10 Leadership Lessons from 10 Inspiring Entrepreneurs

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Photo by Mike Shur

Yesterday I was honored to once again be the emcee at the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) 2nd Annual Summit, featuring 15 successful Oregon entrepreneurs sharing their stories in 12-minute “TED-style” speeches.

The theme was the “School of Hard Knocks” – apt because the event was held in Portland’s cool and unique Kennedy School hotel and event center.

There was a diverse group of businesses represented, including restaurants, social media platforms,non-profits, clothing, bio-med, farming, software, and bicycles.

While there was a wide diversity in business type, there was a real commonality in the lessons these entrepreneurs shared  - the “hard knocks” leadership lessons.

These were realizations that came directly from their experiences  - revelations that pushed them past being just a “boss”, but into the higher strata of more human leader.

A strata that became a lynchpin to the successes they so graciously shared with us on this day.

There were 10 lessons in particular that struck a chord with me, and I’m sure they’ll do the same for you too.

  1. “Wherever you work, it has a culture. The question is, do you own your culture, or is culture happening to you? “- Luke Kanies, CEO, Puppet Labs  (@puppetmasterd)
  2. “The future is humble humans working with intelligent machines.” - Marshall Kirkpatrick, CEO, Little Bird (@marshallk)
  3. “Coach more. Shoot less.” - Jim Plymale, President, Clinicient ,Inc (@jimply)
  4. “Respond to conflict with empathy and professionalism.” – Emma Mcilroy, CEO, Wildfang (@irishem333)
  5. “Bring other people into your business, don’t try to control everything.” - Micah Camden, owner of 17 restaurants, including @BlueStarDonuts
  6. “Sharing knowledge is much more powerful. Things have meaning.” - Natalie Ramsland, co-founder, SweetPea Bicycles (@SweetpeaBikes)
  7. “It’s not the idea that is brilliant, it’s the implementation that is brilliant” - Cory Carmen, founder, Carmen Ranch (@carmanranch)
  8. “Don’t let outsiders influence the risk you take” – Ted Pappas, owner, Big Bottom Whiskey (@bbwhiskey)
  9. “If you trust the world it will disappoint you. But if you don’t trust the world you’ll be absolutely miserable.”- Greg Bell, Founder, Water The Bamboo Center for Leadership (@WaterTheBamboo)
  10. “You must have confidence to take creative risks. Humility helps us learn from the mistakes we dare to make.” – Sam Purdue, CEO, Indow Windows (@sampardue)

It was an inspiring day, and I’m already looking forward to next year.

Lead well!

 

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Comments

  1. Ludmilla Salonda says

    Ten great lines or ten great quotes– for whatever activity domain you find yourself a leader in. Love them! I have a favorite though and it is number 9: “If you trust the world it will disappoint you. But if you don’t trust the world you’ll be absolutely miserable.”- Greg Bell, Founder, Water The Bamboo Center for Leadership. Brilliant!

  2. Brandon R Allen says

    Love the first one on being intentional with your culture. It’s so easy to forget that if we don’t like the culture in our business, take a look in the mirror and ask what you can do to create change.

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