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Life Entrepreneurs: Ordinary People Creating Extraordinary Lives (Warren Bennis Signature Series)by Christopher Gergen
Synopses & Reviews
Ordinary people creating extraordinary lives. Leaders excelling through the power of entrepreneurship. Rising generations taking command of their lives and work by integrating them. But how?
Life Entrepreneurs is an uplifting and practical guide for enriching our quality of life and revving up our work through the dynamic force of entrepreneurial leadership.
A new type of leader is emerging: people who apply their vision, talents, creativity, and energy not only to their work but to their entire lives, changing the world for themselves and those around them. These people are not just living their lives—they're leading them. Welcome to the territory of life entrepreneurs.
In this book, successful entrepreneurs Christopher Gergen and Gregg Vanourek draw on interviews with fifty-five leading entrepreneurs worldwide as well as on the wisdom of multiple thought leaders to provide practical strategies, concrete frameworks, vivid examples, and moving vignettes for leading a life of adventure, service, and purpose.
Today, people are looking for opportunity, challenge, and the chance to develop their talents, achieve success, and make an impact. But they are also looking for a rich home life, rewarding friendships, an active lifestyle, and deeper fulfillment. Life entrepreneurs are able to thrive in all these realms by proactively taking the following steps:
Life Entrepreneurs is filled with inspiring stories and practical strategies for integrating life, work, and purpose, and captures the implications of today's entrepreneurial boom for our workplaces, learning institutions, communities, and families. Whether you're an emerging or established leader—or a person experiencing significant changes and seeking direction—this is a vital read.
Book News Annotation:
Consultants Gergen and Vanourek offer dozens of examples of people who started their own businesses for the best of reasons: they wanted to do the right thing for others and themselves. In many cases the entrepreneurs responded to real-life situations and opportunities and applied solutions they could successfully market without giving up their personal lives. Gergen and Vanourek detail how these ordinary people came to understand life entrepreneurship, how they discovered and worked with their core identities, how they developed goals and strategies after they envisioned the future, how they built a healthy support system, how they chose which actions to take, and how they came to embrace renewal and reinvention. Jossey-Bass is an imprint of Wiley. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A generation of life entrepreneurs is emerging: people who apply their vision, talents, and energy not only to their work but to their entire lives. Successful entrepreneurs Gergen and Vanourek provide examples and strategies for how to rev up work and play through entrepreneurial leadership.
"An inspirational and practical guide for anyone who wants to incorporate the dynamic skills of entrepreneurs into their own lives and work.
A new generation of "life entrepreneurs" is emerging: people who apply their vision, talents, creativity, and energy not only to their work but to their entire lives, changing the world for themselves and those around them. In this book, successful entrepreneurs Christopher Gergen and Gregg Vanourek draw on numerous interviews with fifty-five leading entrepreneurs worldwide as well as the wisdom of multiple thought leaders to provide vivid examples, moving vignettes, concrete frameworks, and practical strategies for revving up our work and play through entrepreneurial leadership. This book starts by providing strategies for integrating life, work, and purpose and ends by capturing the implications of the current entrepreneurial boom for our workplaces, learning institutions, communities, and families.
Christopher Gergen (Washington, D.C.) is a founding partner of New Mountain Ventures, co-founder and chairman of SMARTHINKING, Adjunct Professor and Director of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative at Duke University, and a life-long entrepreneur,
Gregg Vanourek (Thornton, CO) is a founding partner of New Mountain Ventures, former CEO of Vanourek Consulting Solutions, and former Senior Vice President of School Development for K12 Inc."
Praise for Life Entrepreneurs
"Pick up this book and read it. It might change your life."—Stephen R. Covey, best-selling author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People andThe 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness
"Business leaders and entrepreneurs alike will greatly benefit from Life Entrepreneurs. It captures the essential qualities of leadership. I highly recommend it."—Howard Schultz, chairman, Starbucks Coffee Company
"Provocative reading . . . an intriguing, challenging guide for the next generation of leaders."—Wendy Kopp, president and founder, Teach for America
"Gergen and Vanourek have done a spectacular job shining a light on a new approach to professional success and personal fulfillment . . . belongs on the nightstand of every thoughtful businessperson in America."—Daniel H. Pink, New York Times best-selling author, A Whole New Mind and Free Agent Nation
"A fresh and vital approach to life and career planning. The book speaks directly to the younger generations of Americans who increasingly reject pigeon-holed and segmented careers. I highly recommend the book to anyone who is seeking The Good Life."—James O'Toole, author, Creating the Good Life
"At last, a powerful guide to integrating life, work, purpose, and work-life balance . . . that will make a difference in the lives of leaders at every level. A great gift."—Frances Hesselbein, chairman, Leader to Leader Institute; former CEO, Girl Scouts of America
"This book is true, smart, honest, hopeful, and helpful. Here's the good news: entrepreneurship isn't just a way of making a living—it's a way of life. Buy this book, read it, and then do it!"—Alan M. Webber, co-founding editor, Fast Company magazine; former editorial director, Harvard Business Review
About the Author
Christopher Gergen is a founding partner of New Mountain Ventures and a lifelong entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and chairman of SMARTHINKING, the leading provider of online tutoring in the U.S. He is also a visiting lecturer and director of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative in the Hart Leadership Program at Duke University. Christopher lives with his wife and two children in Washington, D.C.
Gregg Vanourek is a founding partner of New Mountain Ventures. Previously, he ran Vanourek Consulting Solutions and served as senior vice president of School Development for K12 Inc., and vice president for Programs at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. He is coauthor of Charter Schools in Action and lives with his wife and daughter in Denver, Colorado.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Warren Bennis.
PART I: SURVEYING THE LANDSCAPE.
1. Understanding Life Entrepreneurship.
2. Life Entrepreneurs in Action.
3. Discovering Core Identity.
PART II: PREPARING FOR THE JOURNEY.
4. Awakening to Opportunity.
5. Envisioning the Future.
6. Developing Goals and Strategies.
PART III: BLAZING A TRAIL.
7. Building Healthy Support Systems.
8. Taking Action and Making a Difference.
9. Embracing Renewal and Reinvention.
Conclusion: Creating a New Future.
Appendix A: Life Entrepreneurship Primer.
Appendix B: Exercises and Helpful Resources.
Appendix C: List of Interviews.
Appendix D: Interview Methodology.
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