This book is a must read for all business owners, leaders, and employees (did I leave anyone out?). I would say that EntreLeadership gives a comprehensive and thought-provoking review of running a successful business.
In the first chapter, Dave outlines the definition of an EntreLeader and lets leaders know if those qualities are not what you are practicing then you are failing as a leader. Employees look up to their leader and if their leader sucks then so will the company. He goes on to use a word picture of a rope – a good leader will use the power of persuasion to pull the rope in the direction he wants them to go, whereas someone who is only a leader by title will push the rope with threats and fear (we all know how pushing a rope ends up). The chapter ends with the need for a good leader to not only have a passion for the business but also a passion to allow his/her employees to be successful.
The next few chapters cover goals, the importance of a personal and business mission statement, time-managment, meetings, the necessary evil of technology to make you efficient, decision making, and communication.
My favorite chapter, and one that I think is the ingredient for having a successful business, is Chapter 7, “Business is Easy…Until People Get Involved.” He talks about how necessary it is to make sure you hire the right people and how much time and money are consumed when you do not. He has a twelve step hiring process (he stays away from the mirror test, if you can fog a mirror, “You are Hired!”). I like his idea of the first interview being no more than 30 minutes. It is a drive by to see if you want to continue the hiring process with the person. I also like his idea of using a personality test or the DISC test. This gives employers an idea of how the interviewee may fit in with the company. Another idea I think is brilliant is going over the potential hire’s personal budget. I realize some people may think this information is too personal, but you need to know if the employee will be able to live off of what you are paying them. If they cannot make it on what you are paying them then they will become unhappy quickly.
Dave does briefly touch on firing people and the main point is to do it quickly and gracefully. I love the quote, “Regardless of the reason for the release, treat people right and with kindness. You are in control and you still have a job: they have neither, so be kind.”
The last few chapters focus on building up your team and keeping them motivated and happy. They meet as a whole team at least once a week for a meal (300+ employees). He speaks to the “enemies of unity” and really harps on gossip. He fires employees for gossiping. On the flip side, he will reward people who do the right thing, or in his words, are “rock stars” at their jobs.
I found his ideas on compensation and contracts to be fascinating. He does not have employment contracts. He wants people to work because they want to not because they are bound by a contract. His organization is ready to be generous if the employee goes above and beyond what they are employed to do.
If we, the Orthotic and Prosthetic field, actually put into practice the principals of this book we would elevate employee satisfaction, customer service, and ultimately patient outcomes. Patients can feel the difference too when the people who interact with them are happy, motivated, and in pursuit of excellence. They can tell we care about them and each other.
If this sounds like a book you want to read, I am giving one away! E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will enter you into the first ever lifEnabled raffle. Drawing in one week.