Entrepreneur 3: Lessons from Stephen Covey & Brian Ward

“He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch”

Jean Luc Goddard

For too long and for too many generations, the dream of our parents in Mauritius was to enter the civil service, (employes Gouverment), be employed by a bank or at least be an employee of a big firm. Security of employment with automatic annual increments followed by a guaranteed long term service pension was their quest. All for a secured, predictable lifetime job! Time will ensure the promotion as long as you do not make any mistakes. The only way not to make mistakes is by not doing anything at work, because believe me or not, non performance is not a cause for dismissal or demotion. This mode of operation still prevails today and promotes non activity. How would Mauritius then enroll the required entrepreneurs needed for its thrust? The term “Manager” is not commonly used in the civil service. You become a high rank civil servant or to the most an executive.

Today, we need real entrepreneurs, leaders, not even managers.

When you become an entrepreneur, you take on a great responsibility…you promise to change the world for the better.

If your reaction to this statement is: ‘I’m only managing an organization, or department, or project, I’m not out to change the world’, then I respectfully suggest that you learn to be a good manager, but not a leader.

Leaders cause positive change to happen, through people.

Managers control things. That’s it. The world needs great leaders and entrepreneurs. It has its fill of managers.

How does one become an Entrepreneur or leader?

If you feel that you are not sure whether you are truly committed to becoming a great one, if you have not yet made that decision, I would like you to take a look at two scenarii:


What if you were to make a total commitment to becoming a great one? Project yourself ahead 3 to 5 years from now. You have become one. Visualize what positive impact you are having on the world around you…

· How has the world benefited from your actions?

· What does that feel like?

· What type of people are you associating with?

· Who are you collaborating with?

· Who else is totally committed to the same cause as you?

· What positive actions are you and these people taking?

· How are other people responding to your successes?

· How worthwhile and meaningful has your life become?

· What does that feel like?

· How are you growing and developing?

· How does all this differ from today?


What if you were to be less than fully committed to becoming one? Project yourself ahead 3 to 5 years from now. You are in a leadership position. Visualize how things will be…

· Have things changed much, or not at all?

· Who are you associating with…perhaps others who are also less than fully committed?

· What positive impact have you had on the world around you? Less than you desired?

· How do you feel about that?

· How worthwhile and meaningful has your life become?

· How does all this differ from today?

FOCUS: Developing your leadership focus, understanding its true significance to the world around you and how truly committed you are to achieving it

AUTHENTICITY: Discovering how much you know about yourself as an authentic leader, your beliefs and values, your strengths and weaknesses and how others perceive your authenticity

COURAGE: your level of courage and persistence, your ability and willingness to identify and stop doing those things that don’t support your focus, to start doing some new things that will support it, and to improve dramatically in other areas that will benefit your focus, both personally and organizationally

EMPATHY: your ability to listen to and work through other people, to garner support for your focus, to develop an atmosphere of collegiality and inclusiveness, and to empower others who share your focus

TIMING: your sense of timing in getting things done when they need to be done. Your ability to get off the treadmill and concentrate on what matters most to your focus, and to enable others to do the same

The world needs great entrepreneurs & leaders…if you want to become one, explore these facets. A word of caution however…once you start asking questions of yourself in these five areas, you will find that there will be no turning back. Proceed only if you are serious, only if you truly have the desire to become a great leader…

How Leading differs from Managing?

(Stephen Covey) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Covey

Entrepreneurs ought to possess and yet discriminate both qualities of, leader and manager. Covey teaches that the habit of Personal leadership has to be sequenced before the habit of Personal management. “What to do” ought to precede “how to do”. Visioning, planning & thinking have to occur before actioning. Rather be effective than being efficient. “You might end up effienciently leaning against the wrong wall” says Stephen Covey

Here are some major comparisons of how leading and managing differ:



Creating a clear and compelling vision of the future, which may look altogether different from today

Facing current reality, and taking actions to deal with immediate issues, challenges and obstacles to daily performance

Making major change happen. Achieving breakthroughs in performance, and sometimes ‘breakaway’ performance, such as entering new markets, acquiring much different types of customers, or even committing to an entirely new mission

Controlling things, keeping things in a state of equilibrium (but not status quo)

Achieving incremental improvements in performance

Staying loyal to the mission

Taking big risks, innovating

Managing or mitigating risk

Developing and implementing strategy

Managing tactics

Yes, Mauritius has to lay the grounds for the germination and nurturing of daring & innovative risktakers who I call Entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs armed confidently with competencies, capacities and passion.

This blog has also been largely inspired by the writings of Brian Ward