Bob Goldman

Guess what -- entrepreneurs can read!

I had always thought that those entrepreneurial types never had time to curl up for a cozy read, unless they were reading the sales brochure for the Ferrari Superamerica they were going to buy the minute their company was sold to Facebook.

Apparently, I had it wrong. Now that I have stumbled upon the Inc.com website, I understand that entrepreneurs around the globe are spending quality time, cuddled up with cups of hot cocoa and scads of hot articles about management techniques. Don't believe me? I direct the jury to exhibit No. 1 -- an Inc.com article titled "8 Core Beliefs of Extraordinary Bosses," by Geoffrey James.

I know you get nervous when you hear about "core beliefs," and it may make you feel inadequate to learn that some people have as many as eight of the darn things. Personally, I think you should be proud of your core beliefs, few and puny as they may be.

Some people might consider you shallow if they knew you had built your entire career based on your core beliefs that office meetings are the best time to scrounge for lunch leftovers in the break-room frig and it's always best to have your desk near the fire exit, so you can sneak out anytime you want.

But look how well these core beliefs have served you so far!

Still, if you'd like to add a few core beliefs to your collection, James is happy to share. In fact, he believes that by adopting these particular core beliefs an average boss could become an extraordinary boss. Of course, this creates a whole new set of problems, but let's take a chance and see if any of these core beliefs fit you.

"Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield" is one of these extraordinary core beliefs, since it identifies those rare bosses who "can quickly form partnerships with other companies, customers ... and even competitors."

There's a name for this kind of cooperation between competitors. It's called price fixing; it's quite illegal, and if you're lucky enough to have a boss sufficiently extraordinary to include you in the scheme, it can get you sent to jail. Thanks, boss!

"A company is a community, not a machine" is another core belief. Refusing to think of employees as simply "cogs," these bosses are extraordinary because instead of "pulling levers" and "steering the ship," they "see their company as a collection of individual hopes and dreams."

This is all very new age, but it could be a big problem for you -- an employee who loves being a cog. And who can blame you? Cogs don't make decisions. Cogs don't have responsibilities. All cogs do is mindlessly rotate and get nowhere at all. In other words, exactly what you do best.


Bob Goldman

Bob Goldman is a business humor writer.

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