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Submitted by rakinsler on


Greetings All,

This is my first post on the forum but a long time podcast listener and relatively recent licensee and conference attendee. 

Very short background to prep the question - I am an entrepreneur at heart and the founder and relatively young (31) CEO of my 4 year old company, an adult sports rec company (think softball, kickball, special events, etc). I have a small (7 full time) and young (average age is 25?) team.

I'd like to be able to bring them more perspective on what makes small businesses "go" or conversely "fail" while also helping to encourage a more entrepreneurial way of thinking as a core foundation to part of our culture and the behaviors championed here at the company. 

So... with that. My thought was to have a monthly, possibly twice monthly, in office viewing of the TV show the Profit. My goal would be for the viewing to have a discussion afterward of what we thought was interesting, could apply to how or what we do here and what we might want to incorporate here or make sure doesn't happen here. 

I want to try and find a way that is engaging to get these types of conversation flowing. I know the show is surely not perfect but I think it does provide good insights. 

Thoughts on this idea and approach?!

Thank you in advance for anyone willing to share.


ashdenver's picture

What are your goals for this exercise? Are you trying to train your staff to become entrepreneurs? I've never heard of the show so I can only guess what it's like. I would guess that some of them are "only in it for a paycheck" and they will spend the entire time eyerolling (visibly or not.) Maybe skip the showing and go straight to the discussion - throw a topic out there and ask each of them to forecast how it would impact the business and encourage them to make suggestions for modifications along the way.

My concern would be that the viewing experience is geared to make them into Mini-Rakinster's and no one really wants to be their boss - they want to be themselves, successful but still themselves. Take you (aka the entrepreneurial spirit) out of the equation and still have the discussion.

Just my two cents ...


mrreliable's picture

Our company also fosters a sense of empowerment among employees. We started from scratch 10 years ago, and have exceeded even the hopes for success we had at the beginning. Our success is a direct result of the quality of our employees’ performance, and their performance is a direct result of instilling a feeling of ownership of the process. We don’t just train our employees to perform specific functions. We’ve created a culture where each employee is encouraged, and expected, to be involved in strategic planning and implementing processes. This sounds like what you’re trying to instill in your employees.

People, process, and product. I’m mesmerized when I watch The Profit. Certainly there’s some artificial drama cooked up by the show’s producers, but studying Marcus Lemonis’ approach to business is fascinating. One thing he does consistently is lay all the cards on the table for all the employees. This puts everyone on the same page and creates an atmosphere where all the employees share common goals. At the very least, exposing your employees to The Profit will help them figure out what makes you tick, which is what relationships are really all about.

Lemonis recently made a statement that customers are not number 1. Employees are number 1. If your employees aren’t happy, your customers won’t be happy. At our company all the executives have a sincere appreciation for all the employees, and our number one goal is to make them as happy and productive as humanly possible. It’s paid off big time. Great company success, positive atmosphere, almost no turnover.

I think it’s a great idea to take some time with your employees to watch the show.

williamelledgepe's picture
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I wouldn't use the show.  It sounds like a management gimmick that you are likely to drop after a few times, has a limited benefit, improves behavior in the short term (if at all), and is likely to be based on compliance with the bosses wish.  

I see more effective ways of getting what you want.  Use the Feedback Model and the Coaching Model.  Provide positive feedback on the behaviors you want to see more of and they will demonstrate them more frequently.  Provide coaching for something that is more of a stretch or the person is not doing well.  Coaching also lets the solution be customized to the individual.  Since your business is a collection of individuals a customized aproach will work better.

If you are trying to give them a better perspective on what makes a small business go - they can see it around them - which you should reinforce with the Feedback Model.  You have a small business that is 4 years old - so clearly you are doing something right - and there are behaviors to replicate - aka "making the small business go."  Use the Feedback Model.  

If you want them to be more entreprenurial (whatever that means to you and your business) then use the coaching model.  You could recommend the show as one of the resources - but let them choose what activity that actually do.  

I think a conversation about a show you like and how it applies to your business will come across with staff trying to guess the answers you want to hear.  There will be a conversation - and you might even like it - and it is likley to be followed by the same beahviors before the showing.  

If you want to have more conversations about entreprenuership - provide specific, positive feedback when you see it - and they will replicate that behavior.  Since learning the Feedback Model I have been surprised how base it is to the human experience - and how effective it is - and how easy it is (though it is not easy to do 5x a day).  I am not as practiced at the Coaching Model, but this does seem like a good use of both Feedback and Coaching Models.  

BZOpportunityManagement's picture

I watch the show myself and have definitely gotten some good management/process improvement tips from it. I don't know if I would show an entire episode, but perhaps add something to the weekly staff meeting where you show a clip or two to reinforce the points you want to make. I think you would get a more receptive audience and it would minimize the risk of it being seen to be a "gimmick."