20 years ago October, Allison Wright handed over her Stampede Crown and began a career with the Calgary Stampede. Starting in the accounting department, she got a grasp on the numbers of running a year round facility and The Greatest Show on Earth. Over the years Allison has held a number of positions in Agriculture Programming and now heads up the Mid-way portfolio. She describes her responsibility as “The guest experience from Gates to Corndogs and everything in between.” For ten days each year Allison’s team grows from 4 to over 800. How do you manage the commitment of that size? Well Allison believes you need to be an adrenalin junkie and love chaos.
“There is no free ride. From the moment you get on your horse to the minute you get off, you are working and doing something, you are never just sitting.
Leaders are the same, there is no time when you are just present without really being there, just occupying the chair.” Eva Friesen
“Is being Lucky to do what you love the end game? Or is it the process”
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing that makes you good.” Malcolm Gladwell
She was certain she had the spelling right! At seventeen, it was Marie’s first job and she wanted to impress her boss with the care she put into the notes she was transcribing. It was possible Andre Preneur simply had an unlisted number.
Leave an impression she did, her boss roared with laughter. Andre was not the focus of discussion but rather the qualities of an entrepreneur had been.
Marie Delorme shared the story of Andre Preneur at her Famous 5 Foundation presentation over two years ago. Marie did not pursue a career as a legal secretary but has built two businesses under The ImagiNATION Group and this summer proudly accepted a PhD. Marie’s list of accomplishments is long, her presence in the community profound and influence on many young entrepreneurs great.
There was much about her presentation that caught my attention. While our connections fit around her many commitments and busy travel schedule, the idea of AndrePreneur lives on, after all I have become one.
One of 81 individuals representing companies from all over Alberta I had the honour of being nominated for the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards (EOY). It was a humbling experience to be amoung such talent.
The wonderful evening event, a certificate and the encouragement to apply again next year are but a start, the recognition goes beyond the nomination. It confirmed what The Natural Leader offers does make a difference.
What became clear through the process is the definition of an Entrepreneur for the Ernst & Young program is based on shareholder return and projected corporate growth. The motivation for what I am doing is intentional but combines my talent and knowledge towards creating a viable living where passion before profit prevails. The Natural Leader best fits within the growing numbers of Lifestyle Entrepreneurs.
There was much to model my business after when The Natural Leader began, though little that related directly to what I do. So I created what wasn’t there. The influence we have continues to make inroads as the number of programs delivered grows annually and the distribution of the workbooks I have created is global.
My definition of entrepreneurship may not fit with the EOY program it marries brilliantly with one conceived 37 years ago by an Harvard Business School profession Howard Stevenson. Referenced in January 2012 by Eric Schurenberg of Inc.com “Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.”. The nomination may have produced a piece of paper but the idea has fueled my desire.
The success of The Natural Leader has been dependent on many. I have managed to partner with some incredibly talented people who share my vision, the passion and the opportunity the work provides. For those who continue to read these, sometimes not so monthly, newsletters Thank You. Thank you for continuing to believe what I am doing can make a difference and for allowing me to share my AndrePreneur moment. It is one of the few resources that I can offer freely.