Ben Franklin made this observation about a fellow he had know in Philadelphia: “The man died at 25, but wasn’t buried until 75." Mr. Franklin was describing a man who stopped learning early on.
In my field of work the entrepreneurial leader is called “a coach." To excel as a coach and leader, we must be a good teacher; to excel as a teacher, a leader, and coach, we must remain a student who keeps learning. We mustn’t die at 25.
I believe the key to learning is listening with both our ears and our eyes. For me, in happened gradually, but it happened because I was blessed with teachers worth listening to.
I run the business to earn profit, of course, but what happens prior to the money is more important. Whatever I did as an entrepreneurial leader, teacher, and coach started with one man: Alex F. DeNoble, Ph. D. at San Diego State University. He has been my compass in entrepreneurship and life- the person who taught me about the life value and what precedes and supersedes it.
My professor is a remarkable person. He also have a practical kind of wisdom. This is what he wrote on the board on the last day of entrepreneurship class, he reminded me the old-fashioned advices:
- Get out of comfort zone.（跳出自己的舒適圈）
- Put yourself in situations to develop new skills.（把自己放在困境，好讓自己發揮新的技能）
- Model others, find mentors（效仿別人，找到生命中的導師）
- Continuous learning through targeted education.（用任何管道持續學習）
- Test new idea.（嘗試不一樣的事）
These advices are evident in his actions. He is consistent in word and deed, a model of the strength and self-confidence that comes with character. Those five suggestions deeply influenced my behavior as the years went by after I graduated from SDSU. In fact, soon enough I was not calling them “suggestions." I have referred to them as “Alex’s Five Point Creed."
Although I fall short in living up to his teachings, I have found “Alex’s Five Point Creed" to be meaningful in every phase of my life– especially when it comes to entrepreneurial leadership.