Larry King said that being a great interviewer was very difficult and when the CNN "talent" was in the same room with the "suits", you could see why talent was paid the big bucks. Ron Close, entrepreneur and star professor at Ivey, is one of those rare "suits" who also is talented at bringing out the real lessons of how much it takes to be an entrepreneur. He has inspired me to keep pushing the rock up the hill and did so again when he interviewed Anton Rabie, founder of Spin Masters, at IBK Ivey Business Plan competition.
Ron asked, "What book works for you?"
When Anton replied, "Richard Bransom's Screw It, Let's Do It," Ron insisted on going deeper.
"Yeah, the 9 Rules that are great to turn back to but which one is the top rule for you, Anton?"
And here we got to learn that this entrepreneur how much he spends understanding himself, working to develop his strengths and deal with his weaknesses. Anton told us he writes down his mistakes he makes and looks at these to remind himself.
I really dug that because we have such a culture of "think you are great and you WILL be great."
Taking the time to write down your mistakes and go back and review these does make you grow. It gives you something to do with your issues and let's these become valuable lessons learnt.
In my creative writing sessions at Humber, I write down what people have said are problems with my story. When I read these points months later, only then do I get the lessons. Applying it to business makes sense.
Anton also does 360's with his staff which is bold, brave and builds a high trust culture. He will not have The Emporer's Clothes syndrome where he is surrounded by "yes" men, telling him what he wants to hear. I would find Anton scary to work for but also incredibly stimulating. Ron Close gave us the opportunity of hearing the inside workings of building a business, warts and all.