Friday, October 28, 2011

EntreLeadership - Audiobook Review

Title: EntreLeadership
Author: Dave Ramsey
Narrator: Dave Ramsey
Abridged Length: 6 h, 15 m
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio, 2011
Genres: Nonfiction, Business

From the Publisher:
Your company is only as strong as your leaders. These are the men and women doing battle daily beneath the banner that is your brand. Are they courageous or indecisive? Are they serving a motivated team or managing employees? Are they valued?

EntreLeaders are hard-charging and passionate, encouraging and motivating. They have the pioneering spirit of an entrepreneur and the humble spirit of a leader. EntreLeadership is how they guide their companies to success, and how you can too.

My Review:
Dave Ramsey is well known for his radio show “The Dave Ramsey Show” and his Financial Peace University seminars, as well as his three bestselling books. I must confess up front that I’ve never heard his radio show, never been to any of his seminars, and have never read any of his previous books. I’ve been aware of him for a long time and have had friends and relatives tell me great things about him.

I was interested in this book as we are in the process of starting a business and I wanted to hear his “practical business wisdom” and learn pitfalls to avoid.

Dave Ramsey lives up to his reputation in giving good solid and practical financial advice. This book is directed at small business owners and ones wanting to start a business who want to be financially successful, or as Ramsey says, “To Win.” He uses sports imagery of team members, a playbook, and winning throughout; with various Bible scriptures thrown in for good measure. Ramsey is up front about being a Christian and trying to run his business based on biblical principles. He doesn't dwell on it and the principles he uses will work for Christian and non-Christian alike.

Ramsey avoids theory that is so common in most pop-management books. He uses real stories to illustrate his principles. I thought the strongest part of the book was early on with his idea of "Start with a dream, end with a goal." He does a good job of showing how to move a dream to a vision to a mission statement to a goal. Ramsey feels effective goal setting is crucial for success for the EntreLeader. He also does a great job illustrating how to lead a business instead of simply managing a business.

Management concepts are covered as the basics such as accounting, finance, sales, marketing, and HR all are important. His focus is on how to do it right and why it matters. Ramsey also focuses on time management since it is a major potential pitfall to the EntreLeader, if not handled well.

He doesn’t seem to have kind words to say about anyone who is just looking to have a good job, to be a good employee of someone else. In fact, he says that in his mind, employees come in late, leave early, and steal while they are at work. Ouch! Ramsey doesn’t want employees in his business, he wants totally driven and committed team members. The book isn’t directed toward folks just wanting to collect a pay check.

This is an abridgement of the book, but it still works well. There is no unabridged version available in audio. My guess is that most of what was removed was additional stories to support points, as Ramsey seems to love to share stories.

Dave Ramsey is passionate about his brand and his business, and that comes out in his narration. He speaks very clearly and even though he is from Tennessee, his accent is not strong. He does a good job with voice inflection, particularly when sharing illustrations. It is quite evident he is an experienced public speaker. His pacing throughout is good. EntreLeadership seemed like a very quick listen, even though it was slightly over 6 hours in length. This audio was produced at Ramsey’s office studio in the Nashville area. Production quality is good. I listened in the car, at my PC through the speakers, and through ear buds. I never needed to adjust the volume while listening, as it worked well in all settings. I think the audio is a better medium for this type of book, and I've read many business and leadership books.

If you are a small business owner or would like to be one, listen to EntreLeadership. You will learn lots of good practical advice in starting and operating a successful business, from the playbook of someone who has actually done it.

I listened to a review copy of this audiobook courtesy of Simon & Schuster Audio, through the Solid Gold Reviewer program of Audiobook Jukebox.


  1. That is an...interesting statement about employees, but I guess I see what he means if he's differentiating between employees and team members, I guess.

  2. Yes, he was differentiating and really wants only fully committed folks in his organization. Few of his 300 employees are on straight salary and for those that are, the base is relatively low, with departmental performance incentives built into the pay structure. He said he'd pay everyone on straight commission, if he could figure out a way to do so. --JEFF