The One Minute Entrepreneur
by Ken Blanchard and Don Hutson with Ethan Willis
The One Minute Entrepreneur, gives hope, insight, direction and maybe most importantly strategy to anyone who is already, or dreams of becoming, a successful entrepreneur. Building the story of Jud McCarley, from slacking student through successful businessman, it provides us with insight into his struggles, errors, growing points, advice received. This isn’t just Jud’s story though. Its the story of anyone and everyone that has the entrepreneurial fire within them. Names have been changed, yet the details remain the same.
The writing style of the book is based around advice given to Jud in his student years by his high school football coach, that he carried with him the rest of his life. That advice is to take note of the advice given to you by those that are worthy mentors, having the successes you desire, and to write them down so that you can forever come back to them. As such, this book is full of a LOT of little highly valuable advice fragments, interwoven into a fascinating and easy to read story. It is easy to come to love the lead character and to hope for his successes and to fear as you watch him make mistakes that are so easy to make.
The value of mentoring is strongly presented in this book. Not, however, as an arguement, but in a way you can see how Jud was directly able to leverage the life-knowledge of other highly successful individuals to have outcomes that would have been unlikely without their input. It is important to seek a mentor that has those successes and then to uphold your end, the position of the mentoree, by remaining enthusiastic, coachable and accountable.
As Jud’s business grows, with the advice of more than a handful of valuable mentors, and countless books by other sucecssful people, we see how mentoring does not just apply to our personal lives but also our professional ones. We receive a constant stream of useful tips from the book. Its tempting for me to put them here in bullet points but I think that would take away from the strength of this book.
I grew up in a small family business and I often saw the dynamics of different management styles affect our work output. When we managed people, in the most classical sense, we were often faced with resignation from the staff and found them cutting corners as often as possible. However when we deeply embraced them as extensions of the business, as part of the business, and many might say as extended family, they became able to feel something akin to ownership and pride in the establishment. This seemingly subtle shift made all the difference in our results. It also deeply affected my views of the traditional management model. This has been a blessing. Today business has changed because peoples views have changed. In the classic management model, it takes a business lucking into having a few die-hards that give everything to the business and never question authority. It takes a loyalty that existed because “thats what you do”. Today, that view is mostly gone, perhaps even destroyed by the very system it served. Today people want to know in their hearts why they should follow you. They want to feel its a constant ongoing choice and to trust that you retain an interest in their well being as much as they do yours. Today, the classic management model fails.
This book is very much in line with a model of management that keeps everyone involved connected to the bigger picture of the project. It serves as an excellent read to proceed or follow a number of books. Having just read and deeply enjoyed Tribal Leadership, by Dave Logan, John King, & Halee Fischer-Wright, it was the approach to managing people that most deeply struck me. However, this is a book that deserves multiple re-reads. This is one of those books that will serve you in a new way, each time you read it, as you’ve grown and your current needs have changed between readings. I recommend this one for your book collection, to be read both as a healthy overview to be sure your on the right track and to give you constantly fresh ideas on how to move your life forward. Its the essence of countless mentors simmered down into an easy to love work of literature.