Edited by Léo-Paul Dana
Chapter 3: Women in International Entrepreneurship
Nancy J. Adler* I used to question what executive coaches brought to entrepreneurial clients that the entrepreneurs had not already learned from their own experience.1 I now understand that the answer is perspective – a perspective beyond their own experience or that of their own company or culture. Given my background, I almost always have the opportunity to reframe issues from a broader, global perspective. More frequently, today, I have the opportunity to reframe business realities that have previously been appreciated primarily from a man’s point of view into possibilities as seen from both women’s and men’s perspectives. Part of bringing a broader perspective is oﬀering a context of meaning beyond each entrepreneur’s speciﬁc position, company and industry. By quietly asking questions that are beyond the bottom line, coaching dialogues oﬀer opportunities to entrepreneurs to consider more consciously the types of contributions they are making to their company and to choose the kinds of contributions they would like to be making to society. Such questions as these often appear unbusinesslike, and therefore illegitimate, when taken out of the privacy of the coaching dialogue: ● ● ● What does success mean to you? In which ways is your work beneﬁting society? Why would your children be proudest to tell their children about what you have accomplished? In the public glare of business-as-usual, such questions frequently fail to appear suﬃciently pragmatic to warrant an entrepreneur’s time. And yet the conversations, reﬂection and learning that such questions generate often bring soul,...
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