A Summary of Dave Ramsey’s Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Advice
Guest post by: Donna Maria (originally posted May 7th, 2011)
I had a fantastic time at the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast yesterday. Along with thousands of other people on site, and many more thousands around the nation, I enjoyed 20-minute presentations by inspirational business leaders, including John C. Maxwell, Seth Godin, Allison Levine and Suzy Welch. One of my favorite speakers was Dave Ramsey.
You may know Dave for the personal financial advice he delivers in books and a television show. He has a fantastic sense of humor. He speaks from his heart, and shoots straight from the hip. I like that. Yesterday, he offered five reasons to explain his phenomenal business success. Paraphrasing of course, here’s what he said:
- People matter. Your management team, staff and customers are people. They are not replaceable commodities at your beck and call. Your customers aren’t units of revenue. Your team isn’t units of production.
- Fire the jerks. Dave gives one warning to employees who violate company policies (including a zero tolerance gossip policy). After that, he invites them to find another job.
- Slow and steady matters. Don’t grow so fast that you cannot keep up with yourself. Take measured steps toward specific goals. The tortoise always wins. (This reminded me of this blog post.)
- Be financially fit. Manage your money wisely. Live on a budget. Don’t carry debt. Debt magnifies your mistakes.
- Embrace a higher calling. You’ll play harder and act smarter by playing for something that’s bigger than you.
Dave knows what he’s talking about. A real estate business he once owned was so heavily in debt that Dave was forced to file for bankruptcy. He has turned that situation into a debt free business that helps others avoid getting into the same type of financial situation he had been in. You can learn more about him at his website.
I had a fantastic time, and you can check my Twitter stream from May 6 to get some great tips I Tweeted live during the event. You may also enjoy browsing the #cfaleadercast Twitter hash tag to see what others shared. And you’ll enjoy Brian Dodd’s post: 50 John Maxwell, Seth Godin, and Dave Ramsey Leadership Quotes From The Chick-Fil-A Leadercast.
Question: What do you think of Dave’s advice? Do you follow these basic principles?
I like Hibryd’s analysis, but especially this: no matter how much you lionize a particular guru, do some fact checking. Dave Ramsey may be all that and a bag of fries–I know people who love him and used his programs successfully to get out of debt–but he’s still human. If he says taxes are higher, go look it up from a neutral source. If he says X is the best investment, check it with another source.
I don’t have a business but we use Dave Ramsey’s thoughts and guidelines for our family budgets and it just makes things so much easier then living pay check to pay check.
Odette Handley-Riverlea Soap says
It is always good to hear other people’s stories of failure and success. It is sobering and gives us hope to believe that we too can succeed. Dave sounds like my kind of guy.Thanks for this post AM.
“What do you think of Dave’s advice? Do you follow these basic principles?”
Whoo, boy. How much time do you have? I listen to WAY too much David Ramsey when I’m at work, despite the fact that I don’t agree with a lot of what he says. (It’s addicting radio, I’ll give him that.)
I agree with his debt stances, and if I knew someone who was a chronic overspender or had debt out the wazoo, I would probably give them Dave’s book. He’s a grade-A butt-kicker and motivator. That said, I could do without:
– His pushing managed mutual funds over index funds. Managed funds lose to index funds 95% of the time. He’s costing people money in order to get kickbacks from his ELP program.
– His use of the 12% average annual rate of return for stock market investments. Yes, the S&P has averaged that in the past. But “averages” are not always what you make, and for various reasons, no other financial expert out there thinks the market will make that going forward. Even Warren Buffet thinks its more like 7-8% tops.
– His repeated (and I suspect knowingly) lies about tax rates. “They’re the highest they’ve ever been!” (Actually they’re the lowest in decades.) “Taxes are crushing businesses!” (The US has a fairly low effective corporate tax rate.) He’s a hard-core conservative and loves arguing against liberal strawmen. Sure, it’s his show and he can say whatever he wants, but his conservatism leads him to tell his audience not just his opinion, but incorrect facts.
– His lionizing of business owners to the expense of employees. He’ll give lip service to “loving on your team members”, but then employees call in and he dispenses wisdom like “your boss owes you NOTHING”. If someone is underpaid it’s entirely their fault, and they should go begging with the line “what can I do to serve you/this company better?” Employees are perpetually indebted to their bosses, and need to “serve” them (he loves that word), rather than it being an equal exchange of work for fair compensation.
– Pushing his religion both on his audience and his company. Now, again, I agree it’s his show and he can say whatever he wants, but his religion also colors his view of how personal finances work, like calling wealthy people “blessed”. In his view no one ever succeeds by luck (which is random), but they DO succeed with “blessings” (which I guess is what you deserve to get from God). Then he spouts “The Bible says the diligent shall prosper… That’s right 100% of the time”. Meaning: if you haven’t prospered, you weren’t diligent. God said so.
Finally, I’m not sure why he repeats “the borrower is slave to the lender” ad nauseum, but omits the first part of that passage: “The rich shall rule over the poor.” Kind of colors the whole passage, don’t you think?