Business Bookworm: ‘Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act Like a CEO’

“Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act Like a CEO” by Beverly E. Jones c.2016, Career Press $15.99, 24 pages

Sometimes, your job is everything you want it to be.

At other times, your workweek feels like it’s ballooned-to-bursting — especially when you’re overloaded, overly-irritated, and overwrought, which seems to be happening more and more lately. So how do you deal with thorny workplace situations without making things worse? “Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act Like a CEO” by Beverly E. Jones might help.

Sixty years ago, back when your grandfather brought home the bacon, the way to get ahead was to be loyal to The Company. Working at the same job your whole life was common then, but now, says Jones, it “seems quaint.”

Today’s employees can expect to have a very non-linear career that could take them to multiple cities and workplace cultures. For that, you don’t need loyalty as much as you need adaptability and resilience. The good news is, you can learn both.

Take, for instance, your first day on the job: Jones says not to assume anything. Instead, plan for that first-day-worst-day and be prepared to “work like crazy” to establish and nurture a good impression on your boss and co-workers.

Since “every organization of any significant size is a collection of smaller operations,” cultivate the attitude of a CEO. Act as though you’re running your “own little enterprise.” Prepare for becoming an entrepreneur by first becoming an “intrapreneur.”

Learn to listen; it’s the number-one “super career skill.” Ask your boss about her expectations. Ask your co-workers for work-tips. Resist the urge to talk about yourself and just listen.

Know your personal brand and add “leadership” to it. Learn how to network the proper way, and do it everywhere you go. Practice accepting compliments graciously, know when to give kudos and say “thank you,” and learn how to smart-brag. Get rid of “up-talking” and complaining about your physical ailments; and pay attention to the things you say, to avoid unfair ageism or sounding too immature. Learn how to manage your manager and handle impossible co-workers. And know when to move on because you can love work again — even if it’s at a different job.

When you’re having problems at work, there’s a short list of things you can do: you can grit your teeth, take antacids, bonk your head on your desk… or read “Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act Like a CEO.”

For mind and body, that last tip is probably best because author Beverly E. Jones really does offer soothingly civil, workable ideas that can make your life and your career better, both short-term and long-term. What’s in this book are things you can do today, whether you sit in a cubicle or corner office — though you may be surprised to note that many of Jones’ recommendations are habits you already have, but just need to refine.

There’s no reason you must read things in order in this helpful, can-do book, so feel free to bounce around the chapters. Read a little here, absorb some there, and “Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act Like a CEO” might be everything you need it to be.

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