Ten Commandments for Intrepeneurs

I have the distinct pleasure to be taking a Corporate Governance course this semester at UT with two of the most accomplished men I've encountered. They are Shelby Carter and William H. Cunningham. I can’t find a good profile on Mr. Cunningham but he is only the 2nd man in history to be the Dean of a UT school, President of the University, and Chancellor of the UT School system. He sits on the board of directors for several fortune 500 companies and is brilliant.

This past week Mr. Carter provided us some insight into his Ten Commandmants for an Intrepreneur. An intrepreneur is similar to an entrepreneur but they operate within a company as opposed to creating one. This is the first time I've heard that term but I really identify with it. In some ways I think the intrepreneurial opportunity is more exciting than the entrepreneurial one because of the scale on which you can operate. I've been asked many times over the past couple of rough years for Sun why I am still here. My answer has always been the same. How many times do you see a > $10 billion company with 30,000+ bright people and an $180 billion install base reinvent itself? I would rather be inside that company, helping to make the turnaround happen, than on the outside watching it happen.

Here are Shelby Carter's top 10 commandments for the Intrepeneur (yes I know there are 11 of them):

  1. Come to work every day willing to be fired.
  2. Circumvent any orders aimed at stopping your dream.
  3. Do any job needed to make a project work.
  4. Find people to help you.
  5. Follow your intuition about the people you choose and only work with the best.
  6. Fair is only for children.
  7. Work underground as long as you can. Complicity will only wake up the corporate immune system.
  8. Never bet on a race unless you are running it.
  9. It is easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.
  10. Be true to your goals, but be realistic about how you're going to meet them.
  11. Honor your sponsors, if they're betting on you, then you must back them.

I’m learning a lot from both Mr. Carter and Mr. Cunningham and will provide more later.

Comments:

We were looking up doctors and found a Shelby Carter III...and doing a larger search to see if he happened to be the son of the professor I had at UT I also ran across your blog.. I had Shelby Jr for Marketing and Leadership classes in the UT MBA program... he was, and still is, one of my favorites professors. Ask him how the old ticker is doing.. last I heard he had a bypass a few years ago..

Posted by dave tuttle on May 20, 2005 at 05:05 PM CDT #

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