Army of Entrepreneurs
Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth
Author: Jennifer Prosek
Pub Date: February 2011
Print Edition: $18.95
Print ISBN: 9780814436967
Page Count: 224
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814416747
Buy the book:
I was a few weeks into my maternity leave when I realized it:
My company was not going under.
That had been my recurring nightmare leading up to the birth of
my daughter, that the company I had joined when I was twenty-two
and co-owned by the time I was thirty would founder if I were not
there to run it—six or seven days a week, as was my habit.
But here I was, transitioning into motherhood, preparing for my
new role as a working mom, and my company was not only doing
fine, it was growing. Instead of stumbling, the firm was thriving.
This was not, I knew, a matter of luck, or even hard work. The
spurt of success at my firm CJP Communications was the direct result
of a strategy I had been percolating for years. Even before my
expectant-mother panic, I had been working on a new way to configure
my business, one that tapped the tremendous talent of the
seventy-plus people in my company and inspired them to rise up and
face the challenges of the day whether or not I was in the office to
see it. I had amassed, trained, and deployed an Army of
A what? I’ll explain.
An AOE is, in short, an internal force of committed employees. It
is a structure and a mindset that enables a business to grow beyond
you—the business’s founder, owner, or CEO. My goal has been to
empower every member of my staff to use his or her own resources
and initiative to help the business succeed. Each person develops an
‘‘owner’s mindset’’ and becomes a powerful force for growth within
the organization. An AOE is the concept that changed my company
and my life.
I’m writing this book to tell you that story because you can do
what I did. What I discovered was not just a way to run my own
business, but perhaps a way to run any business. This is more than
just a story of how I got through my maternity leave without losing
my shirt. It’s about how a business can survive challenging economic
times and come out the other end as an engaged, motivated, growing
company. Over ten years, I had been developing a strategy for a new
kind of management model. The birth of my daughter crystallized
the need for this—and also showed me that it really worked. I drew
on the elements that had been the bedrock of my own personal success
and that of my firm to come up with a plan. As I worked on it,
I realized how far-reaching the concept of an AOE could be.
Why This Book Now?
The timing for this strategy could not be more critical. As business
people, we face a tough financial landscape. The economy behaves in
ways we don’t always recognize. The truisms of previous generations
are not holding up. Companies ‘‘too big to fail’’ have failed, and
throughout the business world layoffs, losses, and dampened expec-
tations have become the norm. To say the environment is challenging
is an understatement.
I have been living through the same economic turbulence you
have, and I can attest to the fact that my business model didn’t just
grow my company, it saved it. CJP would be half its current size if it
were not for the new opportunities identified and secured in the
depths of our recent downturn, not by one person but by the major-
ity of our staff. It was everyone in the boat, pulling together at the
oars, that has enabled the survival of my enterprise.
Even in the teeth of the recession, mine was a firm that eked
out growth. Our Army is not only profitable and productive—our
company has grown from one office and about $2 million in 1995 to
three offices and $15 million today—its participants are happy and
fulfilled by their contribution. What’s more, through the worst of it,
we were named among the best companies to work for in our industry
by the Holmes Report’s annual PR Agency Report Card.
The Army of Entrepreneurs is more than just a process for my
own firm. It’s one that already works in other firms and can be applied
to a much wider array of corporate situations. If you are looking
for a growth engine, a source of innovation, and an insurance
policy against downturns and unexpected dips in the economy, this
is your book. If you are a manager and you want a way to make your
division or department or team more engaged and productive, I can
help. In these pages, I’ll show you how I did it, how you can do it,
and why this is the right time for you to make this move. Like many
of you, I’m not just interested in surviving. I’m in the game for the
big prize. You shouldn’t settle for anything less either, especially
when the tools for your success are already within the walls of your
company. They are your people. The trick is to transform them from
staff members to soldiers, from order takers to entrepreneurs.
What This Book Will Deliver
More than just education and inspiration, Army of Entrepreneurs is a
practical guide to how to begin and implement a program that delivers
tangible results quickly and consistently. Whether you are a small-
business owner looking to grow your company or you are running a
business unit and are looking to stimulate innovation, this book unveils
a time-tested model for success.
What you’ll get in these pages is:
* An easy-to-follow, replicable plan of action that can be instituted
quickly and inexpensively
* Anecdotes and case studies that illustrate the AOE model in
* Statistics, research, and commentary from experts in the business
And while my first goal is to increase your revenue and profit, I also
promise to increase psychic income—for you and for your entire
team. Nothing, and I underscore nothing, has brought me more per-
sonal pleasure at this point in my career than identifying, nurturing,
and watching the entrepreneurial spirit grow within my company—
especially among those who didn’t think it was possible.
Join me and prepare to march forward.
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