Army of Entrepreneurs: Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth

by Ben on March 28, 2011

Last week I received a copy of Jennifer Prosek’s new leadership book Army of Entrepreneurs: Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth.

Having read dozens of similarly titled leadership and management books over the last few years, the titles and respective tag lines of each new book were rapidly become more and more of a cliche’. Would I really be more competent or capable at motivating and empowering those under my leadership after reading this book? Would I really glean any practicable information that would have an immediate impact on the value our organization provides for our clients? It wasn’t long into the book that I realized that maybe, just maybe, Jennifer Prosek actually had something of value to share.

The biggest problem entrepreneurs face is they very seldom (if ever) are capable of hiring and retaining qualified personnel that share the same passion and commitment to the organization as they do.  There are many contributing factors to this problem, but Prosek keenly focuses on what she feels is the primary cause.  She feels there is a huge failure in the way most companies compensate their employees.  Empowering employees to proactively engage in the success of the company, and rewarding them appropriately for their successes (and failures), will help build an Ary of Entrepreneurs within your own organization (Prosek promises).

What’s the big secret?

The beauty behind Prosek’s principles is that they are both simple in concept and easy to implement; I’m almost ashamed of myself for not having thought of them first! With her “commission for life” compensation strategy. Any employee who lands a new client for the firm will receive 5% of all future revenues generated by the firm for that client (regardless of the employees position). By effectively aligning the employees compensation with the strategic goals of the organization, employees are encouraged and rewarded for their efforts in identifying and securing new clients.

The book is geared towards business to business (b2b) service industries (consulting firms, commercial banking, etc.) but there is also a great deal of content in this book that will enlighten almost any supervisor or manager within an organization (there are also many great case study examples).

Prosek is very passionate about the development of personnel and she clearly lays out many effective strategies for doing so. One of my favorites is her suggestions that supervisors act as a “sponsor” for an individual or group within an organization who has come up with an idea to improve the way the company does business. Employees closest to the front-line are often the ones that come up with the best ideas to improve the performance of the company. Unfortunately, these same individuals are the ones that have the hardest time getting their ideas to the people who can actually do something about the issue. As a “sponsor”, you can help push along the ideas of your subordinates to senior managers while reassuring your team that you value their ideas and contributions to the success of the organization.

This is one of the better business books I have read in a long time and I do recommend it to anyone desiring exactly what the tag-line promises…”Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth”. Whether you own your own business, work in a supervisory role within a large organization, or are just starting your career in an entry level position, this book lays a very solid foundation on a proven way to motivate, empower, and retain highly skilled and competent professionals.

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