John Kennedy said that there is risk and cost to a program of action, but it is far less than the long-range risks and costs that come from comfortable inaction, says Smith. Though it may seem scary to make changes and safe to do nothing, it is not true. A leader's job is to be passionate, figure out what needs to be done, and then be willing to take the necessary risks to make it happen, she notes.
Kim Smith lectures on Entrepreneurship for Stanford University students, October 19, 2003. Kim Smith is co-founder and CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund, which she established in 1998 to transform public education by supporting education entrepreneurs. In NewSchools, Kim created a new "hybrid" approach to investing in social entrepreneurs. NewSchools uses grants, loans and equity investments to support a portfolio that includes nonprofit and for-profit entrepreneurs who are building sustainable, scalable education ventures. In this Stanford lecture, she talks about venture philanthropy, fixing problems in K-12 education and how entrepreneurs must lead people from radically different sectors.