We all know Israel as the favorite destination of Filipinos for pilgrimage, but not too many of us know that this tiny country, almost the size of New Jersey, has the highest percentage of business start-ups per capita worldwide.
For many years, it was believed that, because everybody in the country is required to serve in its Armed Forces and, therefore, acquire the all-important values hinged on discipline, the citizens develop an entrepreneurial mindset. That’s partly correct. More important are the personality traits that Israelis practice and nurture from a very young age—traits like risk-taking, creativity, resourcefulness, and teamwork.
The Oxford dictionary defines “chutzpah” (a Yiddish word that sounds like “foot spa”) as “extreme self-confidence or audacity.” Although some may affix a negative connotation to the word, having chutzpah actually provides one the opportunity to constantly practice the soft skills that the World Economic Forum describes as the skills for the future.
Chutzpah offers proven strategies for success to aspiring entrepreneurs, business executives, innovators, parents, and policymakers. In our ever-changing business climate, whether you are a successful entrepreneur or a business executive, whether you work independently or for others, whether you are young or more experienced, it is always important to have chutzpah.
Not too long ago, the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines invited Madame Inbal Arieli to talk about her bestseller book, Chutzpah, which has earned international editions distributed in South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
Born in Israel and raised on hummus and, of course, chutzpah, she fostered her entrepreneurial skills during her mandatory military service, serving as lieutenant in the Israeli Defense Forces’ elite intelligence corps. After completing her military duties, and for the past twenty-plus years, she tackled leading executive roles in the flourishing Israeli tech sector and has founded a series of programs for innovators, used in enterprises where she currently holds board seats. She is the founder of Synthesis, a global leadership assessment firm.
Arieli lectures widely to business and government leaders around the world, analyzing and discussing the most critical leadership skills, based on how Israeli culture breeds risk-taking and entrepreneurship. Her book takes one on a journey of the Israeli childhood, from infancy to military service, showcasing the unique entrepreneurial DNA of the Israelis.
Although some people do not believe that one’s experience in military service has a place in running a business, Arieli believes it has. She banners her mandatory stint in the military, combined with 20 years of business experience, as having brought her to the conclusion that the mindset of being in the armed forces can and should be applied to innovative businesses that make good use of the characteristics of the team and those of the organizational structure.
Others see Arieli’s book as something that could empower children to become leaders by instilling the entrepreneurial spirit in them at such an early age. But most of us could discover and strengthen our own soft skills that are badly needed at this time when we have to rebuild our businesses and ourselves from the devastation brought about by this pandemic.
Now is the time to find and nurture our own chutzpah. Inbal Arieli says, “Creativity isn’t about ‘thinking outside the box.’ It’s having the Chutzpah to imagine a box-less world.”
Her book is available at Amazon or through Brian.Perrin@harpercollins.com
YOUR MONDAY CHUCKLE
Why is it that the time of the day with the slowest traffic is called Rush Hour?
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