When Gordon Bernhardt asked me to consider writing a foreword to his next volume in his successful Profiles in Success series, I was of course honored, but I was also secretly thrilled. It was nice to be asked to assist with — even a small way — a publication of a book that teaches and inspires; and better yet, furthers and strengthens the art and practice of entrepreneurship.
Having been actively involved with entrepreneurship for more than 20 years, serving as CEO for more than a decade for both the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and the Chief Executives Organization (CEO), I have enjoyed the great privilege of working with thousands of entrepreneurs — both emerging and veteran — from around the globe. I have seen from both a distance, and up close from inside the trenches, how entrepreneurial businesses start and grow and what it takes to be successful. I have seen enterprises of every size, shape and color and have witnessed and celebrated countless winning success stories and mourned with friends over some heart-breaking losses. I am grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to witness that keen entrepreneurial spirit living vibrant and well in businesses founders and watched with awe their total and complete commitment, perseverance and sacrifice to the task.
My career has afforded me the opportunity to amass a significant knowledge base about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship, and what I have learned is that is all about peer learning and sharing of ideas. What has been confirmed time after time is that peer-to-peer learning from shared experiences and lessons learned is the key. Today’s entrepreneurs don’t learn how to establish and run a business by hearing a lecture, reading a text book, or attending a business class. Maybe it’s because entrepreneurs are wired differently, but whatever the reason, it’s clear to me that they learn from hearing how others have handled similar situations and what they did to overcome specific challenges. And by getting feedback and answering questions when sharing your own experiences provides even further assistance when it’s time to weather even more complicated business management storms.
That’s why I love Gordon’s books and applaud their value. Gaining insight by reading these profiles is just like hearing the stories straight from the individuals themselves. Gordon has captured some phenomenal anecdotes about many of the best and brightest business leaders in the Washington, D.C. region. His smart interview process garners the most interesting and intriguing facts about enterprising CEOs which offer lots of valuable nuggets of really useful information. He’s also savvy enough to capture the personal side of these leaders so we truly understand what they’re about, how they achieved success, and what it took for them to get where they are today.
Profiles in Success is not only entertaining, but a great book for entrepreneurs and business owners because it provides more than an insightful glimpse into the thought process leading up to ground-making moments. This country was built on entrepreneurship, and we will only continue to prosper which the emergence of more innovative entrepreneurs into the next generations. The Profiles in Leadership series is nothing less than brilliant. It provides an intimate view of noted strong leaders whose impressive accomplishments in business, family and philanthropy will act as inspiration for the new and upcoming entrepreneurs, who will carry the torch forward into the future.
Founder and CEO
The Biondi Group LLC
Brien Biondi, CPA, MBA, is the founder and CEO of The Biondi Group, facilitating business development by leveraging a global network created over more than 20 years of working with CEOs around the world. Biondi’s C-level consulting includes strategy, advising high-level management teams, raising capital, engineering organizational turn-arounds, and improving corporate culture. Biondi was previously the president and COO of the League Asset Corp., Executive Director of Chief Executives’ Organization, and CEO of Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Biondi serves or has served on the boards for: Junior Achievement’s Strategic Planning Task Force, the National Governors’ Association Entrepreneurship Advisory Group, the Research Institute for Small and Emerging Business, Social Entrepreneur Awareness for Change, The Advanced Management Institute, and the Greater Washington Area Board of Directors of The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship. He has been featured in numerous media outlets and was selected as one of three national finalists in the 2002 and 2003 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards “Support of Entrepreneurship” category.