Our ideals will help us survive the stormy seas


At 55.98° S, 67.27° W, Cape Horn is located.

Two great oceans meet at this rocky point at the tip of South America, so feared by mariners.

The seabed here falls sharply to a depth of four kilometers, causing deadly currents.

Here, winds aptly called the “Furious Fifties,” whip the frozen seas, and the odd rogue iceberg pops up.

In October 1520, 500 years ago, Cape Horn laid in wait for Ferdinand Magellan as he reached the tip of South America.

The same latitude, 55.98° N, passes through central Scotland, Balloch to the west and Leith Docks to the east in the Northern Hemisphere.

Right now, Scotland, like Cape Horn, has its own big currents of influence and uncertain winds of change: the pandemic of Covid, Brexit, climate emergency, the fourth industrial revolution, the uncertain political future of Scotland, to name a few.

Each triggers chaos in itself; they create a swirling, volatile turbulence together.

As they plan a path through it all, a turbulence that confuses the entrepreneurial sailor.

What’s their compass going to be?

Bob Keiller, an entrepreneurial sea dog and former Wood Group chief executive, has a reply.

It is the core values that will guide you and those in your company: “A strong set of core values is a great guide for leaders facing difficult decisions.”

As individuals, in our businesses and as a community, each of us needs to be consistent about what we value and then remain true to those values.

In a fancy hotel (remember those?) where glossy values are created, pinned to the wall and forgotten, this is not about wishy-washy team planning days.

The main point is to be specific about the

What is and how you behave on what is important to you.

ON IT. It.

Scotland, the Ferdinand Magellan that broke new ground, should celebrate its role models.

There is a clan of Scottish entrepreneurs who put what they do at the core of intention and principles.

They have produced great companies that generate jobs, profits, and

And to make an impression.

Talking Medicines, co-founded by Jo Halliday and Elizabeth Fairley, was an

Award-winning life science company for AI (artificial intelligence) whose mission is to bring

In order to bring power back in the hands of the

Returning patients.

The combination of benefit and intent is why they were SIS Ventures’ first investment (the venture arm of Social Investment Scotland).

All movements which demonstrate this trend towards intent are B Corps, Zebras Unite, Conscious Leadership.

Tom Hunter with Kiltwalk and Scottish EDGE; Hugo Burge in the Borders helping creatives and makers; Angus MacDonald with the spectacular Highland Cinema in Lochaber; Scotland should also celebrate its prosperous entrepreneurs who pursue their principles and roll up their sleeves to give back to their local communities. Others are there.

A major question is whether entrepreneurial activities are really respected by Scottish society and the Scottish government.

One thing is language, another is actions. The future of Scotland will be influenced by those who entrepreneurially think, act and lead.

Ferdinand Magellan found a safer channel to bypass Cape Horn, the Strait of Magellan.

In November 1520, he and his crew became the first known Europeans to see the ocean that appeared before them

and called it Mar Pacifico, the

“peaceful sea,” as a contrast to the dangers they had overcome and their hopes for the future.

Sandy Kennedy is executive director of the Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation


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