Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Update on Stephen Ashley

It isn't an easy time to be Stephen B. Ashley. Ashley is currently serving as the Chairman of the Board for Fannie Mae - which is in the middle of a $11-billion accounting investigation which will ultimately result in the one of the largest restatements of earnings in United States corporate history.

On June 15th, Ashley testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. To read his speech, click here.

Months prior to his testimony though, Ashley spoke to a graduate-level class at Cornell University where he discussed the history of Fannie Mae and shared thoughts on the future of the mortgage industry and housing trends. He also shared a very valuable piece of advice:

"I want to tell you, if you look at the companies and the businesses and the politicians that have gotten into problems, it usually comes back to some of that core value where you get off the track on your internal gyroscope - what's right, what's wrong - and begin to think that you're the smartest person in the room and you don't have time to listen to anybody else. If you don't remember anything else from my talk today, I ask you to remember that, because it does matter...those things do matter."

View this clip in the Ashley lecture that is part of the eClips collection.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

What Makes An Entrepreneur Tick?

Rich Karlgaard wrote an interesting editorial in the June 19th, 2006 issue of Forbes. In the article, Karlgaard discusses two books which outline the core characteristics of the entrepreneur. One of the books, "The Hypomaniac Edge: The Link Between (A Little) Craziness and (A Lot of) Success In America" is by John D. Gartner and essentially states that American entrepreneurs have a condition of "hypomania" which causes them to to be "brimming with infectious energy, irrational confidence and really big ideas".

Read Karlgaard's article, Blessed Are the Hypomanic.

While we haven't tagged any of the entrepreneurs featured in eClips as being "hypomanic", we have noticed that these folks do continually mention specific traits such as being "risk-takers", "passionate", "decision-makers" and "visionary" that are core to the success of an entrepreneur.

Look at the list for yourself in the eClips theme section, Life As An Entrepreneur.