25 Jun Leadership & Entrepreneurship in Ireland – Day Eleven

The teams are back to work today, and we received terrific feedback from the Wavebob CEO on the work of the Dublin Team!  I will be with the Belfast Team tomorrow when they present their final findings and recommendation to the Maildistiller CEO.

The students and I were discussing how failure is viewed culturally here in Ireland.  I am not sure if what we’ve heard is widespread opinion or not, but whereas in America entrepreneurship is looked at quite nobly, and failure is viewed as a learning event, failure here seems to be considered more a permanent black mark.  We’ll have to speak with more people to see if that’s a majority perspective, and whether it’s changing as Enterprise Ireland and others are encouraging young people to venture out.

A good friend here often says, “Life ain’t a dress rehearsal,” and in the pub tonight, another fellow said, “You only get one lap around.”  Those sentiments aren’t consistent with a culture that doesn’t accept risk and failure.  There is great pride here in the industrial history, technical savvy, and innovation that make Ireland’s labor highly desirable.  I still see large gaps in the “commercialization” side of things, and in the understanding of how strategic branding can be an extremely powerful competence.  I believe more strongly than ever that Colorado is well positioned to leverage the unique strengths of the Irish professional due to complementary skills, similar values with regard to self-reliance, and a common sense of pride and work ethic.

There’s much more to be said about the ever-changing political climate here, but to get it right, one needs more space than a blog posting to insure that nothing is taken out of context or misconstrued.  Interesting times here in Ireland, and the Queen’s visit over the next few days should provide to be historic, and enlightening as to what it will say about where things are, and where they’re headed.  I ran 5 miles this morning in Derry, which included crossing the Peace Bridge.  The bridge represents much more than a passage over the River Foyle, it’s a bridge that would have been impossible to cross even if it had existed just a few years ago.

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