26 May Leadership & Entrepreneurship in Ireland – and so we begin
Today we moved from the hotel in Dublin to the University College of Dublin campus where the students were treated to a series of guest lectures/discussions.
Our first guest was Andrew Parish who worked with students in 2012. He works with start-ups and the IP Activation Group, and working to raise their own venture fund. He imparted many lessons learned from successes and setbacks, and his telling of Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “If,” was quite compelling (see below). He said, “You can never not communicate,” and cautioned the students about being less than honest when “accentuating the positive.”
We were privileged to hear from Professor Patrick Cunningham on the founding and success of Identigen – a leading provider of DNA-based solutions to the agri-food industry with operations in Ireland, UK, USA and Canada. Professor Cunningham’s advice to the students was to be dependable in any venture they undertake.
Paul Byrne from Trintech was a guest once again, and shared that innovation is what drives business, and that the leadership challenge to foster this culture. He defined leadership as not what you do, but what people will do for you. His primary tools are asking why; and why not?
Peter Lennox joined us from Enterprise Ireland, and provided a great overview of the government’s vital role for bringing investments to Ireland, and for supporting export oriented businesses.
As in the past, Kieran Daly enlightened us with the challenges of entrepreneurship while talking about the importance of passion in one’s work. Kieran is wearing multiple hats these days as Chairperson at BioBusiness, Research Advisor at Health XL, Mentor with EI, and starting HealthBeacon. He emphasized to the students that adaptability is key for the type of people he finds to be successful in entrepreneurial environments.
We had a few great discussions about leadership in between the guest today, and the students were engaged, enthusiastic, and energetic. We also viewed a great example of passionate leadership from the film, “Lincoln” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zym58tsKmbI.
If— by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!