Temptations in business are a constant

By Jeff Schumacher | May 31, 2012

I just finished a book titled, The Five Temptations of a CEO. It was written about 10 years ago, but has been so popular that they recently had to do a reprint. The author of the book is Patrick Lencioni.

Patrick is no ordinary book writer. He came about it, as he puts it "by accident." Patrick's real job was as the owner of a small business consulting firm that worked with CEO's from various sized companies. His primary goal was to develop solid executive teams and foster a strong organizational health. After being successful with his theories and strategies, someone prompted him to write a book.

At first blush, this book would seem out of touch with a small company like many we find in Haywood County. But, that couldn't be further from the truth. This book is perfect for small businesses, because it deals with problems we all face each day.

Problems like how to best market a product; ways to make sure employees are being held accountable, and not just doing their job; and a host of other pitfalls I find myself working on daily.

The five temptations that are discussed in the book are; choosing status over results; choosing popularity over accountability; choosing certainty over clarity; choosing harmony over conflict; and choosing invulnerability over trust.

The book is crafted into a story so it's not just a listing of temptations we may succumb to, but rather a story that takes you on a realistic journey that many of us resonate with.

As I got more into the book, I started to realize that this guy was just like all of us small business owners here in Haywood County. Patrick took a chance that someone would need his service, or buy his book. It's that spirit of optimism and drive that makes places like Haywood County special.

Last weekend my family and I, along with hundreds of others, enjoyed the first "Downtown Block Party" on Main Street. What a fantastic event. There was something for everyone, and the owners and their employees of the stores were all doing their part to make the event a huge success. It's what makes living here such a joy.

And, that's what this book is all about. It's about making your business relevant through your employees, and not falling into one of the five temptations.

I will admit that I can see bits and pieces of these temptations in me once in a while, but now that they are in my sight, I am going to work hard to keep them from getting in the way of our success.

Entrepreneurial spirit is what this book is all about. Staying grounded and keeping your employees sharp are key ingredients to any successful business. It's also about being brave and courageous by being an entrepreneur in the first place.

If you get a chance to read this book, I know it will make an impact on you. It gives you plenty to ponder, as well as a host of ingredients to make your business more successful.

We all want to be successful in what we do, and we are all proud to be a small business in America. We just need some friendly advice once in a while. And, Patrick Lencioni's book is just that.

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