"You can win in business and have a blast doing it."
From New York Times bestselling author and nationally syndicated talk radio host Dave Ramsey comes the inside story of how he grew a multi-million dollar company from a card table in his living room.
Dave’s premise is that your company or organization is only as strong as your leadership. Your team will never grow beyond you, so here’s an important question to consider: Are you growing? Whether you’re sitting at the CEO’s desk, in the middle manager’s cubicle, or at a card table in your living-room-based startup, EntreLeadership provides practical, step-by-step guidance to grow your business or organization to where you want it to go.
What is this thing called EntreLeadership?
"EntreLeadership is defined as the process of leading to cause a venture to grow and prosper."
What comes to mind when you think of a leader? Is it someone with integrity? Perhaps a visionary? It must be someone who is disciplined, right? How about a good listener?
Now, what about when you think about an entrepreneur? Someone who is a risk taker? A person who is very driven? How about an avid learner?
Dave makes the case that EntreLeaders are passionate servants, mavericks with integrity, disciplined risk takers, and ultimately, influential leaders. He makes the case that everything starts with the head of the organization. Ultimately the limit to what your organization accomplishes is you, its leader. John Maxwell calls this principle “the law of the lid”. He tells us that there is a lid on a person’s leadership ability, and this lid determines the level of effectiveness. The lower a person’s ability to lead, the lower the lid on his leadership ability and on his effectiveness is. I’ve highlighted two of the book’s leadership principles, dreaming and selling, in the Insights below.
Oh, and let’s not confuse “having a position” with being a good leader. The first doesn’t mean the latter any more than the fact of having children means one is a good parent. It takes work. Serving your team by leading them well is like serving your children by parenting them well. Are you able to relate to this analogy?
Start with a dream
"Dreaming is a sign you have hope. Dreaming is a sign you still think you can win. Dreaming keeps you young."
The challenge that leaders face is converting their dreams to visions and then doing something about them. Andy Stanley states that you have to discuss the vision of your organization 21 times before people start to hear it! How many times have you consistently stated the vision of your organization to your team? As I write this, I am preparing for a 3-day working group comprised of about 20 people from all over the United States. As a result of learning this principle I will constantly find ways to communicate the vision of what we are trying to accomplish throughout the upcoming meeting.
Dave challenges each leader to have a written personal mission statement and to include one’s skills and abilities (what), personality traits (how), and values, dreams, and passions (why) in it. Then he instructs to convert the vision and mission into action through specific goals in the specific areas: career, financial, spiritual, physical, intellectual, family, and social. The goals we set must be specific and measurable, not vague. Our goals must have a time limit, be written down and be our own, not someone else’s.
EntreLeaders manage by objectives; that is, they get their team members to set goals as part of the overall objective of the organization. We fail when we allow an organizational culture to emerge in which team members don’t care about the organization’s goals but only about their own agendas. Ouch! The leader’s job is to constantly shine the light on the organization’s goals and to remove any distractions.
Selling by serving
"People don’t buy products and services, they buy what those products and services do."
Have you ever heard that no money is made and nothing happens until someone sells and a sale is made? It’s true, and if you can make someone else feel the same way you do about a product or service, then you have “sold” them and they will buy the product or service. Everyday examples of this are when you read a great book or see a great movie, share your experience with someone else, and then they are able to experience the same thing you did.
Dave shares the following four practical steps to lock in a sale:
- The close
Failing to qualify a potential buyer is a huge mistake and taints the whole selling process. A qualified prospect has the money, time, need or want, and the authority to make the decision. Step 2, building rapport, is the same as building trust; like it or not, like my wife always says, first impressions do count. Do some research on the person you are going to meet; figure out their style and speak their language. Without establishing trust, there is no rapport. Therefore, a sale falls through. Regarding education or information, serve, don’t sell. Think of the last great server you had at a nice restaurant and the process they went through providing you all the information you needed to make your meal selection. Never try to sell someone something that you don’t believe in yourself; in other words, don’t drive a Toyota and try to sell Hondas! Closing the sale is effortless if you follow the first three steps. The prospect will buy readily because they are qualified, have rapport with you, and have all the information they need to make the decision.
Although not a business owner myself, I really enjoyed EntreLeadership and the style in which it was written. It informs the reader about the daily mechanics of starting and running a business along with high level leadership strategies that can be applied in any organization. Are you ready to be an EntreLeader?