Roland Dürre
Friday January 22nd, 2010

Entrepreneur’s Diary #38 The Entrepreneur’s Yoke …

Isn’t it nice to be, at long last, rid of them: the entrepreneur’s burden, all the responsibility, the fear for the jobs, the never ending fight against bureaucracy and legal restrictions, the ingratitude of the employees, and much more?

I know several people who sold the enterprise they had founded themselves. They made a huge profit and now they really relish their newly acquired freedom. As they tell it, they had been fed up and now are really glad to have sold out. In actual fact, all they did was fall victim to the siren’s call of money. They exchanged their capital at risk for capital at value (cash). Now they pretend to be happy to have left all this behind. And they even declare so publicly.

My guess is that they just need some sort of story to explain their behaviour. For me, that is understandable: we all need a story to make our decisions sound plausible. I, too, like wrapping my decisions in stories afterwards … 😉

However, if I hear the same tune from a family entrepreneur of the n-th generation, I get thoughtful. Here is a story that comes to mind:

To his total surprise, an acquaintance of mine inherited a small house on the outskirts of a small town. The house is no longer new, but it is rented out well. Is that a stroke of good luck? No! He really suffers under the burden of this inheritance. He has many concerns: Will the rent be paid on time each month? Is the roof still waterproof? Does the tenant give the windows a regular paint job from the inside? Is the garden taken care of properly? What if the tenant gives notice?

To me, it looks like many entrepreneurs think like this. They enjoyed everything and earned well. Then they sell (or have to sell) out and tell everybody how glad they are to finally be getting rid of all this responsibility for the employees’ jobs.

I am also annoyed at hearing all the time about the responsibility for the jobs. Like the boss provides the jobs and the employees kindly do their work without further thought.

Isn’t that typical for the Old World?

Today, employees know quite well that their own responsibility for their jobs is just as huge as that of the entrepreneur and the managers. They are not just some incompetent and stupid creatures the entrepreneur unselfishly takes care of. More often than not, they know better what needs to be done in order to preserve an enterprise and the jobs than the directors and managers. All you have to do is let them take part, instead of dreaming of allegedly ideal but past hierarchical entrepreneurial worlds as they existed in the last two centuries.

That is how I define New World.

(Translated by EG)
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2 Kommentare zu “Entrepreneur’s Diary #38 The Entrepreneur’s Yoke …”

  1. Enno (Friday January 22nd, 2010)

    Dass die Mitarbeiter Verantwortung tragen, stimmt. Aber weder befreit das den Unternehmer von seiner Verantwortung, noch tragen die Mitarbeiter im gleichen Umfang Verantwortung für ihre Arbeitsplätze. Ihre Verantwortung ist geringer, weil sie weniger Einfluss auf die Anzahl der Arbeitsplätze haben.
    Zudem wird Verantwortung auch zugeschrieben, sowohl von Außen, als auch vom Verantwortlichen selber. Und solange sich der verantwortungsbewusste Unternehmer die Verantwortung für die Arbeitsplätze zuschreibt, sie von sich aus übernimmt, wird er diese Last auch tragen (müssen).

  2. Enno (Friday January 22nd, 2010)

    Nachtrag: Ich beobachte recht regelmäßig die Unternehmensbörse für Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein, der am häufigsten genannte Grund für Verkäufe ist das Alter. Das könnte aber auch daran liegen, dass dieser Grund am ehesten auf Akzeptanz stößt und am wenigsten Skepsis beim Kaufinteressenten hervorruft.

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