As an entrepreneur (sometimes defined as "a person who will jump out of an airplane with the idea that he or she will build a parachute on the way down") I have always been very aware of my need for calm, organized, talented people who can help me make my wild dreams a reality, and somehow bridge the gap between my visionary/artistic/insanity-loving/creative self and the real world of consistency, results, practicality, human beings — the art of the possible.
Now along come Molly Hall and Laney Chavis with their new book "Don't Be A Yes Chick!" which shows me what that partnership looks like from the other side, and instructs their target readers (administrators, assistants, COOs, VPs, and all who work for an entrepreneur) in how to work with an entrepreneur in a way that allows both parties to flourish and succeed.
The book, which you can purchase here, is chock-full of good advice, some very practical tools, and a formula for success. Working in an entrepreneurial office is very different than working in a corporate structure, as the authors point out. One is like being in the regular army. The other is like guerilla warfare. In the entrepreneurial office, everyone does everything, and everyone does whatever it takes. There is no room, they say, for the entitlement mentality, no room for negative attitude, and no way you go to your boss with a problem unless you are also bringing a proposed solution.
Although I think the primary value of the book is for anyone who is working, or wants to work for, an entrepreneur (identified by the authors as "intrapreneurs"), there is much of value for the entrepreneur as well. I know I felt myself cringing at times, when I recognized some of my own behavior (like introducing one of my key employees as "the person who does all the work"). I learned from "Don't Be A Yes Chick!" and I think most people who work in small businesses would, as well.
I have some questions, too — questions I hope to ask when I interview the authors for the SmartTalk podcast this month. Among my questions: Why are the overwhelming majority of these entrepreneur/intrapreneur relationships also older male/younger female relationships? Is that why the clever theme of "chicks" throughout the book? Were they worried that some women would be offended by that? Is there some sort of romantic undertone or tension in the relationship between older man and younger female assistant? How does this assistant (or the entrepreneur for that matter) deal with it, if it crops up? How would most intrapreneurs like to be titled? Or paid? What do they find special about working for an entrepreneur? In what ways is it better than working for a "manager" in a corporation? And so on…
Clearly, then, I found this book worth my time. You should be able to read it in an evening, and I think both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs will find it valuable. Its insights are presented with wit and a sense of fun (the "chick" theme indicating that none of us can afford to take ourselves too seriously), and it includes some very valuable tools and techniques. Buy it here.