“Creating innovators” -Another piece to our puzzle of entrepreneurial leadership.

This weekend in the Wall Street Journal, Tony Wagner adds another piece to our puzzle for how to develop entrepreneurial leaders. While Wagner’s focus is on preparing students to become innovators (the title of his new book is Creating Innovators:  The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World), his scheme is quite similar to that of entrepreneurial leadership.  Wagner emphasizes the importance of what he terms the three P’s: play, purpose, and passion.  The three P’s maps directly to the three principles of entrepreneurial leadership –we just weren’t creative enough to come up with the simple terminology! I expect to use it (of course with proper citation) as we go forward in our discussions of entrepreneurial leaderhsip.

While I haven’t read Wagner’s book yet as it will take 2 days to arrive from Amazon prime, I believe from the WSJ article and the excerpt on Amazonis that we are all arguing for the same thing –a new educational system that enables us to develop leaders and innovators who are engaged and pursuing opportunity that will change this world.   While not surprising, it was disheartening to hear Wagner state that “young Americans learn how to innovate most often despite their schooling.”  I would argue that the entrepreneurial leaders we have interviewed would say the same thing about their business school education.  Primary and secondary education, along with colleges and business schools, need to reenvision our educational approach to provide students more opportunities to act their way into situations through hands on experiences and to teach students to rely on their values and passions to guide their actions, their innovations, and their education.  There is a lot of work to be done, as entrepreneurial leaders we need to just get started taking action with our children, in our classrooms, and in leading educational reform.