Entrepreneurial Leadership, Wherefore Art Thou?

Categories: Executive Council,Leadership,Reflection


The culture of any church, school, community, family, government, etc., is a social structure of shared values that bind its members together in a way that promotes the health and sustainability of the entire society. Those shared values are the filter through which all of the most important decisions guiding the way we treat each other are passed. That filter provides consistency, stability and a confidence in its members that there will always be an equal application of fairness and justice.

There have always been entrepreneurial leaders in each of these societies that, for the most part, have modeled those shared values in a way that reinforces and sustains the culture. However, in the last few years (especially since the financial collapse of the country in 2008), there has been a slow, cultural deterioration among the entrepreneurial leadership of our country, producing a gap that grows wider with each passing year, especially with each passing election cycle.

I’ve watched an amazing phenomenon this election year with curiosity and dismay combined! Instead of the leadership influencing the masses, I’ve watched the masses influence the leadership in a way unlike any time in our history. I’ve watched some leaders (desiring power and recognition so badly) change position on their beliefs and values to such a degree that I’m not sure even they know what they stand for anymore. The example they set for the entrepreneurial leaders in our society, especially the young and upcoming, is of significant concern to me.

By my own admission, I look at the world mostly through the lens of leadership based upon the values that I learned first from my parents, second from the church, and third from a multitude of leaders, who shared the same values with a consistency that was unwavering. It was from these values-based mentors that I learned a brand of entrepreneurial leadership that I find very rare today. The underlying glue that binds that consistency is leadership that stands in the gap, regardless of challenge or crisis, and refuses to sacrifice their core values, not only for their sake, but for the sake of the masses.

That kind of values-based, entrepreneurial leadership is being required, mentored and nurtured here at Enactus and I’ve been proud to be a part of this program for the majority of my career. Students, who come through Enactus, are making a commitment to step to a higher standard than their peers; to invest in not only their education, but to acquire an understanding of what true, entrepreneurial servant leadership is really all about. I’m quite certain there will be entrepreneurs of tomorrow, who will significantly influence the direction of our country and the course of history as a result of the values-based culture grounded in faith and spirituality that is being reinforced and lived out by these students every day. After all, that is what Enactus is really all about!


Maxie Carpenter




Maxie Carpenter, currently serves as one of ten Executive Council members. The Executive Council gives guidance to the Officer team to help them with the administration of the team. Maxie was formerly Vice President of the People & Training/Development Divisions for Wal-Mart Stores. Since retiring in 2000, he’s been an independent consultant assisting individuals and organizations across the country with process management and development.






Author: EnactusJBU

Seeing Opportunities - Taking Action - Enabling Progress

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