We're All Entrepreneurs Now
I speak of course of the NFL Players Association agreement with management. Now we can get on with our lives, our liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, at least every Sunday. As to that other issue, raising the national credit card limit from $14.3 trillion to, well, whatever is more than that, of course, that will have to wait.
As the world watches in amazement and/or horror on MMTV (minute-to-minute television), we have seven, that's seven, plans on the table. We have Reid and Boehner and CCB and McConnell and G6, the Grand Bargain and The Can (as in kick it). All but The Can have been pronounced as non-starters by one side or the other. And that will be vetoed by the President, he says, if Congress dares to pass it in the emergency which is already upon us.
What goes on here?
Deadlines have a way of providing focus, particularly when played out in the stark sight, sound and motion of television, as we watch much of the posturing give way to bottom line positions. And now we have the bottom line. It's the length of the deal. It's always been about the length of the deal. One side insists on an extension through 2012. The other side on a multistep process that insures we argue about this again, in the heart of the election season of 2012. Which, of course, will be the ultimate TV show.
There you have it. And with that clarity, let's understand the depth of the trouble we're in. Our negotiators have now exposed the motives underlying their by-the-poll positions, and it is likely to have a similar effect: to default itself. That means interest rates rise, credit becomes even scarcer, the business environment gets more difficult. And it's not a walk in the park now.
So what do we do? For those who have not yet made the mental adjustment, we're on our own. No help is coming to save the day. If we toil at IBM or for a garage start up, we're all entrepreneurs now.
Joseph Schumpeter, an economist and political scientist, was "a champion of innovation and entrepreneurship," according to The Economist magazine. From entrepreneurs, or "wild spirits" as he called them, come changes in a nation. He believed that these individuals are the ones who make things work. He said an entrepreneur "disturbs equilibrium" and is the prime cause of economic development. And he did not confine his view of the entrepreneur to individuals in new enterprises. He said that innovation also comes from the large companies that have the resources to invest in R&D which drives innovation.
There is one more characteristic of the entrepreneur. It is leadership.
Leadership means the willingness not just to innovate or launch a new enterprise or a new idea, but to accept responsibility for the outcome. It is to be accountable.
All change begins with attitude change. It may be an odd time to think about the opportunities ahead of us, because the challenges appear so daunting. But that's when the largest gains are made. That's when the game is won.
It is now up to all of us to disturb some equilibrium.