I went to the Dave Ramsey “Entreleadership” seminar at Devos Place in Grand Rapids on September 10, 2014. There were 2 other speakers along with Mr. Ramsey and the information they presented was very useful and relevant; I will include their message in these notes.
Christy Wright, a certified business coach, started the day talking about the importance of identifying and managing your own personal anchors; for example, hers were: team first, collaboration and innovation. Every decision that needs to be made in her business is put to a litmus test, gaging if the outcome is in line with at least one of her anchors. This is useful when people ask you to do them favors, serve on boards, volunteer, etc. – if the activities they are asking you to participate in do not advance your business or your life, you need determine if it is worth it to commit the time and energy that could be spent with your family or improving your current situation. Just because someone needs you, it does not obligate you. Christy says that you don’t just have the right to say “No” sometimes, you have the responsibility to say “No” in order to have that irreplaceable time with your loved ones. Only you can be a good wife/husband to your wife/husband and only you can be a good mom/dad to your children.
The second speaker was Chris Hogan, the host of Dave Ramsey’s “Entreleadership” podcast on business and leadership. Chris spent his time discussing the importance of knowing the personality styles of your team. He recommends using the DISC program as a tool to identify the communication styles, the learning styles and the personality traits of each individual so that others will know how to work with them most effectively. In the Dave Ramsey organization, there are DISC reports outside of each employee’s cubicle or office and everyone is trained on reading the results; everyone knows the best way to approach everyone else. If you create an environment that allows your team to flourish, they will.
Dave Ramsey spent the afternoon talking about the fundamental principles for business success. He, too, talked about the importance of having a championship team and said that companies that have great teams did not get them by accident; there needs to be strategies and initiative in place that ensure you have an excellent team. He said that you need to awaken the possibilities in others – do you see their eyes light up when they talk about their jobs or projects that they are working on? Are they given the opportunity to be excited about what they’re doing? If they are not enjoying their work, what are you, as a leader, lacking? The philosophy that he lives by is: “Hand your negatives up and your positives down and around”.
Mr. Ramsey said that the first step in creating a dynamic team is to take the time to properly interview potential employees. In their organization, they interview each person 15 times over the course of 3 months, with the final interview being a dinner with the candidate and their spouse. He said that you would be amazed by what you can learn from one single meal with the spouse. They put that much effort in to hiring people to ensure that they don’t have to do it again soon and to “keep the crazy out”. They require each candidate to submit an annual household budget as part of the process as well; if they need $60,000 per year to pay their bills and you are only offering $45,000, they are always going to be looking for something better. You don’t want dissatisfied employees from the beginning – that is not good for you, for them or for the organization.
Ramsey also stated that the five main enemies of unity in your organization are: poor communication, gossip, unresolved agreements, lack of shared purpose and sanctioned incompetence. Make sure that your team knows what their focus is, that they know where the organization is headed and let them be part of the process; this gives them ownership and a feeling of pride that will show in their work. Make sure that your employees are given the resources needed to succeed. Don’t grow faster that your infrastructure allows.
While there were many other great points, I cannot go over all of them here, but one of the most imperative tidbits from the day was: once you have your championship team in place, keep your focus on your customers and the profits will follow.