The “Singing Revolution”
ERNIE LOVE Ph.D
THE 2009 SPECIAL EDITION! $5.00E
Capricorn (December—January 19) Up and down, Up and down. You’re on a see-saw. If you don’t want to be on a see-saw get off. Just play in “The Good Earth”.
Aquarius (January 20—February 8) Looking for support and love? Try spending more time focused on completing what you’ve started. Loving what you do turns others on, but as soon as you lose focus and begin to play to them, you lose their admiration.
Pisces (February 19—March 20) Worrying about how others interpret what you say is narcissistic. You really aren’t so important that every word you utter needs an interpretation. Don’t focus so much on the importance of what you say, but on its insignificance.
Aries (March 21-April 19) So you want to please everyone. How has that worked for you so far? Try reading Ayn Rand’s “The Virtue of Selfishness” or “The Selfish Gene” by Richard Dawkins. So based on what you read how will that manifest itself in your thinking and behaviour?
Taurus (April 20-May 20) You like to travel, don’t you? As the saying goes: “Leave all your troubles behind you!” Read “The Road Less Travelled”! The cost is less than the price of a good meal, but the benefits are everlasting.
Gemini (May 21-June 20) Worries, worries, worries! God you are important. You have so many things to do, so many lives to save? Try reading Carlos Castenada’s “ The Fire From Within” or “The Secret Ring of Power”. You’re only a worm caught in a fire storm. Learn how to detach!
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(June21-July21) Being emotional has little to do with
how much you value someone else. It’s all about you being out of control. All those little lies you’ve told yourself and others have now come together. You’ve lost it because every story conflicts with the other. Keeping stories straight requires you to be a writer. So write!
Leo (July 23—August 22)
Metanoia ● THE RANT Heino Leis
Ask direct questions but don’t believe the answers. No one trusts you enough to tell the truth because you punish them for doing so. You already know what you want to do – but don’t like it – so you ask for advice from people who will encourage you to undermine your own success – as always. Virgo (August 23—September 22)
● THE INTERVIEW Ernie Love page 21
Are you willing to be a leader? Responsibility has been thrust upon you - but do you want to take it and run with it. Then speak in low voice and carry a big stick. Don’t threaten to use it, because you might have to, and by doing so – lose the power that you have.
● THE ARTIST Enda Bardell
Libra (Sept 23—Oct 22) Give away what you won’t ever use. Be selective in choosing the recipient of your largesse. In so doing you will have the gratitude of the receiver and be rid of something that is dragging you down.
● HOROSCOPE page 32
Knowing what you need to do is different from understanding. The ability to anticipate consequences demonstrates a perfect balance between your intentions, actions and your results. But, when you think about it, this is always the case. The only time the question about your intentions comes up is when you feel you’ve failed.
Sagittarius (November 23—December 21)
So you are arrogant and pretentious but won’t admit it. That’s why, no matter how nice you pretend to be, people are always taking advantage of you. Your body armour has holes in it, so people you are trying to fool see through you, and the visor in your headgear prevents you from seeing others.
Painting by Enda Bardell Page 32
Scorpio (October 23—November 20)
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METANOIA â€”A Shift of Mind
Enda Bardell I was born in Estonia and fled to Sweden with my parents to escape the Soviet occupation. As refugees, we lived in isolated communities where I had very few children with whom to play. At the age of six I discovered art to be a fulfilling occupation for an active mind. It became a lifelong passion from that time onward. But my love of art lay dormant for many years I was involved in marriage, raising children, single parenting, and a variety of stimulating careers. I was a costume designer, banker, fabric artist, founder and former owner of Enda B. Fashion Limited; and a Realtor with Royal Le Page. Now at last I am able to pursue that lifelong dream-painting full time. With a thankful heart I think of my parents in heaven, and rejoice that they followed their dreams and brought me to beautiful Vancouver, B.C.
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The word is "metanoia" and it means a shift of mind. The word has a rich history. For the Greeks, it meant a fundamental shift or change, or more literally transcendence ("meta"-above or beyond, as in "metaphysics") of mind ("noia," from the root "nous," of mind). In the early (Gnostic) Christian tradition, it took on a special meaning of awakening shared intuition and direct knowing of the highest, of God. "Metanoia" was probably the key term of such early Christians as John the Baptist. In the Catholic corpus the word metanoia was eventually translated as â€œrepent." Senge, Peter. The Fifth Discipline. Doubleday: New York, 1990, p. 13.
MY ESTONIAN FATHER FROM
Arvi Parbo on his Estonian Parbo
My father was a somewhat stern man with clear-cut values. Integrity and self-reliance were his hallmarks. He worked very hard and did not tolerate slackness or sloppiness in others. A stickler for punctuality, he transferred this habit to me; to this day I cannot stand being late. He was active in a number of organizations in the district such as the School Board, Volunteer Fire Brigade and Defense League, and in local government, including a period as Elder of the local government Council. The tragedy of my father’s life, in common with many tens of thousands of others, was that his life’s work was completely destroyed in one stroke by the communist takeover in 1940.* *Taken from “On Estonia and Estonians” by Arvi Parbo 2007
Ellen McNeice on her Estonian father Arvi Parbo Like many Estonians in Australia in the 50’s, my parents thought they would only be in Australia for a few years, until the "troubles" in Europe blew over, and then they would return home. So I was raised in an Estonian household - we spoke Estonian at home, ate Estonian food and celebrated all the annual holidays. I couldn't speak English when I started school. My father was a highly ambitious and driven man. He started work as a labourer, and ended up Chairman of the same company years later. As children we really didn't get to know him, as he was always busy during the week he would be working, and then on weekends he would be working on the house. I only really came to understand my father in my twenties, when I met his father, my grandfather. Grandfather was a dignified patriarchal man whose word was law, and who was obviously the centre of the house-
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hold. My father didnâ€™t go quite that far, but he expected to be obeyed, immediately and with no question. He wanted the household to be run his way, and mostly it was. When things went wrong and dad became enraged we children quickly made ourselves scarce. Dad was as demanding of us as he was of himself. We were all expected to follow household rules, and to study and excel academically. Handing over the report card was quite a ritual. This did not pose much of a problem to me, as I was always academically inclined. My brothers did not suffer so well. They were certainly bright, but their paths lay elsewhere, and it was a source of irritation to my father that they did not follow in his footsteps. Although he loved us, and we certainly loved him, I don't think my father had any empathy for people whose life choices were different from his own. My father's attitude towards childrearing and work is clearly that of an older European generation.
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I enjoy spending time with my father very much nowadays. Under the unusual circumstances under which we were brought up, I think my father did as good a job of bringing us up as he was able, and we children and grandchildren are all proud of him and our Estonian heritage and connections.
Who is Sir Arvi Parbo? Sir Arvi Parbo (born 10 Feb. 1926 in Tallinn, Estonia) is a business executive who was concurrently chairman of three of Australiaâ€™s largest companies. He was made a Knight Bachelor for services to industry in 1978. Along with thousands of his Estonian countrymen, Parbo fled from his homeland ahead of the Soviet occupation in 1944, ending up in a refugee camp (DP camp) in Germany. After attending the Clausthal Mining Academy in Germany from 1946 to 1948 he migrated to Australia in 1949. He graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in 1955.
Parbo joined Western Mining Corporation in 1956 and over the next 12 years held the positions of Underground Surveyor, Underground Manager, Technical Assistant to the Managing Director, and Deputy General Superintendent. He was appointed General Manager in 1968 and became a Director in 1970. He was appointed Deputy Managing Director in 1971 and became Managing Director in (continues)
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the same year. In 1974, Parbo was appointed Chairman and Managing Director of Western Mining Corporation, subsequently renamed WMC Limited. In 1986 he relinquished this position and became Executive Chairman. In 1990 he retired as an executive but was appointed non-executive Chairman and retired from this position in 1999. Parbo was Chairman of Alcoa of Australia from 1978 to 1996. Chairman of Munich Reinsurance Company of Australia from 1984 to 1998 and Chairman of Zurich Australian Insurance group from 1985 to 1998. He was appointed a Director of the Aluminum Company of America from 1980 to 1998, Hoechst Australian Investment from 1981 to 1997, Chase AMP Bank from 1985 to 1991 and Sara Lee Corporation from 1991 to 1998. In 1987, Parbo was appointed a Director of the Broken Hill Proprietary Company (BHP) and was appointed Chairman in 1989 until retirement in 1992.
Marje Suurkask on her Estonian father Jakob Kembi Jakob Kembi was born in Parnu, Estonia on the 12 th of July 1916. He left for Sweden in 1944 in a small fishing boat. There were thirty people aboard with another eight people in a much smaller skiff in tow in which was his future brother-in-law, Theodore Wesik. Estonians thought that they were still not safe in Sweden and they made plans to leave for safer haven. They bought a former Canadian wooden mine sweeper and converted it to a passenger vessel and in July 1949 they set out to Canada with 154 people on board (50 men, 50 women and 54 children). They arrived in Halifax on August 2 nd, 1949, on MS “Parnu”. Jake got his first job in Vancouver at Burrard Shipyard at $1.65/hour. At nights Jake made tool boxes which he sold to Woodwards. There was a great demand for these – he did well. Now that he was no longer a fisherman, but a carpenter he set his sights on something bigger than toolboxes. He started building houses in North Vancouver in 1955. This was followed by high rise construction which culminated in 1970 with a 23 storey apartment structure in the West End. In all he built nine highrises, including his first hotel, Mayfair Towers on Hornby Street which is now operating under its new name, Wedgewood Hotel.
stand and get it exposed to the harsh evaluation by mentors and potential investors to see if the proposition really has what it takes. And even then, one in a hundred actually gets significant venture funding and gets moved along. That takes a lot of staying power. There are better frameworks to really challenge budding entrepreneurs than an MBA program. At most it is just a course in an MBA program. But that is not what the risk and reward proposition for an entrepreneur is all about. I don’t however have a problem with an entrepreneur thinking about an exit strategy very early on, in fact, most of the time it is necessary. If you go for venture capital, they insist on knowing what your exit strategy is. That’s because they put up very risky money, want a big and quick return. Then they want to cash out and re-invest in other leading ideas. They don’t want to be there for the long haul. So you have to have a credible exit strategy if you want to attract risky capital. That doesn’t mean that you, as the entrepreneur, have lost your baby. Some of the best exits are doing a float on a stock market. Then you can remain an active player. But if your idea is a one trick pony then it may well be better to exit by selling to a firm that can use your idea to fill in a hole in their offering to the market. Even the President of the U.S.A. seems to put an emphasis on his role as doting father. Are leaders no longer expected to make the trade offs that require more or all of their time and attention spent on public matters rather than private matters? Is the leader no longer expected to sacrifice his personal life for the greater good? Are our expectations of how a leader spends his time no different from those of us who are asked to follow? I assume here you are questioning the balance between work and home (or outside) life. I don’t really have much of an opinion on this. Being a workaholic works for some, not so for others. Frankly mostly my sympathies lay with the kids when these things don’t work out. Unless I have missed the point of the question all together!
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How CEO’s view ‘their companies’. I agree with the sentiment of your comments here. CEO’s are managing these companies and don’t have particular ‘pride of ownership’. It has been argued by many that there is a very serious ‘agency theory’ problem here – reflected in giving these CEOs stock options. At some level, this induces them to focus on driving the stock price and not the core business. This is all part of the serious abuse we have seen lately with respect to bonuses being granted to the CEOs of failing firms. Firms that are asking for government bailouts only to then reward themselves with excessive bonuses. What are business ethics other than determining the trade offs between short term requirements and long term opportunities in the context of what is legal? Ethics. I am not sure I am following this question. It is clear in terms of the discussion on these excessive bonuses being granted to CEOs (often of failing companies) that there is a serious ethical issue here. I suppose some new laws might come into being as a result but often this can produce unintended consequences. It does seem to me that ethics is a powerful force in Society and often gets revealed by ways such as embarrassing those exhibiting unethical behaviour rather than forcing a new law into being.
In 1974 he finished building the Surrey Inn. From that point on he found a new occupation – innkeeper. He had four traits that I personally admired that never left him. He was very curious, very observant, he had a phenomenal memory and a wonderful sense of humour. When he saw a process or procedure for the first time, he would pay close attention to what was done and how. He would take in all nuances of this activity, not missing a thing. It was then stored in his memory to retrieve at a later time. He had two overwhelming wishes towards the end, for he was far more aware of his precarious health than he let people know. The first thing he wished for was to be able to see the dawning of the millennium. This he did. The second wish was his family in Estonia to obtain possession of his family home in Parnu that had been confiscated during the war. This happened just before he passed away.
Why does it seem that entrepreneurs have become almost the “intellectually disabled children” of the M.B.A. program? The M.B.A. programs seem to be designed more and more for bureaucrats and administration and less and less for entrepreneurs. Does it just seem that way or is entrepreneurship now regarded as merely a mechanism to feed the appetites of huge corporations? (many Entrepreneurs build companies for the purpose of being taken over) I don’t know that entrepreneurship and the MBA curriculum is a particularly good match. MBA programs are designed to take non-business people (engineers typically) give them core business skills and then teach them how to strategize. Those are worthwhile goals for such a program. This doesn’t mean you can’t teach a bit about entrepreneurship along the way like defining a value proposition and writing a business plan. But it doesn’t seem to me the incentives are particularly well aligned. A fledging entrepreneur has to take a value proposition that they really under-
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Jakob Kembi with grandsons: (left) Anton Suurkask, Jakob Selde, Jakob Kembi, Hans Selde (missing Jakob Kembi (jr.))
Alar Suurkask on his Estonian father Harald F. Suurkask The only things I can pass on to you are your name and birth country. Try to carry your name with honour and don’t forget your beloved home country. (Words of wisdom from Harald Suurkask to his son Alar) Page 7 METANOIA
Harry Jaako on his Estonian father Arved Jaako My father, Arved Jaako, was born in Viljandi, Estonia, in 1915. The youngest of three brothers, he was raised by my grandfather’s second wife. In September 1944, my father worked for Viljandi’s city administration, and managed the supply and delivery of heating fuel for city buildings firewood from farmers’ woodlots. On the evening of Sept. 23rd, my father and his colleagues gathered to decide whether to stay or flee Estonia, as the Soviet Red Army was only a day or two from Viljandi and approaching fast. At the urging of mayor Albert Vilms, my father and a car full of colleagues drove to Parnu that night, and sailed for Germany. In late 1947, my father left Germany for Canada. He had told Canadian authorities that he had forest industry experience, and was accepted for immigration to Canada, to be sent to Northwestern Ontario to work in logging camps, along with other Estonian refugees. Their train stopped in the middle of a snowy night at a deserted spot on the CN mainline, and a lone lantern flickered a greeting. The person meeting them was told they were from Eastern Europe and welcomed them in Russian. The poor Estonians thought they had been tricked and sent to Siberia. My father worked for almost thirty years in the forest industry around Thunder Bay. Starting as a camp clerk, he rose through the ranks at Great Lakes Forest Products, retiring as Chief Internal Auditor in 1976. He married my mother, Elsa Soosaar, and I was born in 1952, my sister in 1954. For the first 9 years of my life, we lived a nomadic life as my father worked at a string of logging camps, at a time when logs were skidded onto frozen lakes by teams of horses, and after spring break-up, the logs were floated down the rivers to the mill at Thunder Bay. My father was a soft-spoken, well-mannered, gentle man. Throughout my upbringing I rarely heard him raise his voice, or become visibly angry. My mother, like many Estonian women I have met, was a strongwilled, opinionated matriarch, who ruled the household, and my father typically deferred to her wishes in matters pertaining to our family, our
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incredible appetite to take on debt and not save. This goes right up to the top where the US Federal Reserve has wanted to keep money cheap so that people can borrow and continue to drive the economy. It does seem that that economy was so highly leveraged (and owing the Chinese most of their debt) that the slightest tremor was going to start the tumble. The other factor is how the technical people in the financial sector began to hold sway with an ever growing array of complex financial instruments. In an attempt to continue to drive the success of the financial markets world-wide, more and more complex hedges, derivatives, swaps, funds and the like were created. I think it is generally acknowledged now that the real risk of such instruments was largely near impossible to determine. Certainly not by the average investor who was borrowing cheap dollars on the promise of double digit gains. I suppose you could point the finger at MBA programs to some extent since that is where many of these financial wizards were getting their advanced training. But I think it is generally acknowledged that some of the blame must also be borne by the rating agencies. There certainly appears to be a strong view that they were not providing proper risk advisories on many of these investment instruments. Asset back securities, which triggered much of the meltdown, feature centrally in this. These were bundled and re-bundled and sold off in ways it was virtually impossible to assess the risks. But once it began to unravel, the fall has been pretty hard. Has anyone noted that in the last 15 years that there has been a major paradigm shift in the way that C.E.O.’S view “their” companies and that this has resulted in an ominous change in the relationship between company executives and shareholders? (i.e. executives regard themselves as mere employers – who get stock options to dispose of at the highest prices – i.e. no pride of ownership as the Rockefellers and others had. As a result the stock market has become an exit strategy for those in the upper echelon) rather than a place to accumulate wealth (Wealth v.s. Income strategy, which also indicates that pride of ownership is no longer relevant to a C.E.O.’s strategy.)
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brings engineers, scientists, accountants and behaviorists/HR types together to problems solve, and then good MBA program do span boundaries in this sense.
I would probably suggest that of the three key aspects of moving a business forward: vision, strategy and implementation that MBAs put the lion’s share of the emphasis on strategy (of course they also build foundation skills – marketing, accounting, finance, operations etc. since one needs those). Vision I think is quite different and harder. It requires that one spend time in a business to know what the art of the possible is. Strategy is implementing a vision. And of course since a typical MBA program takes a year now, there really isn’t much time for implementation, though in reality anyone will tell you, “The devil is in the details”. III. The Economy
The current state of the economy has put a lot of holes into economic thinking. Why is it that the few who predicted this economic fiasco were not heeded by the economists and the M.B.A.’s? Does the current economic situation point out the flaws in what has been taught in M.B.A. schools? “The Black Swan” by Nassin Taleb seems to indicate that much of what is taught in M.B.A. schools is flawed. Do you yourself think that the M.B.A. needs rethinking?
It seems that the concept of leveraging is particularly flawed – from Main Street to Wall Street – and because of that, the economic collapse was not a possibility but an inevitability. Why were the brightest and the best not able to convince policy makers to deal with this before the problems became so severe? These questions seem highly interrelated to me. There has been a lot of ‘expert’ talk on the reasons for the economic meltdown of the last eight months. I don’t know that I have any real qualifications to posit opinions beyond what has been offered by many others. It does seem to me however that much of what we have seen has been driven by two major factors. One has to be the American attitude to debt. They seem to have an
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schooling, and ultimately our family’s move from the logging camps to the city of Thunder Bay. Over the years, I respected my father’s dedication to being our family breadwinner, his intense loyalty to those that mattered to him, his strong personal commitment to his work, and the most ethical standards that guided all of his actions.
Heino Leis on his Estonian father Johannes Leis There are two stories that speak to my relationship with my father. I was born in Estonia but grew up in the town of Mackayville, Quebec. Each morning and each evening I bussed my way between Mackayville where I lived and St. Lambert where I went to high school. Each day there was a fight to get into the packed buses. One evening, the bus pulled up to the stop on Taschereau Blvd. where I stood waiting with my chums. The bus door opened, a few of my fellow students scrambled aboard, but there was no room left for me. I was resigned to waiting an hour for the next bus. Suddenly a hand appeared through the crowd grabbing mine forcibly yanking me into the bus. There was my father, who in his grubby work clothes, directed me to move on and join my friends and instructed me in a quiet voice to pretend I did not know him. The other story involves a midnight phone call I received from a French speaking childhood friend I had not seen for over 30 years after I had long moved away from Mackayville. While at a retreat he had been asked to describe the person who had most influenced his life. He had been told to call the person to thank him. My father had died, so instead he had chosen to call me, the next of kin. That said a lot about my father, always preaching about the need for education, to be independent, a free thinker, to have passion about life, to be proud of being an Estonian, and never letting communism subjugate us in our minds or in our hearts. All the French speaking kids in my neighborhood knew some Estonian words, especially my dad’s favourite words “Kurat Kull!”
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Salme Leis on her Estonian father Heino Leis I once met a lady, who asked, “What is your nationality?” When I said I was Estonian, her reply was “Oh yes, the proud Estonians”. My father is certainly one of them. My childhood was very unusual. My father was always travelling, meeting new and interesting people, and as he calls it writing a script called “Life”. When I was little it was quite a normal thing to invite my friends over to my “office” instead of my house. It was normal, for my mom to look for me and find me in a meeting with one of the executives. My best friends were CEO’s, Artists, Pirates, and Cowboys. This has very much to do with how my father shaped my life. My father told me a story of his first business deal. He was 12 years old and translating for his father. They were buying a farm and my father told me that later that night he was riddled with the fear that he had mistakenly translated $15,000.00 into $1,500.00. Fortunately, his translation was correct. This is how he first learned the value of investing in property. I have two sisters and one brother. My brother is an actor, one sister a model and the other a curriculum writer. None became an entrepreneur and investor like my father. I think growing up with an Estonian father can sometimes be intense, to say the least. He always stressed the importance of the pursuit of knowledge, having dreams, and the passion to create a life story. Sometimes pushy and always passionate about his philosophies, my dad’s way of life could seem stressful, lacking in balance and demanding. While I have agreed with these statements most of my life, it seems now, I want this for myself. I am the youngest of his four children, and probably against all odds, when it came time to choosing a “career” I decided to follow my father’s footsteps. And without embarrassing him too much, I found in him the best teacher, ally, and dare I say friend I’ve ever had. He taught me the value of detachment, not having my ego dictate my choices, and that fear is something to be used as a tool. “Go into your Fear”, he would say. He has taught me that too often people use their morality (absent of integrity) as an argument to excuse failure that resulted from their actions. The virtuous always have a compelling reason for failure. Hence his commonly quoted phrase, “Failure is moral success”. Our off beat sense of humour has brought us together and in these past few years we have created a world that is all of our own and I am truly honoured to follow in My Estonian Father’s footsteps.
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Schools have a lot in common with most businesses. You don’t lack for opportunities. The issue is to decide which opportunities to take up. That requires vision and strategy and ensuring you get buy in from all your stakeholders. My understanding of business has been that there are basically 3 levels on which business needs to be understood, Strategy, Tactics and Implementation. How does this relate to what is being taught now? I was the RBC Professor of Technology and Innovation. So my world was operations management, operations research and the management of technologies. But you ask the question about 3 levels: Strategy, Tactics and Implementation. I rather prefer to think that the 3 levels are: Vision, Strategy and Implementation. And your stakeholders – all of your stakeholders, have to buy in to what you do at these three levels. But I also believe that much of management is filtering through the opportunities and picking the ones that are consistent with the agreed upon vision. Mostly I found that there were plenty of opportunities. The trick is to be very clear about where you are going, pick the opportunities that can help you get there, figure out how best to incorporate the new opportunity and then execute, execute, execute. There is a kind of sense by MBA students that they are all either leaders or learning to become leaders. The term “boundary spanning position” is hardly ever talked about in most educational systems. Is there a kind of dishonesty in the notion that everyone is or can be a leader? There is no question that you are trying to teach MBA’s to be leaders. That’s the nature of why they are there. Typically they want to move up in an organization and get to the top of the pyramid. The top side of a business needs leadership since that is where vision and strategy are set. I don’t know about ‘boundary spanning’ and whether it is or is not talked about. I do think good MBA programs do spend a lot of time on developing collaborative models and team building. To the extent that this
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realize what an opportunity this was. Obviously my parents did, and it is only after one gets older and also travels to other countries do you realize just what an opportunity this was. Who were the people that inspired you? Well obviously, from what I said above, my parents, particularly my father, was a big influence in my life. That’s no doubt true for many people. Parents have that influence and certainly they ensured that I got off to a good start. But I also admired my father as an individual. He always seemed a very well rounded individual. Growing his business was very important but he also involved in many outside activities in the community and throughout his life always gave a lot back. See that close at hand does impact the way you look at life I think. But I would also have to say that one early friend in particular had a very strong influence on the path I took in life. He was quite different than me when we were young – or at least that’s how I perceived it. Much more scholarly, intellectual and with an enormous passion for travel and history. I am quite certain this influenced my going down an education track farther than I otherwise probably would have. It certainly set in me my great fondness for travel and an interest in cultures and history - more than I would have otherwise I am sure. I am still good friends with this fellow after close to fifty years and I think that itself speaks to the issue of influence. II. About the M.B.A.
Nelson Leis on his Estonian father Heino Leis When thinking of traits that resonate with an Estonian father or an Estonian in general for that matter, some of the following descriptive may come to one’s mind: Person of integrity, practical, proud of their name, proud of the homeland, modest, reserved, hardy stock, and enjoys working the land. Well not for me. What comes to mind first when I think of my Estonian father is: knows how to make a phone call. I remember that at some point in my teens my father said, “Don’t ever be intimidated to pick up the phone and call someone, anyone, if you need something. The worse they can do is say no.” This seemingly simple advice has served me incredibly well as a producer in the entertainment field and in life in general. Because of my willingness to call anybody, I have opened many doors and developed incredibly fruitful relationships. I used to think that anyone could ‘pick up a phone’, but have been constantly surprised to find people who are nervous to do so and as a result miss out on any number of opportunities. This enthusiasm to call someone is not always rewarded however. Another moment that I remember from my teens is when my father called a stranger whose name he recognized to be Estonian. My father said, “Hi, I’m Estonian. And the other guy said, “Good for you.” I don’t think the conversation lasted much longer. Maybe Estonians are better at making calls than receiving them.
Did you develop a strategy in your own life and how successful were you in achieving your objectives? Probably although I don’t think I articulated it in any detail and certainly there wasn’t a single strategy. Mostly I found I made some important career shifts and that required making decisions about how I was going to be successful on a different path. I undoubtedly thought a lot more about strategy when I became a Dean. Then you really have to map out a vision, develop some strategies and execute. But that is part of running an organization and needing to ensure the organization is going to grow and flourish. I suspect Business
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Who is Heino Leis? Heino ( Hank ) Leis was born in Haapsalu, Estonia in 1943. In 1948 his parents brought him to Montreal, Quebec. In 1966 he founded Strato Geological Engineering Ltd., a Vancouver, B.C. based company that provided services (geophysics, drilling etc.) to the mining industry. He has been a director of numerous private and public companies, and other organizations.
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Ernie Love, Liivi Laos on her Estonian Father Ants Laos
B. Eng. (Chemical), MBA, PhD (Business)
All I ever needed to know...
Well, not all, but a lot of things in my life I have learned from my Dad Ants Laos, a former Minister of Food Industry and Trade both during the period of Soviet Union and after Estonia had gained independence, currently a counsel to one of Estonia’s largest oil factories. Being a daughter of a Minister for nearly 10 years, many thought that you did not have to work to achieve something. Quite the contrary, the more was expected! I realized that education and knowledge is something that cannot be taken from you. He proved it at the transitional period when Estonia gained independance and quite often former leaders were not wanted to be in leading positions. I also realized that languages are an invaluable asset that opens the doors to the world. Without that I would definitely not be doing the things I do nor be where I am today. Now, at the age of 65, he is taking life a bit more easy. Taking care of himself, swimming, biking and having discovered downhill sking at the age of 60, he is in good health and looks like Giorgio Armani. The balance of body and mind is something to strive for. Education, hard work and taking care of yourself are the key words I think of when I think of my Dad.
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Born in Hamilton Ontario, Ernie’s initial training was in Chemical Engineering. After graduating he worked for Shell Oil and Union Carbide in Ontario and Quebec. This was followed by a return to McMaster for an MBA with the intention of returning to industry. However a teaching opportunity at the University of Saskatchewan initiated a lifelong career as an academic. Time at Saskatchewan was followed by three years at the London Business School in England for a PhD in Business (Operations Management/Operations Research) and a subsequent thirty year career at Simon Fraser University as Professor and subsequently as Dean of the Business School. Interspersed throughout the thirty years were many extended visits to other Universities world-wide in order to work with international colleagues on a variety of research projects. He is shortly to embark on a one or two year stint in the United Arab Emirates working at the American University of Sharjah. __________________________________________________________________ I. THE FORMATIVE YEARS
Tell me about your life growing up? Interesting question! In reality I would have to think I had a pretty ordinary kind of growing up. My father was quite successful as a contractor. This was the 50’s and if you were ambitious there was lots of opportunity with the strong post-war economy of Canada. But what had the strongest impression on me was the entrepreneurial ability to see business opportunities and capitalize on them. However my parents, neither of which had the benefit of a lot of formal education were keen to push me into University and here again, the 50’s saw a real growth in University education for ordinary Canadians. As a kid you don’t
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by Hank Leis
Let me begin by saying I am angry, very angry. I am angry at what the C.E.O.’s have done to the companies they run, I am angry that those who were supposed to be the watchdogs did not watch, and I am angry at the educators who produced the corporate looters and the self-indulgent losers who produced fake economies that have collapsed worldwide. Let me also say that I love the give and take of business and that for me the world of finance is exciting. Even the chaos of it all appeals to me. What I hate is intentional subterfuge by self-indulgent players who knowingly and mindlessly traded off their short term gains at the expense of longevity. And for those who make the argument that they did nothing knowingly, then they should be banned from the human race because the concept of thinking has not yet been introduced to them. In other words they have not yet reached ape status in their evolution!
What I want is accountability. In fact at 66 years of age I can demand it. I have paid my dues-and very simply put I always knew that in any business I owned or invested in-the trade offs and choices I made were always about short term survival versus long-term possibilities. And if you don’t know that about life, you should curl up in a cave and die. And according to evolutionists that is exactly what happens. And guess what? It is happening now. Let me be clear. Ernie Love is my friend who has kindly taken the time to answer my questions. He was also my MBA professor as well as a director on the board of a company I once controlled. And because he is my friend and an educator, I asked him questions about what role education has played in the virtual collapse of the world economy. In other words, did what we learn taking our MBA contribute to the current fiasco? What I really want to do is ask every Dean and Economics Professor what their teachings had to do with the current state of this economy. I want to ask a lot of people in the community of politicians, professionals, professors reporters, and businessmen to be accountable. I don’t want explanations about what someone else did. I want to know what each one of you did? Yes, even the soccer moms who “need” to drive SUV’s and pushed their husbands into buying homes they could not afford.
Steve Jurvetson on his Estonian Father Tony Jurvetson I grew up with an immigrant mentality – with an unbounded sense of opportunity for those who work hard, and a reservoir of pride for our unique heritage. My father instilled a sense of scientific curiosity in me, and a love of learning about technology. He would often ask me how things work, from tape recorders to rainbows, and talk through a logical decomposition, invoking physics instead of fairies. He was ambitious and took risks to advance his career, with a fire in the belly to achieve. Memories of his proud homeland, while distant, provided us with a basis of self-confidence and belief that we could succeed against all odds, much like our ancestors did in crafting a free Estonia after WW1. In many ways, the modern Estonia is itself a nation of immigrants. As the iron curtain crumbled, and a new economy dawned, it was as if the Estonian nation awoke from a numbing slumber to rediscover a free homeland, a land of opportunity, globally connected now, that rewards entrepreneurship, hard work and an innovative mind. We are proud to have invested in companies like Skype that make manifest the dream of every innovator – a small group of people can in fact change the world. Vaba Eesti!
I suggest that first we take responsibility, then change. In other words, confession before absolution.
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Who is Tony Jurvetson? As written by Tony Jurvetson: I was born before WW2 in a free and independent Estonia. The war and Soviet occupation took away my home and country for over fifty years and our family fled to Austria, Germany, Sweden and finally Canada, where I grew up met and married an Estonian girl Tiiu Mannistu. My interests have always been electronics and high tech and I was lucky to be able to make a career of it. My first job as member of the Scientific Staff at Bell Northern Labs in Ottawa, Canada, gave me the experience to further my career at Motorola, Arizona where our son Stephen was born. Other highlights include: United Technologies Mostek, Texas as VP of wafer fabrication and international operations and Senior VP, General Manager of the worlds largest computer memory producer. When Stephen went to attend Stanford, we too moved to California and I worked at Varian Associates in various positions culminating as President of the Varian Semiconductor Equipment Group. I have thoroughly enjoyed my career and have now retired in Los Altos Hills, to my most responsible position yet, that of partnering with my wife Tiiu, to help raise two of the greatest grandkids we could ever have hoped for.
Painting by Estonian Artistâ€”Enda Bardell Page 14 METANOIA
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Who is James Tusty?
Who is Steve Jurvetson?
James Tusty was born in the U.S.A. but in 1999 while teaching a film course in Estonia he reconnected to his Estonian heritage. Mountain View Group, Ltd. founded in 1981 by James Tusty, is one of the premier film and video production companies. Its clients have included GE Energy, The Coca-Cola Company, IBM, Raytheon, Home Depot, and New York State. Mountain View has won over 200 national and international awards.
Tusty and his wife, Maureen, also a film producer, have started a new company called Sky Films Incorporated, focused primarily on feature documentaries. Their first feature film, THE SINGING REVOLUTION, opened in New York and Los Angeles in December 2007, where it was met with great success. The executive producers were Steve Jurvetson and his wife Karla Jurvetson. The New York Times made the film a coveted critic’s pick and wrote, “Imagine the scene in Casablanca in which the French patrons sing La Marseillaise in defiance of the Germans, then multiply its power by a factor of thousands, and you’ve only begun to imagine the force of The Singing Revolution”.
SEE THE INSPIRATIONAL STORY OF ESTONIA’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM.
THE SINGING REVOLUTION
Steve Jurvetson is a Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a leading venture capital firm with affiliate offices around the world. He was the founding VC investor in Hotmail (MSFT), Interwoven (IWOV), and Kana (KANA). He also led the firm's investments in Tradex and Cyras, acquired for $8 billion. Current Board positions include Synthetic Genomics, SpaceX, NeoPhotonics, Telsa Motors, and Wowd. Previously, Steve was an R&D Engineer at HewlettPackard, where seven of his communications chip designs were fabricated. His prior technical experience also includes programming, materials science research (TEM atomic imaging of GaAs), and computer design at HP's PC Division, the Center for Materials Research, and Mostek. He has also worked in product marketing at Apple and NeXT Software. As a Consultant with Bain & Company, Steve developed executive marketing, sales, engineering and business strategies for a wide range of companies in the software, networking and semiconductor industries. At Stanford University, he finished his BSEE in 2.5 years and graduated #1 in his class, as the Henry Ford Scholar. Steve also holds an MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford. He received his MBA from the Stanford Business School, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar. He also serves on the Boards of SRI International, STVP, and SEVF and is Co-Chair of the NanoBusiness Alliance. He was honoured as "The Valley's Sharpest VC" on the cover of Business 2.0 and chosen by the SF Chronicle and SF Examiner as one of "the ten people expected to have the greatest impact on the Bay Area in the early part of the 21st Century." He was profiled in the New Y ork Times Magazine and featured on the covers of Worth, Red Herring, and Fortune magazines. Steve was chosen by Forbes as one of "Tech's Best Venture Investors", by the V C Journal as one of the "Ten Most Influential VCs", and by Fortune as part of their "Brain Trust of Top Ten Minds." In 2005, Steve was honoured as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and a Distinguished Alumnus by St. Mark's.
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www.singingrevolution.com Painting by Mike Solomon Page 18 METANOIA
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James Tusty on his Estonian Father Julius Bienvenue Tusty My father, Julius Bienvenue Tusty, came to the U.S. as a ten-year old child in 1924. So the Estonian part of himself he passed on was not learned as an adult, but just part of who he was. Most North American Estonians came over fleeing for their lives from the terror of the Red Army and Josef Stalin. My grandfather was different. He came over as an émigré, not a refugee, and had no intention of returning. Therefore, my father became what I call an “Ellis Island immigrant”…he believed in America and wanted to raise his two children as Americans, not Estonians. But nonetheless, looking back on it, I can say he was indeed an Estonian father…not by conscious intention, but by DNA and upbringing. His humor was very, very dry. It was all in the words only as his face didn’t twitch or crack a smile at all. It was a humor lost on very young children, but as I grew older I learned to listen carefully. Was Dad offering me true advice for life or telling me a joke? His delivery was the same for both. That made me a good listener I suppose.
producer and wife, Maureen, and I learned that Estonians in Estonia felt the same way. Since the end of WWII, Estonians had held hopes of freedom encouraged by messages on Radio Free Europe and Voice of America. When they saw the world abandon Hungary in 1956, they, like my father, felt that they were on their own to oust their occupiers. The amazing thing is, Estonia eventually did. It took 35 more years to do so.
Estonia fought for, and appreciates, its freedom. I hope that all those who live in a free society understand that it is not a given like the air we breathe…it is a slim minority of people in human history who have lived under freedom. Maybe that’s what I learned most from my father. Elagu Vabadus! (“Long Live Freedom!” In Estonian)
He also was dogged on achieving his goals. One of his favorite phrases, said over and over such that by age ten I rolled my eyes every time I heard it, was “Never, ever, ever give up!” He lived by that maxim and in many ways that’s how Estonia survived and ultimately triumphed through fifty years of a brutal Soviet occupation. He was generally of quiet demeanor, and very thoughtful on a variety of issues. But I do remember him being extremely disappointed when no one went in to support the successful Hungarian revolution of 1956. Hungarians had not only fought their Soviet occupiers, they had vanquished them and taken over the government! But the West hesitated. Under cover of the Suez Canal crisis, the Red Army reassembled and rolled back into Hungary and mercilessly squashed the insurrection. I think my father knew then that any hopes of the West helping Estonia throw out its Soviet occupiers were gone. This was a sad turn of events. In the course of producing our film, “The Singing Revolution”, my co-
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