[O]ur leadership team at Central read Dave Ramsey’s book EntreLeadership together. The strengths of the book lie in Dave’s massive amount of experience and use of stories that fill every point in every chapter. The weakness is the stereotypical business feel of much of the advice. This book is immensely practical. Few ideas will spin your head around, (something that I love in a good book) but many of the ideas will sharpen how you do businessâ€”whatever your business may be.
The title of the book comes from a word that Dave coined to describe the type of employee he tries to create. As you probably guessed, it is a combination of the stability of a leader and the risk of an entrepreneur. Thus, the EntreLeader is born.
The Power of the Why
EntreLeaders understand that ultimately the only power they can use to grow a quality team is the power of persuasion. Persuasion is pulling the rope and positional leadership is pushing the rope. And we all know you canâ€™t push a rope. If you want employees, then boss them around; if you want team members, explain why you do what you do.
This seems obvious at one level, but the reason we don’t do this is that it takes more time and effort. Something we are constantly trying to streamline in the way we do business. As Dave shows, the reality is that if we spend the time up front on explaining the why it saves us MORE time later in the team member’s productivity.
Isnâ€™t it weird that we say phrases like â€œreleaseâ€ or â€œlet goâ€ when it comes to firing? Even the saying â€œto fireâ€ someone means â€œto discharge,â€ which comes from discharging or firing a gun. It is almost as if we were holding something captive and we released it. In truth that is the case, and you will discover when someone doesnâ€™t belong on your team you are doing them a huge favor to set them free.
Many times, when you are constantly reprimanding and correcting, people will get the idea they are not going to make it and leave as a natural result of your clear and constant parameters. When they leave and you didnâ€™t have to release them, you did a really good job leading. My HR director calls this getting them to â€œparticipate in the inevitable.â€
I love the way he points out the natural feeling of holding back a bad employee by allowing them to remain in your organization. It is an incredibly true insight. I also love the phrase “participate in the inevitable” because it causes both parties to acknowledge what they both know is coming in one way or another.
What People Buy
People donâ€™t buy products or services, they buy what those products or services do. You donâ€™t buy a watch, you purchase a mechanism that allows you to manage your time. If you buy an expensive watch you purchase a mechanism that allows you to manage your time that also makes a statement about you to other people.
This is a brilliant question for all of us to ask ourselves. What does what you are “selling” actually do? Focus on that.
There is a lot of good advice that you can easily sink your teeth into and implement on Monday morning. That is what makes this book so powerful. Dave also loads it full of quotes from various sources which makes you feel like you are reading many books in one. It isn’t the most thought-provoking or entertaining book you’ll read but you can quickly put it to great use.