Debut author McNeely presents the first in a series of four books designed to help small-business owners improve their companies.
Drawing on his many years as a CPA and business consultant, McNeely reveals the four C’s for improving small-business performance: Cultivate, Communicate, Coach and Compensate. The focus in this first book is on cultivating—the author asserts that every business owner is a Chief Culture Creator whose job is to foster “a positive, nourishing, high-performance culture.” In an effort to inspire entrepreneurs wishing to foster excellence in their small businesses, McNeely describes the corporate cultures at several successful companies such as Google, SAS and Netflix. He suggests that such companies only become exceptional when they decide “to purposefully cultivate an…outstanding culture.” In three chapters, the author explores a wide range of topics, including the value of having leaders model the behaviors they expect, the role of stewardship in helping each employee to grow and to reach their goals, and the need to adopt “an interlocking, self-perpetuating, Peak People System” approach to developing and deploying talent. The guide is highly readable. The text is well-organized and cogently presented in attractive, colorful pages, and it includes footnotes and key concepts placed in the margins for ease of reference. This creates a magazinelike experience for readers, setting it apart from most business management books. The writing is lighthearted and engaging; McNeely makes his points in a conversational style then moves to the next topic. Along the way, he offers good advice: “If you are not in love with your own business and do not radiate authentic zeal and enthusiasm it will be impossible to see it in the best light, expect the most, or cultivate a great culture.” Worksheets for writing a vision statement, brief case studies and a neat recap at the end makes this a handy resource for small-business owners seeking to move their company from good to great.
A cut above most books in its class, this guide for small businesses delivers with intelligence and verve.