The Fail-Proof Enterprise: A Success Model for Entrepreneurs

The Fail-Proof Enterprise: A Success Model for Entrepreneurs

by Bob Thomas
     
 

Editorial Reviews

Bob Thomas loves to ask dumb questions.
"If you can't understand what someone's saying, don't let it slide," said Thomas, a lifelong entrepreneur based in Carson City, Nev., who has built three successful high-tech companies. "Resist the temptation to gloss over it."

Thomas, author of The Fail-Proof Enterprise, prizes precise communication. He believes that persuasive leaders don't need charm and charisma, but they must speak clearly.

He recalls watching a salesman at work. When a customer asked, "What's the storage capacity on this computer?," the salesman replied, "More than you'll ever need!"

Thomas winced.

"He was evading the question," Thomas says. "He should've replied, 'I don't know, but I'll find out.' And if he did know, he should've given a specific answer."

An avid reader, Thomas seeks to enrich his vocabulary. He constantly looks up words he doesn't know and puts them to good use.

"You don't want to be the kind of person who's able to discuss your narrow area of technical expertise but who's dead in the water if you find yourself talking about matters outside your field," he said. "Someone with an abnormally low vocabulary tends to struggle" when communicating with nontechies.

Thomas has managed technicians for much of his career. When they misuse a word, he likes to say, "There's a little problem I want to let you know about. Nothing serious. But I want you to be aware of it now so you don't embarrass yourself later."

Thomas said, "I find almost everyone appreciates being made aware of how they can communicate better. Do it gently, without blowing it out of proportion, and they'll view it as supportive coaching and they'll take it to heart."

If an employee uses technical jargon, Thomas might ask the person to "restate that in plain English." He also likes to respond: "Let me translate what you just said."

"Do that enough times and people figure out that they need to speak clearly with you," he said. "They'll realize they can't hide behind their low vocabulary."

To earn employees' trust, Thomas adopted the habit of spending every Monday morning circulating through the workplace. He'd spend 10-15 minutes chatting one-on-one with workers.

"I'd ask something like 'How's the family?' and let it go from there," he said. "In a low-key, nonthreatening way, I listened, whether they wanted to talk about their family, sports or whatever else. Dignify people as individuals, and they'll be more willing to follow your lead."

BookReview.com
Bob Thomas has rewritten the definition of entrepreneur. He leads the reader through a very thorough process from concept to high productivity to selling the corporation. Thomas draws from over four decades of experience.

Immediately one recognizes that Mr. Thomas sees certain requirements as essential for a person who is considering an entrepreneurial venture. Personal sacrifice is critical for those wishing to follow his steps in corporate design. His expertise is in the field of chemical engineering and design. At times it was somewhat difficult sorting through the heavily detailed engineering stories. His passion for his field is obvious, but this can sometimes be confusing to the reader expecting a "how to" guide.

Thomas concludes his book with a comprehensive question and answer section. This tutorial is helpful for gaining a more complete understanding of his entrepreneurial process.

I admire Mr. Thomas for the success he has found in designing and running his own businesses. Anybody thinking about starting a business or is currently a business owner will benefit greatly from the experiences Bob Thomas shares in his book, The Fail-Proof Enterprise.

Clifton Maclin Jr.
The book's message and practical guidance for want-to-be entrepreneurs is so powerful and compelling.
Reno Gazette-Journal, September 6, 2003
Investor's Business Daily
"If you can't understand what someone's saying, don't let it slide," said Thomas, a lifelong entrepreneur based in Carson City, Nev., who has built three successful high-tech companies. "Resist the temptation to gloss over it."

Thomas, author of "The Fail-Proof Enterprise," prizes precise communication. He believes that persuasive leaders don't need charm and charisma, but they must speak clearly.

He recalls watching a salesman at work. When a customer asked, "What's the storage capacity on this computer?," the salesman replied, "More than you'll ever need!"
Thomas winced.

"He was evading the question," Thomas says. "He should've replied, 'I don't know, but I'll find out.' And if he did know, he should've given a specific answer."

An avid reader, Thomas seeks to enrich his vocabulary. He constantly looks up words he doesn't know and puts them to good use.

"You don't want to be the kind of person who's able to discuss your narrow area of technical expertise but who's dead in the water if you find yourself talking about matters outside your field," he said. "Someone with an abnormally low vocabulary tends to struggle" when communicating with nontechies.

Thomas has managed technicians for much of his career. When they misuse a word, he likes to say, "There's a little problem I want to let you know about. Nothing serious. But I want you to be aware of it now so you don't embarrass yourself later."

Thomas said, "I find almost everyone appreciates being made aware of how they can communicate better. Do it gently, without blowing it out of proportion, and they'll view it as supportive coaching and they'll take it to heart."

If an employee uses technical jargon, Thomas might ask the person to "restate that in plain English." He also likes to respond: "Let me translate what you just said."

"Do that enough times and people figure out that they need to speak clearly with you," he said. "They'll realize they can't hide behind their low vocabulary."

To earn employees' trust, Thomas adopted the habit of spending every Monday morning circulating through the workplace. He'd spend 10-15 minutes chatting one-on-one with workers.

"I'd ask something like 'How's the family?' and let it go from there," he said. "In a low-key, nonthreatening way, I listened, whether they wanted to talk about their family, sports or whatever else. Dignify people as individuals, and they'll be more willing to follow your lead."

Nevada Appeal
Disguised as a textbook for innovators, the book is a fascinating look into the world of creating a business.
September 25, 2003

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780916308506
Publisher:
Ihc Books
Publication date:
06/28/2003
Pages:
268
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 8.76(h) x 0.70(d)

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