According to The Economist: “American entrepreneurship is flourishing, if you know where to look.” And the Kauffman Foundation reports that high-growth entrepreneurship has rebounded in America, indicating an upswing since the global financial crisis.
That’s good news as we also celebrate National Entrepreneurship Month this November. And it’s also what we’re experiencing across our Dwyer Group brands and in the franchising arena at-large. More people want to be the boss and make a monumental leap in life from employee to employer. Franchising continues to do that in record numbers. But unlike entrepreneurs who have to invent things from the ground up, franchisors give franchisees the systems to follow that help support success.
So, where does a growing audience of entrepreneurs learn how to lead?
The Kauffman startup index estimates that some 550,000 people become entrepreneurs each month. But where do these entrepreneurs learn how to lead, and where can they find the resources to grow their businesses into dynamic and thriving organizations with staying power?
When I was young, my father Don Dwyer would have us listen to cassette tapes for leadership lessons. I learned from legends on those tapes like: Zig Ziglar, Napoleon Hill, Stephen Covey, and Paul J Meyer. Those lessons have stayed with me throughout my career. And my passion to give back to others in the same way continues to grow.
That’s one reason I wrote my book Values, Inc. I wanted to spread a similar leadership lesson to the public at-large about how living and leading with a strong Code of Values can create that foundation for success. It’s something we teach to our franchisees across Dwyer Group. But everyone can learn from this same idea.
I had the privilege of sharing that message on the EntreLeadership podcast recently. Podcasts are the motivational tapes of today’s era, and you can listen to my interview on “Why Values Matter” HERE.
The show is all about empowering entrepreneurs with tools to succeed. It’s part of the EntreLeadership organization led by Dave Ramsey, and their mission is so simple, yet enormously important: “We Help Business Owners Become Better Leaders.” They are so good at it that the podcast reaches some 90,000 listeners each episode.
Values (ethics) create value (profits) in business and should be a cornerstone for leadership.
Being a good leader doesn’t mean that people don’t make mistakes. As I shared in the podcast, we’re all human. The important thing is to give our best effort every day, and a good Code of Values can help us on that journey. When we don’t know the answer to a situation, we have a Code of Values that can guide us toward a solution.
It’s not a perfect system, but the key is making leadership accountable and showing the way for the rest of the team to follow. Many companies have a goal to create a good code of values, but 95% fall short of putting those values into action. They frame them, hang them on the wall and walk away.
As entrepreneurs look for the keys to leadership success, I hope more will look for ways to live out their values. It breeds a culture that builds a team, supports a brand, champions a mission and delivers in more ways than you could possibly imagine…including the bottom line.