• Share

The concept of entrepreneurship is usually associated with launching and building a business, but as you will see from this edition of Exceptional, some of the most entrepreneurial business leaders have never started a company.

So how are they entrepreneurial?

Entrepreneurship is a dynamic mindset, and those who possess it are bold enough to identify opportunities, seek out growth markets and overcome risk. True entrepreneurs are born innovators, learning from successes and failures. And they always push through.

In this issue, we meet two strong leaders who have redefined existing companies by embedding innovation throughout their organizations.

Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup Company, explains how developing innovation teams, bringing new products to market and engaging with younger consumers helped her reinvent the 144-year-old iconic food brand.

HSNi’s Mindy Grossman, a turnaround force in the world of home shopping, reflects on how she addressed the adversity she faced in taking over the company and transformed HSNi into an upscale retail empire.

The ability to manage uncertainty is another vital quality of an entrepreneur. When Avinoam Nowogrodski’s software start-up, Clarizen, almost went under in 2008, this ability allowed him to turn his business around.

Another entrepreneur, Lyndon Rive, operates in the volatile cleantech industry, where his company, SolarCity, is thriving because of, rather than despite, its unconventional business model.

A level of confidence has returned to the markets after a tumultuous period, and more companies are taking advantage of market optimism and going public. According to a global EY survey of institutional investors, good-quality companies, priced at the right level, run by the right team and with a good story to tell, will always command the attention of the capital markets.

Joseph Bryant, who founded oil exploration company Cobalt International Energy, talks about how he built this risky business and the lessons he learned from a tough IPO. We also speak with Bris Rocher, whose chief concern at French cosmetics company Yves Rocher is the continued integration of sustainable development.

We meet Fieldglass CEO Jai Shekhawat, whose focus is on building a sustainable competitive advantage, rather than offering something completely new. Meanwhile, serial entrepreneur Robert Herjavec talks about his journey toward cybersecurity domination at The Herjavec Group.

To round out the issue, we’ve included some cherished wisdom from some of the EY National Entrepreneur Of The Year® judges, plus an analysis of how the Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro won what is effectively one of the biggest RFPs in the world – the bid to stage the Olympic Games.

Finally, meet our new Chairman and CEO, Mark Weinberger, this issue’s guest columnist. He discusses the challenges facing entrepreneurs today and why he is putting the mission of “building a better working world” at the heart of EY.

Outstanding entrepreneurs are often lifelong learners who seize upon the wisdom of others. Our featured executives and award-winning entrepreneurs share the advice that guides their decision-making and determines the values they infuse in their companies. It’s interesting how many cherish the wisdom of their parents and how they have used their advice to reach new heights in business.

We hope you enjoy this edition of Exceptional and are inspired by the vibrant personalities and rich experiences of the entrepreneurial business leaders we feature.


Exceptional magazine: Americas edition, July 2013 Download the July-December 2013 Americas issue of Exceptional as a printable document.