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Entrepreneurs exhibit various leadership styles in their businesses. Some are hierarchical and imperial. They are the boss and everyone knows it. I have heard that a current public leader has told subordinates that he does not pay them to think or have opinions; he pays them to do what he tells them to do. I recently observed a discussion with another entrepreneur who was protesting that someone was discussing an issue with his “people.” He summed up his style by saying: “I have no people, there is only me. I am the only one in my organization that makes decisions.” The business he runs is a multistate chain of distribution outlets. Neither of these organizations seems like it would be a fulfilling place to work for most of our readers.
The onset of March Madness seems like an appropriate time to focus on another style of leadership that is displayed on the hardwood – point guard leadership. The role of the point guard is to implement the coach’s game plan. He or she provides leadership in the midst of the chaos of competition by controlling the tempo of the game and distributing the ball in a fashion that plays to the strengths of teammates. Point guards are seldom the team’s biggest star and usually do not lead the team in points scored or rebounds. They also are not typically the one to take the last second shot, but their leadership is critical on the outcome of the game.
This month’s interviewee, Gary Williams was a point guard during his playing career at Maryland and is one of many former point guards to succeed at the coaching level. Most talented people would rather work in an organization that is led by someone who leads like a point guard. Someone who distributes responsibility, plays to people’s strengths, gets tasks to the appropriate people at the appropriate time and who is motivated by the team’s ultimate success rather than personal recognition.
How do you lead – emperor or point guard?
2010: Market Conditions will be better for selling a company
We’re excited to bring you our final “Evergreen News” for 2009. Most of our Friends of Evergreen are somewhere between thankful and euphoric when they think of having 2009 in their rearview mirror. From the inauguration of a new president in January, the first quarter meltdown of the stock market to its comeback over the second half of the year, 10% unemployment while gold was blowing past a $1,000 an ounce……..2009 has been a “character builder” for everyone.
“What would Jimmy Buffett do”, is our way of connecting the dots to a decision that many business owners will consider in 2010 – To Sell or Not to Sell their business. At Evergreen, we anticipate that M&A activity will be up significantly over 2009. Though the banks remain cautious, well run companies in the middle market sector are anxious to expand their footprint; the capital to do acquisitions will be there. We’re also seeing strong signs that business valuations are rising, offering encouragement to business owners who want to spend more time in “Margaritaville.”
2009 has been a year of “growth and development” for us at Evergreen. We’ve added a number of key team members over the last twelve months and expect to add at least two more in the next thirty days. Team Evergreen has never been stronger; we’re deep and look forward to working with you in 2010. In the mid 80’s U.S. West ran an ad that showed cowboys on a hard trail drive, the caption under the ad read, “In business you either make dust or you eat dust.” 2009 has created a greater sense of urgency for all of us.
We want to wish everyone a safe and joyous holiday and a fantastic start to the new year. We thank you for your friendship and support and look forward to helping you “make dust” in 2010.
Happy Holidays from your friends at Evergreen