GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: The book business owners should read

Growing your businessby Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

Here is a book all business owners should read:

Leaders Eat Last: Why some teams pull together, and others don’t.
By Simon Sinek
Copyright 2014 Portfolio/Penguin Random House L.L.C.
Price: $18.00 Paperback
Pages: 350 pages with index
A time for leaders

Leaders create culture and culture; the right culture, is what makes great companies and organizations. Leaders lead by example. Leaders allow the key word there being allow their teams to be great.

No matter the size of your organization from three people to 3,000 people, culture is always important. Culture is what makes a great company in the end. And that must come from the top.

The simple example of a company president walking down the hall of his company and bending down to pick up a piece of paper off the floor is powerful. Much more powerful than all the talks about keeping the place clean.

Leaders look out for their people. In fact, author Simon Sinek says that we need to treat employees like our children and look out for them the same way we would our children.

A few years back, in the ‘80s, when Milton Friedman’s economics declared that companies only goal was to make money for the shareholders. Yikes! Look where that got us.

The big heroes at that time were Jack Welch and Al Chainsaw Dunlap whose answer to every problem was to cut heads. And whenever they did that, Wall Street cheered!

As an aside the children and now grandchildren of these headless victims watched this happen. It affected them first hand. No wonder they come to us today with a deep built-in distrust of corporations.

Consider where we are today, now when these ensuing generations are wary of joining companies, They don’t trust companies. They witnessed first hand that lauded leaders like Mr. Welch bragged about laying off ten percent of his management staff every year. What are they supposed to think?

No longer is this style treatment working, nor will it work in the future. The new trend of leader eats last. This means she takes care of here people first…and then they will take care of her.

As an example of the new kind of leader, the kind who is succeeding today, the author relates the story of Bob Chapman and his company Barry-Wehmiller. Bob Chapman is known for buying distressed companies and making them better. When one of these companies ran into trouble, Bob did not want to lay off people, which went against everything that he had been taught. He felt that if his family ran into financial difficulties, he would not send a couple of his kids away. And the same thing applied to his company.

Instead of laying off people he talked to his people, and they found ways to cooperate with one another to make sure everyone took care of everyone else.

This is just one example of how leaders eat last. How they are finding ways to take care of their people which in turn will take care of the company.

Okay, I can hear some of you humming Kumbaya in disgust. Sorry you feel that way, for your own sake. You had better read this book and get religion, or you are going to be one of those companies that goes out of business for lack of a work force. It will certainly help you be a great leader of a growing company.


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