Monday, August 11, 2008

Being Entrepreneurial

A few weeks ago I had two very large dead ash trees removed from one of the properties. I love watching these guys fearlessly climb large trees with men controlling cables below. There were about ten men in all clad with shorts, jeans and baseball caps. They compled the job within five hours. Even though they looked like a rag tag team, they were, in fact, oh, so very efficient, pleasant, reasonable, licensed, and insured. I was very pleased with their work.

This morning at my house I could not get out of my driveway, as there were county workers removing a very large oak tree from the easement of my neighbor's home. There were about ten men on this job too clad with neat official county uniforms, on heavy duty machines and trucks with county logos on them. (There were no men controlling cables below.) Orange clones lined the street and red triangle danger signs were nearby. Everything looked so official.

I arrived home some eight hours later to find the men on my lawn drinking sodas with music playing and shooting the breeze. The limbs on the tree had not all been cut, and the trunk, of course, had not been touched. What had they been doing for these past eight hours? My rag tag looking team had two very large ash trees down within five hours--not one but two; at no time did I see a cooler or hear any music, save the sound of saw, shouts of heads up, and the movement and sounds of men hurrying about getting thing done. They were quite impressive.

What struck me immediately was that entrepreneurs are often so much more efficient than government workers. The buck stops with entrepreneurs. Without massive red tape and the safety of unions, this can lead to more effective execution. Some times there is an arrogance and sense of entitlement that go with government jobs. Let's see how long it will take these workers to get that oak tree down, allowing me to come and go from my house at will. Looking efficient is not equivalent to being effective. Entreprenuers are often more efficient and effective.


- A - C - said...

:-D I see your point here but.. I am not entirely sure it was [merely] the entrepreneurial quality of the first team that triggered your praise.. ;-)

judith ellis said...

-a-c-, I can assure you that the shorts alone would not have cut it. :-)