A native of Chicago, Prof. Rogers grew up in one of the toughest areas of Chicago. Raised by his mother, he attended Chicago public schools until A Better Chance (ABC) Program gave him the opportunity to attended an elite high school in an affluent community just outside of Philadelphia.
The experience gave him the opportunity to thrive. He had access to great academics, a great community, and extracurricular activities. These combined helped prepare him to succeed in college and in business.
Prof. Rogers understands that solving problems is imperative to succeed, and innovation is its cornerstone. To think innovatively you have to step outside your comfort zone. He gives a great example of utilizing the entrepreneurship experience to find your passion and innovating; to see this as a buffet of roles and experiences, taking a taste from all to find out what you like and don’t like.
He also gives wisdom from his experiences on what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Most entrepreneurs have fears, and it’s fine as long as it doesn’t paralyze. He has found a lot of his success in recognizing an opportunity and getting out of his comfort zone to capitalize on it. He’s proven to profit from it.
He also gives great advice on self-perception for students to follow; put on your crowns, and walk around being the kings and queens you know you are going to be. He believes he has a responsibility to not only pass down his wisdom to his students but to encourage them, and help them see themselves as better than they see themselves. It’s one thing to be equipped; it’s another to have the confidence to walk it out.
Prof. Rogers also stresses recognizing early on to get into leadership position. This is crucial to being an entrepreneur. Working for a corporation early on is great for this. You will get a sense of your desires to want that or not, and then you can take advantage of your company’s leadership training programs before you go out for yourself. This is crucial because if you try to do on the job training, as an entrepreneur, any failures can be of greater magnitude than making those mistakes in a corporation.
Steven Rogers is a Senior Lecturer in General Management and teaches Entrepreneurial Finance in the executive programs, “Launching New Ventures” and “Owners, Presidents and Managers (OPM).” Before HBS, he taught at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. At Kellogg, he received the Outstanding Professor Award for the Executive Program 26 times and the MBA Lawrence Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year award twice, becoming the first to win the award twice.
In business, he gained experience owning and operating two manufacturing firms and one retail operation. Before becoming an entrepreneur he worked at Bain and Company Consulting firm, Cummins Engine Company and UNC Ventures.