Running your business successfully by The Book

What kinds of skills and best practices can you learn by reading How to run your business by The Book – the recent offering from leadership guru Dave Anderson?

 Chapter titles make that clear:

 –       Four mandates to maximize your time

–       How to overcome the #1 cause of management failure

–       Five steps to building rock-solid integrity

–       How to manage your money by The Book

–       Four steps to create life-work balance

–       Four steps to build a team by The Book

 So at first blush you’d categorize this as a “coaching”  book for business managers and corporate leaders – and you wouldn’t be off track.

But the target audience seems a bit more focused – as the sub-title: A Biblical Blueprint to Bless Your Business  suggests.

The book appears mainly targeted — or let me rephrase that – is  likely be read mainly by Christian business leaders and knowledge workers.

 And if that’s the case, it would be a pity as I suspect the book could have a much wider appeal.

 Skimming through the contents to decide whether this volume is worth a read, has convinced me it is.

The Chapter on how to maximize your time includes some interesting insights– such as: getting in your zone and staying there; deciding what you must give up to go up; and pursuing the gifts you have, not those you want.

But I must admit there’s another reason why I believe Dave Anderson’s book is worth reading – and that’s the credentials of the man himself. 

I recently had the opportunity to interview Anderson for a story I wrote for on the rise of workplace stress. 

In that interview, he offered several insights into the causes of workplace stress – and said the chief among these is leadership lapses. 

When we started discussing the most common leadership lapses, Anderson drew on his own experience as an employee, manager and entrepreneur, consultant and trainer.

Anderson started off as a car salesman and worked his way up in business until he was running a $300 million retail automotive network that was sold around 11 years ago. He’s authored 10 books, writes a couple of monthly national magazine columns on leadership and has created plenty of resources to help leaders develop themselves and their teams.  

And everything he said in that interview was practical and down-to-earth.   

For instance, he talked about how the recession has caused many corporate leaders to adopt attitudes and behaviours that erode employee morale.

Some of them, he noted, have disengaged from their staff, focusing on the numbers rather than people. “I call it spending more time with paper work than people work.”

He cited disengagement and passivity are other destructive coping mechanisms some managers have adopted.

Some leaders, he said, have simply stopped leading. “They’ve become isolated, out of touch — spending a lot of time in their offices, with worried looks on their faces, instead of out there with their people.”

He emphasized that especially in times of uncertainty people respond well to strong leadership. “They’re clamouring for a sense of direction, and when they don’t get that from their managers they mentally check out of their jobs and just go through the motions.”

He also provided several suggestions that leaders could use immediately to create a new mindset in themselves and a turnaround in the teams they lead. I won’t mention them here but direct you to the story I wrote.

So based on what emerged from the interview and a scan of the book itself, I’ve decided to read Running Your Business By the Book from cover to cover. 

Watch our site for a more detailed review once I’ve had a chance to do that.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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