Building a successful business involves so many things that it can be overwhelming. Specifically, to grow a profitable, thriving enterprise, you need both leadership and entrepreneurship skills, i.e. you need EntreLeadership. “EntreLeadership” by Dave Ramsey is a playbook that captures the essential business fundamentals and common pitfalls in starting and growing a business. In this EntreLeadership summary, we’ll outline the key philosophies and methods that’s needed to lead and grow a successful business enterprise. This is a great book for new/aspiring entrepreneurs, and a powerful reminder for existing business leaders. For the full details, examples and tips, do get a copy of the book, or get a detailed overview with our complete book summary bundle.
After 20 years in business, Dave Ramsey has experienced what it’s like to hit rock bottom, and also what it takes to grow a business from scratch to achieve massive financial success and fulfillment. Fundamentally, your company’s performance doesn’t depend on the economy, industry or even its people; it all boils down to 1 thing—you as the leader. As you grow and improve yourself, the effects will be felt throughout the organization.
A leader guides and inspires others while an entrepreneur takes on and manages the risks for a venture. An EntreLeader has a blend of leadership and entrepreneurship, to lead people in a way that brings growth and prosperity to an enterprise.
We’ll now outline the 14 vital components needed to nurture EntreLeadership and zoom in on 2 of these components in detail. Do get a copy of our full 16-page EntreLeadership summary for the remaining details or get the full mojo from the book.
Remember: even if you’re familiar with some of these ideas, do not dismiss them. Instead, focus on developing yourself in each area, and teach them to every person in your organization.
1. Develop your Dream => Vision => Mission Statement => Goals
How do you move from big fuzzy dreams into concrete goals? Without dreams, nothing new or exciting would ever be created. Yet, dreams tend to be vague and only start to take shape when you flesh them out with concrete action. Crystallize your vision and share it with your team regularly, so you’re all working toward the same vision. Then, capture your dream and vision into a mission statement. According to Dan Miller, a good mission statement should cover your (i) calling, (ii) skills and abilities, (iii) personality, and (iv) values, dreams and passions. These jointly tell you who you are (and aren’t), what you do (including what you can/want to do), how you’ll do it and why.
Goals translate your dream and vision into an actionable form. Develop goals in all key areas of your life including career, finance, spiritual, physical, intellectual, family, and social. Effective goals should (i) be specific and measurable, (ii) have a timeframe, (iii) be your objectives (not someone else’s), and (iv) be put in writing. Shared goals facilitate communication and help people to focus on a wider objective beyond their personal interests.
2. Make the Most of your Time
EntreLeadership calls for optimal management of time—your most critical resources. When you purposefully direct your time and see progress from your efforts, you’ll feel energized. However, when you’re fighting fires and going round in circles, you’ll feel drained.
Dr Stephen Covey introduced the 4 quadrants of time-use. Most people focus on Quadrant I (e.g. bills and contract deadlines), get distracted by Quadrant III (e.g. emails and calls), and waste time on Quadrant IV (e.g. TV and social media). We tend to neglect Quadrant II—things that’re important but not urgent—such as exercise, strategic planning, and personal growth. Yet, this is the quadrant that makes the biggest long-term difference; if left unaddressed, the items here will end up in Quadrant I, leaving you with no time for anything else.
Manage your time with a prioritized to-do list. Each morning, list down everything you must do. Label them with “A” for things that must be done today, “B” for things to be done soon, and “C” for things that can be delegated or put aside. Then, go through items in the “A” list and rank them (A1, A2…) using this question: “If I can do only 1 thing today, what will be the most crucial item?” Do the same for your “B” and “C” lists. Put A1 at the top of your to-do list and focus on that above all else.
Meetings are essential in any organization, but they can also be a huge time-waster if not properly managed. Set a clear agenda in advance, have everyone come prepared to address those objectives, and ensure there’s proper follow-up after each meeting. [Refer to Patrick Lencioni’s “Death by Meeting” for more tips on structuring your meetings to be focused, effective and enjoyable.]
Your desk reflects how organized or disorganized you are. Clean up a messy desk—remove, finish or delegate loose items sitting around. Use technology to make your work more productive (but don’t waste all your time playing with tech gadgets).
3. Dare to Make Hard Decisions
An EntreLeader must make hard decisions and take action in spite of criticism. In the book and our full summary you can get more details on (i) how to overcome indecision, and (ii) specific tips for making good decisions.
4. Know the Recipe for Great Marketing
Marketing is basically your plan to get your product/service to the customer, and a crucial skill for EntreLeadership. There’s really no mystery or magic to it—it’s all about knowing and applying the right ingredients and recipe. In the book / complete summary we’ll explain these ingredients and recipe for great marketing, including the formula for “The Momentum Theorem” to create unstoppable momentum.
5. How to start a Business & Realize your Dreams
What’s the best way to start a business and build something that’d fulfill your dreams? Get our full 16-page summary to find out (i) what to consider when selecting your business, (ii) why you should should small and grow via bootstrapping, and (iii) when is the right time to expand.
6. Learn to Hire and Fire Effectively
Turnover is costly as it means time/resources spent hiring and training someone else, lost opportunities while the person is being replaced, and reduced team morale. Often, this can be avoided by hiring the right people in the first place. Our complete EntreLeadership summary includes numerous tips on how to (i) hire, (ii) manage underachievement or misbehavior, and (iii) fire people.
7. Master the Art of Selling by Serving
Sales is not about pushing or manipulating others; it’s all about human interaction. In the book and our complete 16-page summary you can learn more about the 4 key steps to master in any sale (qualification, rapport, education and close), including key tips and pitfalls.
8. Apply Sound Financial Principles
Obviously, financial health is vital in any business, and it’s actually very simple to become financially healthy if you follow the right principles. Learn these financial principles from our full summary here.
9. Create a Culture of Communication
Great companies constantly reinforce the value of communication and are intentional about how/what they communicate. [Find out what that entails in our complete EntrepreLeadership summary.]
10. Build Loyalty and Unity
You’re working with real people with dreams, goals, hopes and pain. In our complete book summary, we elaborate on what it takes to win your employees’ loyalty, build unity and help your team to live better lives.
11. Magnify Success with Recognition and Inspiration
Tap on the fundamental human desire to be recognized and appreciated, and create an inspiring environment (more details in our full EntreLeadership summary).
12. Get a Grip on the Day-to-Day Operations
There are 3 technical aspects of operations—contracts, collections and vendors—which affect your business health and send powerful signals to your team and customers. In the book / our full book summary, you can get more details on each of these areas, and the key tips and common pitfalls involved.
13. Motivate People with the Right Compensation Plans
How much you pay people tells them how much you value them. Be intentional about the message you send and reward only what you want more of. [More tips/examples available in our full EntreLeadership summary]
14. Delegate Effectively
For your business to grow bigger than you, you must delegate. Yet, you can only do so effectively after all the other components above are in place, i.e. you already have a clear vision, culture, operational foundations etc.
Other Details in the EntreLeadership book
In this detailed guidebook, Ramsey takes you through each of above components with some technical details and examples from his company and clients. Even if you’re familiar with some of these concepts, don’t dismiss them—ensure that you’re developing in each area, and teach the principles to others so you can nurture EntreLeaders throughout your organization. Do get a copy of the book for the full details, get our EntreLeadership summary bundle for an overview of the various ideas and tips, or get more worksheets and resources at https://www.entreleadership.com.