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Ask Dave

Government EntreLeaders?

A listener asks if it’s beneficial for a government worker to go through EntreLeadership. Dave says it can be a double-edged sword.

QUESTION: A listener asks if it’s beneficial for a government worker to go through EntreLeadership. Dave says it can be a double-edged sword.

ANSWER: I think the EntreLeadership course is good for anyone who’s a leader. The more control you have over your environment, the more you’ll enjoy the course. I’ve had federal and state employees come through, but some of the stuff we suggest they do is so radical in how well you treat your team, that if you don’t have control of the ability to treat your team as well as I’m suggesting, you’re going to be very frustrated with your workplace. It’s not that positive in that sense. I’d love to have him. Yes, he’ll learn something. Yes, it’d be good if everybody was enthused. But he needs to understand coming in—and I would set his expectations realistically—when I tell you to walk around on Friday afternoon and try to catch somebody doing a great job and just hand them $50 and say, “Hey, take your spouse out to dinner tonight,” that’s a little tough to do in a federal government environment unless you take it out of your own pocket. We actually allocate funds for stuff like that around here because we like to love on our people. Consequently, they work their butts off. Consequently, we have a fabulous environment and everybody wants to work here. That’s what the EntreLeadership stuff is about.

If you don’t work here, we’ll fire your butt. You’ve got to work. It’s tough, but we do. Sometimes in the federal government, if you don’t work, you have to go through 97 hoops to get some twerp out of there whose parents are cousins and won’t work, you know? It’s frustrating. I run a small business of 300 people. If you’re not going to work, I can sit down with you and go, “You don’t work here anymore.” And guess what? You don’t work here anymore. It’s not any harder than that. In that sense, he’s going to be frustrated with some of the stuff we’re teaching because we’re very action-oriented and results-oriented and production-oriented, and we love on our people well and all of that.

But is it a good course for anyone who’s in leadership? You bet. I’ll tell you who has benefitted that will surprise you: corporate people. They have more control over their environment than some of them realize for changing the culture of their division or at least their department. It’s amazing what they can do in those areas. I strongly recommend that.