I’m your host of Paper Napkin Wisdom.
I’ve been an entrepreneur my entire life. Sometimes I’m successful, sometimes I’ve had to be tenacious and gritty – but I’m always learning.
A serial entrepreneur, I started my first business in 1990 while in my first year studying commerce at University. Since then, I have founded or partnered in more than a dozen companies. From contracting to software, and health care to renewable fuels. I’ve got a ton of experience in what works, and what doesn’t, in a wide variety of businesses.
Years ago, I realized that the best lessons I had learned in my life had come from those around me. I have been fortunate my whole life in that I have never had trouble connecting with my mentors – even those mentors who did not know the influence they had on me before our connection.
“Successful entrepreneurs owe it to future generations of entrepreneurs to pay forward their failures, not their successes.”
These words may have been the best I have ever heard uttered on stage by an entrepreneur. Unfortunately for the audience, he went on to detail all his triumphs and great decisions for 45 minutes following this great statement. What a let-down …
We often judge the success of a leader or entrepreneur by their public persona. The reality is, however, that the great lessons of leadership and strength of character and conviction come in quieter more private moments. It is in those moments that leadership is defined. Tenacity, perseverance, and the ability to get up after set-backs, especially when they come quickly in succession, is the hallmark of great leadership.
For entrepreneurs and managers in companies – the ability to persevere and influence your team to rise to the occasion in all circumstances is based not just on the focus on your strategic priorities but also the leaders to compel them to consider great thoughts in a deliberate and intentional way.
“To lead people, walk beside them …
As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence.
The next best, the people honor and praise.
The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate …
When the best leader’s work is done the people say,
We did it ourselves!” – Lao Tzu
Paper Napkin Wisdom teaches Leadership in the way we learn best – from other great leaders who walk beside us.I have spoken with 100s of them and challenged them to share their greatest pearls of wisdom simply and briefly – on a Paper Napkin. We discuss why this lesson was important to them, why it helped to define their success – and they share their set-backs and challenges with us to inspire, influence, and ignite great leadership in all of us and our teams.
I had never thought about it this way, but Alex Charfen once called me a “modern-day Napoleon Hill” for this work in creating Paper Napkin Wisdom. Success has changed. Leadership has as well. Paper Napkin Wisdom updates all of this in truly digestible way.
As you know, I’m really excited about bringing the wisdom of great entrepreneurs, leaders, and difference-makers to you in a manner that really supports action. Jack Daly shares that vision and passion and so he’s joined in to Co-Author The Paper Napkin Wisdom Project in which we’ll deliver 52 steps to Ignite your Leadership Journey.
Soon we’ll have more to share about the first book.