Byron's Babbles

Significance Through Social Entrepreneurship

Posted in Coaching, Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on October 18, 2015

Social-EntrepreneurshipIt is hard to believe there are only 10 lessons left in A Year With Peter Drucker (Maciariello, 2014) after this week’s entry. This means a couple of things: I am about to finish a book that has inspired a great deal of thought and action in me; and, we are only 10 weeks away from closing out 2015. This week’s lesson reminded me of the entrepreneurial spirit that brought about the social civil society we now have in the United States. The Salvation Army, CARE, Alcoholics Anonymous, Red Cross, Girl Scouts, and Lions club were all organized as the result of a service oriented entrepreneur recognizing a social need. In 2011 there were approximately 1.6 million tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organizations in our great country. This 1.6 million was made up of private charities, private foundations, and religious institutions (Maciariello, 2014). Clearly social innovations is one of the distinguishing characteristics of American society.

changeseeDrucker (Maciariello, 2014) advised us that an opportunity set exists for successful leaders in the second half of life to create significance. If leaders, according to Drucker (Maciariello, 2014), have a develop a narrow focus they can find opportunities for utilizing their gifts in their communities, states, nation, and the world. To do this we need to analyze our own strengths, weaknesses, and core values. Drucker (2014) also spoke of how systematic innovation can be found when he said, “The unexpected – the unexpected success, the unexpected failure, the unexpected outside event; the incongruity – between reality as it actually is and reality as it is assumed to be or as it ‘ought to be’; innovation based on process need; changes in industry structure or market structure that catch everyone unawares. The second set of sources for innovative opportunity involve changes outside the enterprise or industry: demographics (population changes);  changes in perception, mood, and meaning; new knowledge, both scientific and nonscientific (p. 333).” When reflecting on the lessons of Peter Drucker I was reminded of how Duke University was founded. Back in the 1920s, James P. Duke wanted to build a medical school and a hospital to provide medical resources, including doctors, to the Carolinas. Today, Duke University provides a place for extraordinary academic learning and research. This is accomplished through undergraduate and graduate schools, research centers and a variety of international programs. In Mr. Duke’s vision, leadership also involved harnessing the power of higher learning for the larger social good to meet the world’s great needs. Duke University is now widely recognized for its pioneering leadership in social entrepreneurship education, having provided essential and important legitimacy for the field by producing and facilitating academic research that has defined, informed, and advanced the field, and having delivered high quality courses to undergraduates and graduate and professional students eager to learn about the field. This is a pretty outstanding example of successful social entrepreneurship if you ask me. IMG_0640

We all need to take some time, especially as we reach halftime, to think about our “opportunity set” and what we need to learn to make a significant commitment, thus, ensuring a probability of success.


Maciariello, J. A. (2014). A year with Peter Drucker: 52 weeks of coaching for leadership effectiveness. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.


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