By the time you read this, we at the Innovation Hub at Broward College will be signed off until next year and beginning to enjoy some time off during the Christmas and New Year Holidays.  This is it. It seems like it was yesterday when we started a new year full of optimism and plans to launch new projects, engage in new challenges, move the ball forward. I wish for you, as we approach another new year, that your aims continue in that direction.

I spent time Saturday morning with an esteemed group in a very rewarding reflection on what this season means and what we are called to be at this time. Even though the topics involved our lives in general, I was intent on drawing parallels in my mind to come up, at the time I would write this, with ideas on how to apply the lessons from the perspective of an entrepreneurial life. At the end of the morning, it was not hard to draw the parallels, and reach a point of conscious agreement on what the right gifts to ask for would be for an entrepreneur.

Typical descriptions of entrepreneurs assign them a high internal locus of control. They attribute both their successes and their failures to their own actions. They are in control of their own outcomes. Another trait that is used to identify them is their likely high level of self-esteem. They tend to have a strong feeling of being capable of handling anything that comes their way.  Many are also what are commonly referred to as A-types, with high levels of ambition and a sense of urgency to achieve. We all know people we like to which we could generally attribute all these characteristics. We also probably know people we don’t like to which we attribute all these as well. I could probably phrase this last case better by saying that more than disliking them, we just wouldn’t want to emulate them, or be like them, because it’s not all in our character.

So how do you balance the traits of the rugged individualist with high confidence and sense of control, always charging forward as a doer, a leader, with the call to be grateful of the gifts you have received that have allowed you to be like this? Well, you ask for further gifts. You ask to be humble regardless of your level of success. You ask to be free from self-absorption and free from addiction to protagonism. You ask to be free from ambivalence. The fact that you point your mind forward or up high does not mean that you can’t be grounded with the tasks at hand in your daily dealings. And you ask for two more gifts, which go back to one of our early lessons in the accelerator boot-camp. You ask to continue to be a dreamer, and you ask not to lose the capacity to wonder, to stand in awe of people and things and events around you, no matter how simple or taken-for-granted we have made them to be. All of these are, in combination, some of the most important traits that built our civilization and continue to lift it, through entrepreneurship.

As a parting message to all our readers, until we reconnect in January, all of us at the Innovation Hub wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas Holiday and a Happy New Year!

Our View from the Top – December 18, 2018