E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

  • E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

    Posted by Beverlee Rasmussen on March 2, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    This 30 year old classic is a must read for every small business owner. Rated on of the best business books of all time by Fortune 500 Magazine.  Have you read it? What was the biggest lesson and how are you incorporating that into your organization?  Would you recommend this and why?

    Beth replied 3 years, 5 months ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • James Flawith

    Member
    May 10, 2018 at 3:36 am

    I think one of the biggest revelations I got from the E-Myth was the differentiation between “entrepreneur,” “technician” and “manager” roles in business. It may seem a bit strange, but I had never thought of anything other than the technical aspect of the work, the doing of the work as “work.” I still struggle with this… it seems when I let my guard down I slip into “doing everything” technician mode.

    I also catch myself getting frustrated when an employee makes a mistake or screws something up. It’s hard not to blame them. Ultimately, I’m the one who is responsible for creating a system to instruct employees how to do tasks, for ensuring the systems function correctly and then also for putting the right people in the right positions. So… that mistake? Ya, it’s my fault.

  • Beth

    Member
    March 9, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    I read this book because of YOU, Beverlee. It’s been invaluable to me and I’m so glad you’re here helping us move the ideas into the reality of our businesses.

    Like James, one of my big ‘A-ha’s was seeing the distinction among entrepreneur, technician and manager – and realizing in a bit more depth just how the roles work (or don’t work) together.

    When I decided to leave biotech in the late 90s, it was in no small part because as the small company I worked for grew these roles were becoming separate departments – and the transition was a train-wreck. Morale plummetted and a lot of us in the ‘technician’ role bailed for other companies or careers. The phrase ‘they don’t pay me enough to put up with all the bullshit around here’ was not uncommon. In the lab we used less colourful language (mostly), but my attempts to explain to my manager that while the company didn’t have a lot of money, it did have a great culture (I’d left Imperial Oil and had taken a pay cut to work for this company) and they did have control over the ‘bullshit’ part of the equation. My boss – our Research Director – was no match for what the R&D staff regularly called ‘those assholes down the hall in marketing’. There was a lot of bullying of research staff from the blustering marketing director and the head of manufacturing that wasn’t addressed.

    I think this is a good example of what Gerber was getting at, and the absolute importance of creating a cohesive company culture that includes systems. When I left biotech and went into education, my practicum supervising teacher told me that in his classrooms (high school science) he didn’t have ‘rules’, but instead had ‘procedures’. Having clear procedures removed the need for a lot of rules. It meant that he was the role model for the procedures – he demonstrated ‘how we do things around here’ and was consistent.

    It’s not the people, it’s more often the systems that are in place that need attention. While Tony was ill, I had some work as a consultant for our local FN Band, and I found that a big part of finding the solution to issues was in asking the employees about what was going on and what could be tweaked. There were some big issues that were handled by making some small tweaks in process. Management was talking about ‘respect’ in general terms without listening/looking for procedures that could be changed so that people actually felt more respected.

    The difficult bit seems to be translating our guiding values into discrete actions that fit with our values. HOW we do things needs to reflect WHY we’re doing them. It can be very difficult to keep this in mind as we scramble to get our business running.