viernes, 18 de febrero de 2011

The Two V's of the Good Entrepreneur

Many of you know about the Four P's that make up a marketing strategy -- product, price, promotion, and place.

Those of you who read this blog regularly or have had me in class also know about the Three M's used in assessing opportunities in entrepreneurship -- market, margin, and me (or mission for social and corporate ventures).

In our new book, Bringing Your Business to Life, Mike Naughton and I introduce the Two V's that together help make a "good entrepreneur" -- vocation and virtue.

Entrepreneurs who understand their work as vocation seek to not only serve themselves through their venture, but to also serve a greater purpose.

The entrepreneur has to define the success of his business beyond financial, technical and market achievements to moral and spiritual principles that reveal the business as a gift to others. This may initially sound a bit too moralistic and idealistic. We have found, however, that when entrepreneurs describe their success and satisfaction of their company with a broader criteria than merely financial gain, they are on the way to setting a foundation to building a company that is faithful to their deeper commitments. Some of the criteria include
- creating jobs in which employees can find security;
- generating and distributing wealth for their investors and their employees;
- developing a highly positive culture that attracts workers who see the business as a good place to work;
- maintaining low rates of employee turnover and high employee satisfaction;
- providing needed services and products with great quality, and so forth.

No matter what path leads us to become entrepreneurs, the only way we can be fully human in our work is if we see our work as an opportunity to give our talents to others in service to the good of society and to God.

Virtue includes those habits that define how we approach our work as entrepreneurs.

When a person works, he affects the inner landscape of his character. The issue is not whether he changes himself, but how he changes himself. And the key to understanding the significant revealing of his personhood is not found in the amount of revenues he has generated, or levels of promotions, or the percentage of market share he has captured. Rather, the moral and spiritual character of an entrepreneur or businessperson will be captured in the responsible relationships he has forged with others in the actions of running his business. More specifically, this can be shaped by the opportunities he pursues, who he chooses to do business with, who he hires, decisions he makes about products and markets, decisions about whether and how fast to grow, the corporate culture he builds, and his engagement with the community as a leader and/or citizen.
TrackBack (0) | Comments (2)

Comments on this Entry:

(Andrew Wise on Jul 17, 2008 9:05 AM) I would also add vitality to that V-list. Personally working for myself and constantly innovating and creating value for others makes me feel alive. From those days when I worked for someone else, I just felt my spirit inside me die, and it wasn't until I decided to work for myself and blaze my own trail did I feel alive and full of energy. Now, everyday I can't wait to get to work and don't want to leave. If you can find someone working for "the man" that has this kind of vitality, sign me up :) Great read, thanks for sharing!

(Robert Brouillette on Jul 18, 2008 6:50 PM) I would add VALUE to your list in the sense that a successful entrepreneur must be able to create value for his/her customers.


Your Business Should Match Your Lifestyle

When people use the term "lifestyle business," they usually are referring to something small and even part time. I would argue that every business should be viewed as a lifestyle business.

If you choose a business deliberately based on your aspirations and values, you can create a business that is an intentional reflection of the lifestyle you would like to live.

Your chosen lifestyle may be one of integrating your business skills with your passion to change the world. We call this a social venture. Your lifestyle in this venture would be one of sacrificing some of your own income and wealth potential in exchange for making the world a better place.
Your chosen lifestyle may be one in which you have flexibility to spend the time with your family, your church, your community, your hobbies, or travel.

Many entrepreneurs deliberately limit the growth of their business to allow them time to pursue interests beyond their business.

Your chosen lifestyle may be one in which you want to keep things simple. For example, one of my former students started a business that had the potential for significant growth. She could have added employees and even grown into other markets. But she had no interest in expanding or growing beyond the business she could take care of by herself. She did not ever want to have to add employees and face the complexities that arise with adding staff. Success to her was meeting her basic lifestyle needs through the income from her business, while keeping her life simple.

Some want fame, fortune
Your chosen lifestyle may be one of fame and fortune — of being willing to put your work ahead of everything else. This entrepreneur will need to seek out opportunities that provide wide open markets with significant growth potential.

Be deliberate in planning a business that reflects the lifestyle you want. And understand the trade-offs that come with the choices you make. There are always trade-offs.

High growth ventures offer high rewards of income and wealth. But they also come with the risks associated by pursing such ventures. Your income is more at risk, certainly in the short run. Your family will likely see you less often. And your hobbies and interests will take a back seat.

On the other hand, the decision to keep your business small can offer the ability to control your time and make it more flexible for other parts of your life.

But your income potential will be more limited and you will have to be content with passing up opportunities to add more products, move into other geographic locations, or maximize your share of the market. The key thing is to recognize that every business you start will have an effect on your lifestyle. Be honest with yourself. Know what lifestyle you truly want and then engineer that lifestyle into the business you build.

If you do not intentionally plan your business to meet the lifestyle you want to be living, the business you create can quickly dictate a lifestyle for you.


lunes, 14 de febrero de 2011

Hacerse el dolido

Deben haber muchas cosas peores, pero sin duda, que penca es tener gente que trabaja con uno y que no se les puede hacer saber algo en que podrían mejorar sin que se lo tomen como algo personal o que partan descalificando al resto para limpiar su "honor profesional".

"Cualquier persona que tenga un drama conmigo, que me lo diga de forma directa" es la frase de defensa directa y que probablemente tendrá una buena cantidad de adeptos entre los lectores de este post... sin embargo, creo que todo jefe debe estar siempre abierto también a la lectura entre lineas, al conocimiento acabado de lo que pasa y también saber que toda persona es una mezcla de cosas entre las cuales "los sentimientos" son una parte importante.

Luego: "el que tenga problemas con alguien, no siempre lo dirá", porque la relación de subordinación y dependencia "crea miedo" a decir aquello que es tan evidente a los ojos de muchos, pero no a personas que se cierran en la creencia del mundo "100% transparente" pero también "100% ensimismadas" en que todo lo que hacen es EXCELENTE.

Una lastima real trabajar con gente que no puede aprender a observarse o respetar las observaciones de los otros.