Dave Ramsey has grown his organization up from a card table in his living room. Over twenty years ago he began counseling people on how to get out of debt using the same system he used and developed when after he personally declared bankruptcy. In 2011 Dave Ramsey published EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches. I know this book has many good suggestions on what to leaders of business should do, but I want to focus on 5 Lessons that will really help people who lead companies and organizations out.
1. What are EntreLeaders?
Dave talks about how he came up with the term EntreLeaders by taking Entrepreneurs and combining it with Leadership. The important part is what does the word mean. His definition is “the process of leading to cause a venture to grow and prosper.” EntreLeaders are in many types of businesses and organizations. Dave calls this book a business playbook for success.
2. Selling by Serving
We all know the stereotypes of the sleazy used car salesman that sells someone a lemon. Dave talks about how when we sell we must serve people and do things the right way. The sales process should not be manipulative and pushy, it should in fact be a pleasurable experience. Good leaders must learn to sell to their team and the organization.
3. Building a loyal team
Loyalty is in short supply in our current age. People see layoffs constantly and try to look out for their own career. Dave brings up how important it is for leaders to be loyal to their employees for them to earn that loyalty back. Your people are not numbers but relationships that you need to invest in with your time and attention. Dave details how in his organization they had to deal with a family tragedy and how the leaders helped the individual through their loss. He also points out how many times the little things we do for our team make a big difference for them.
In Chapter 12 entitled “Caught in the Act” Dave explains how important recognizing your teams achievements can be. If people do not feel recognition for their work they will lose their passion and become unmotivated. He recommends making recognition a habit that leaders should do continuously. Leaders need to be around their team while they are working and recognize them in the act. Part of recognition is inspiring the team by sharing the vision and passion for the organization.
5. Delegation or Mastering “the Rope”
Dave is a great story teller, and to describe delegation in his organization he tells us a story about his first daughter going to college. It shows us an important lesson in delegation. As our kids get older and make good decisions we give them more freedom or “Rope”. The organization must do the same thing. With any new team member they earn the right to get more trust and freedom. Even with people who have experience but maybe new to the company we must be careful not to throw out the full length of rope, this can be disastrous.
What leadership lesson do you share most?