Guess what — entrepreneurs can read!
I had always thought that those entrepreneurial types never had time to curl up for a cozy read, unless they were reading the sales brochure for the Ferrari Superamerica they were going to buy the minute their company was sold to Facebook.
Apparently, I had it wrong. Now that I have stumbled upon the Inc.com website, I understand that entrepreneurs around the globe are spending quality time, cuddled up with cups of hot cocoa and scads of hot articles about management techniques. Don’t believe me? I direct the jury to exhibit No. 1 — an Inc.com article titled “8 Core Beliefs of Extraordinary Bosses,” by Geoffrey James.
I know you get nervous when you hear about “core beliefs,” and it may make you feel inadequate to learn that some people have as many as eight of the darn things. Personally, I think you should be proud of your core beliefs, few and puny as they may be.
Some people might consider you shallow if they knew you had built your entire career based on your core beliefs that office meetings are the best time to scrounge for lunch leftovers in the break-room fridge and it’s always best to have your desk near the fire exit, so you can sneak out anytime you want.
But look how well these core beliefs have served you so far!
Still, if you’d like to add a few core beliefs to your collection, James is happy to share. In fact, he believes that by adopting these particular core beliefs an average boss could become an extraordinary boss. Of course, this creates a whole new set of problems, but let’s take a chance and see if any of these core beliefs fit you.
“Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield” is one of these extraordinary core beliefs, since it identifies those rare bosses who “can quickly form partnerships with other companies, customers … and even competitors.”
There’s a name for this kind of cooperation between competitors. It’s called price fixing; it’s quite illegal, and if you’re lucky enough to have a boss sufficiently extraordinary to include you in the scheme, it can get you sent to jail. Thanks, boss!
“A company is a community, not a machine” is another core belief. Refusing to think of employees as simply “cogs,” these bosses are extraordinary because instead of “pulling levers” and “steering the ship,” they “see their company as a collection of individual hopes and dreams.”
This is all very new age, but it could be a big problem for you — an employee who loves being a cog. And who can blame you? Cogs don’t make decisions. Cogs don’t have responsibilities. All cogs do is mindlessly rotate and get nowhere at all. In other words, exactly what you do best.
Another core belief is “my employees are my peers, not my children.” Now this is a core belief you’ve really got to hate. Peers get annual reviews and 1 percent raises. Children get cookie time every afternoon, and Fashionista Barbie and Dance Star Mickey for their birthdays. Plus, they can roll out their nap mats when they get tired. When peers need a nap, they have to hide in the supply closet.
“Motivation comes from vision, not from fear” is one core belief I can definitely endorse. A boss doesn’t have to get in your face to get you working. Your manager marching down the hall with a red face, clenched fists and steam shooting from her ears is a vision guaranteed to motivate.
“Change equals growth, not pain” is another core belief that is at the emotional nucleus of an extraordinary boss. Aren’t you ashamed you thought all the recent lay-offs were due to bosses trying to cut expenses to maximize their own paychecks? Aren’t you glad that you now understand that your bosses were only firing everyone in sight because they were trying to provide growth?
The final core belief of exceptional managers is “work should be fun, not mere toil.” That’s why they “put people in jobs that can and do make them truly happy.” Average managers “buy into the notion that work is, at best, a necessary evil.” This all may be true, but if you ask me, the truly exceptional manager thinks work is an unnecessary evil and doesn’t expect you to do much of anything at all, except collect your paycheck.
As I’m sure you’ll agree — when it comes to core beliefs, that’s a winner.
Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at firstname.lastname@example.org.