To bring 2013 to a close, I re-read EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey. Even though Dave Ramsey is known as a financial expert and has authored many books helping people get out of debt, this book is about how he grew his business, or as he says, it is “20 years of practical business wisdom from the trenches.”
One of the points that Dave makes many times over in the book is the Golden Rule. It sound so elementary – treat others the way you would want to be treated – but when you apply it to a business it makes perfect sense and is something that business leaders need to keep in mind. For example, if you have to reprimand or fire someone, how should you handle it? Simple, the same way you would want someone to handle it if the roles were reversed. How should you set up payment and compensation plans for team members? The same way you would want to be compensated.
One of my favorite chapters is the second chapter, Start with a Dream, End with a Goal. In the chapter he talks about defining the dreams you have for your business; then turning those dreams into a vision that you can share with your team members; and then setting up the goals for how to make those dreams come true. Start with the dream, define the vision, and then set up the goals. As he says in the chapter, “Goals are visions and dreams with work clothes.” For me, the chapter really helped me view my company not as a job, but more as a mission that I’m on.
As you’ve possibly noticed, I haven’t mentioned employees at all, instead referring to Team Members. As he mentions in the book and frequently on his radio show, “employees show up late, leave early, and steal while they’re there.” Instead, you need to find Team Members, people who will share in the vision and dreams of the company and work to carry out the mission.
I recommend this book to any manger or business owner. I would especially recommend it to anyone who is just starting a business or if you’ve been in business awhile but need to get some things turned around. Dave has described this book as the playbook to how he built his business from just one person up to over 400 team members. Whether you implement all or just one of the lessons covered in this book, it will provide great strategies for how to change your leadership, and how to change your business.