2014
- Crazy Is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags. 2 October 2014. Amazon. <http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Is-Compliment-Zigging-Everyone/dp/1591846641> accessed 07 November 2014

(5) Audio podcast : Crazy is a compliment. 7 May 2014. SoundCloud. 1:57 <https://soundcloud.com/ecorner/linda-rottenberg-crazy-is-a?in=alainpatricku/sets/existenzgr-ndung#t=1:57> accessed 08 November 2014

(6) Audio podcast : Crazy is a compliment. 7 May 2014. SoundCloud. 1:37 <https://soundcloud.com/ecorner/linda-rottenberg-crazy-is-a?in=alainpatricku/sets/existenzgr-ndung#t=1:37> accessed 07 November 2014

(7) Audio podcast : Crazy is a compliment. 7 May 2014. SoundCloud. 1:45 <https://soundcloud.com/ecorner/linda-rottenberg-crazy-is-a?in=alainpatricku/sets/existenzgr-ndung#t=1:45> accessed 07 November 2014

(8) Audio podcast : Crazy is a compliment. 7 May 2014. SoundCloud. 1:48 <https://soundcloud.com/ecorner/linda-rottenberg-crazy-is-a?in=alainpatricku/sets/existenzgr-ndung#t=1:48> accessed 07 November 2014

(9) ENDEAVOR. Our Mission. Endeavor. <http://www.endeavor.org/model/ourmission> accessed 07 November 2014

(10) Audio podcast : Crazy is a compliment. 7 May 2014. SoundCloud. 17:49 <https://soundcloud.com/ecorner/linda-rottenberg-crazy-is-a?in=alainpatricku/sets/existenzgr-ndung#t=17:49> accessed 07 November 2014

(11) Audio podcast : Crazy is a compliment. 7 May 2014. SoundCloud. 9:50 <https://soundcloud.com/ecorner/linda-rottenberg-crazy-is-a?in=alainpatricku/sets/existenzgr-ndung#t=9:50> accessed 07 November 2014

(12) Audio podcast : Crazy is a compliment. 7 May 2014. SoundCloud. 18:07 <https://soundcloud.com/ecorner/linda-rottenberg-crazy-is-a?in=alainpatricku/sets/existenzgr-ndung#t=18:07> accessed 07 November 2014

(13) Audio podcast : Crazy is a compliment. 7 May 2014. SoundCloud. 11:54 <https://soundcloud.com/ecorner/linda-rottenberg-crazy-is-a?in=alainpatricku/sets/existenzgr-ndung#t=11:54> accessed 07 November 2014

(14) Audio podcast : Crazy is a compliment. 7 May 2014. SoundCloud.. 13:08 <https://soundcloud.com/ecorner/linda-rottenberg-crazy-is-a?in=alainpatricku/sets/existenzgr-ndung#t=13:08> accessed 07 November 2014

(15) Audio podcast : Crazy is a compliment. 7 May 2014. SoundCloud. 49:48 <https://soundcloud.com/ecorner/linda-rottenberg-crazy-is-a?in=alainpatricku/sets/existenzgr-ndung#t=49:48> accessed 07 November 2014

(16) Audio podcast : Crazy is a compliment. 7 May 2014. SoundCloud. 11:40 <https://soundcloud.com/ecorner/linda-rottenberg-crazy-is-a?in=alainpatricku/sets/existenzgr-ndung#t=11:40> accessed 07 November 2014

(17) Audio podcast : Crazy is a compliment. 7 May 2014. SoundCloud. 11:38 <https://soundcloud.com/ecorner/linda-rottenberg-crazy-is-a?in=alainpatricku/sets/existenzgr-ndung#t=11:38> accessed 07 November 2014

(18) ECORNER. Podcast. Ecorner. <http://ecorner.stanford.edu/podcasts.html> accessed 07 November 2014

(19) ETL. About the series. Etl. <http://etl.stanford.edu/about/> accessed 07 November 2014

Tags

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