Monday, March 03, 2008

Best-Ever Entrepreneurship Quotes, Week 75

And now the 75th entry in our series of motivational quotes.

Well, this one may be more insightful than inspirational. Today Conrad Black goes to prison. To mark the occasion, here's a quote about Black from former journalist John Fraser, now master of Massey College in Toronto, who was Black's classmate at Upper Canada College in the late 1950s.

"Childhood was a prison for him. I remember Conrad as someone whose head was practically splitting because he was so impatient to get out into the real world and away from this nonsense of a boys' school."

"My earliest memory of [Black] would be in about grade six and how terribly, terribly conscious he was of wealth and power," recalls Fraser. "He was constantly sketching scenarios for taking over the college."

UCC eventually expelled Black for stealing exam papers and selling copies to other students.

Fraser's quotes were compiled by biographer Peter C. Newman in his 1998 book, The Titans. Although Newman has always lionized Black, sometimes he saw cleaarly. In the same book, Newman observed that Black "seems unable to take a single step that isn't aimed at his personal or corporate aggrandizement."

The best entrepreneurs I know all have egos. They are eager to make their own mark. But they don't try to subvert institutions they don't like. And they take pride in advancing the interests of customers, employees and partners, not just their own.

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