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Baker Foundation Professor, Harvard Business School
Successful entrepreneurs have a combination of passion, resilience and the foresight to take an objective and analytical look at what is driving their performance as they build a company.
Read time: approx. 1 minute
Strategy, Human Resources and Organization, Investing, Corporate Governance, and Legal
While living in Detroit in the 1950s and 1960s when the auto industry was at its peak, I saw what positive energy and good jobs could bring to our communities. The excitement I have been seeing in Detroit over the past few years – fueled by entrepreneurial passion – reminds me of the same excitement we felt over 50 years ago. Endeavor Detroit is in a thrilling position to support entrepreneurs who are positively impacting Michigan’s economy.
When I graduated from a small local Detroit college in the early 1970s, no one expected a woman to have a career. While this presented some obstacles, I learned that, if I wanted something, I would need to work hard to get it. I also learned that if no one has any expectations for you, including yourself, you can do anything you want and you can’t fail. The resilience and self-determination I learned from my early experiences are an integral part of my success and have enabled me to do what I love, rather than follow a path someone else as laid out for me.
Over the past decade, I built programs for business owners and entrepreneurs from one of HBS’ smallest executive programs to one of the school’s largest and most successful programs. But I have to be honest, I am not proud of the program – I am inspired and proud of the accomplishments of the participants who attended the program. These business owners and entrepreneurs are truly making a difference in the world by creating jobs and inspiring others to be better.
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