Credit and Blame

By Dirk Dieters, Executive Director of The Fremont Group

Ronald Regan once said, “you can accomplish much if you don’t care who gets the credit.” An important technique in management is to “give blame your successes and take credit for your failures.” Almost regardless of the truth, when something good has happened be quick to give the credit to a subordinate and when something has gone bad take the blame yourself. Never criticize an employee in front of another employee. Take the blame yourself and then in private address the matter with the employee.

Leadership is having a plan and effectively communicating to each employee their role in that plan.

By Dirk T. Dieters, Executive Director of The Fremont Group

In our discussions with business owners leadership is often a central topic. As an owner you are attempting to get people to act in a way that they would not do on their own. You want them to act in the best interests of the company. “Alignment” issues are when the best interests of the company diverge from the best interests of the individual employee. Alignment is a topic addressed in accountability and incentives which are structural issues. Leadership issues relate to the ability of the owner to create “buy in” by the employees. Effective leadership requires the respect of the leader. Many owners believe that respect is earned by demonstrating their ability to do every task in the company better than the employees. This is obvious in a transition business—father thinks the best way to train his son is for him to do every job in the business before he takes over. This attitude is generally a reflection of simply not understanding how to train the son to do the job of “owner.”

Leadership starts with having a plan. I often use an analogy from the military (bear with me, I was never military and my military son laughs at this but you will get the point.) When the general first calls together his troops, what is it that the troops want to hear? They want to hear, “what is the plan?” The last thing that they want to hear is, “well, I’m not really sure what we are going to do but we will come up with something.” They want to hear, “We are going to take that hill tomorrow!” And they want to hear it said decisively. They need to know that you have done your job and identified the need to take that hill in order to accomplish the next overall objective of the mission or battle. So you call them together and tell them, “We are going to take that hill tomorrow!” What is their next question? “What do you want me to do?”

Each individual wants to know their role in accomplishing your larger objective. You cannot have each individual determining their own role—you have to assign it. “You are going to charge up the east side of the hill at 0900.” “You are going to go to the west side and charge up at 1000.” “You are going to stay here and follow up in a second wave at 1100.” “You are going to be the medics and stay here to take care of the wounded.” And so on. The thing that you cannot have is the people on the west side at 1000 asking themselves, “I wonder if we really should go up now?” They have to understand that their job is to follow those orders and the only way to avoid that disaster is to be sure that you have their respect before you start. They have to know that you have a plan and that it will be followed and that no matter how small, their role is critical in that plan.

The same applies to your business. You need to have a plan and you need to communicate to each person their role in that plan. And you have to have their respect. They don’t have to like you but they do need to respect you.

Dirk Dieters to speak to Lone Tree Chamber

Dirk Dieters, founder and Executive Director of The Fremont Group is speaking Tuesday, October 11, 2011 to the meeting of the Lone Tree Chamber of Commerce.  The meeting is in the Lone Tree Library at 7:30 am and is open to the public.  Mr. Dieters’ topic is “Selling in a Recession.”  Mr. Dieters recently completed a successful series of “Lunch and Learn” workshops for the Aurora Chamber of Commerce.

Lone Tree Chamber of Commerce announces dates for Dirk Dieters’ presentations

Who is invited: Business Owners and Guests

What: Series of two workshops sponsored by the Lone Tree Chamber of Commerce and presented by Dirk Dieters, the author of “Minding My Own Business” and the Executive Director of The Fremont Group—a non-profit organization providing services to small business owners.


When/Where: Tuesday September 13th and Tuesday October 11th in the Lone Tree Library (8827 Lone Tree Parkway)

(303) 791-7323


September 13, 2011 7:30 am

“What would TR think of your Leadership”

We will analyze and discuss the qualities of strong executive leadership as laid out by Teddy Roosevelt. Attendees will leave with a stronger understanding of their role in their company’s success.


October 11, 2011 7:30 11:30 am

“Tools for Selling in a Recession”

Has your selling adapted to the current conditions? Owners will review the adaptations that must be made to remain successful in these tough times.


clip_image002clip_image004Cost: No charge for Lone Tree Chamber members and guests.


A workbook and a copy of “Minding My Own Business” will also be made available by The Fremont Group at the workshop.

Fremont Group invited to Lone Tree Chamber of Commerce

Dirk Dieters, executive director of The Fremont Group has been selected by the Lone Tree Chamber of Commerce (CO) as guest speaker at their September, October and November meetings.  On September 13th Mr. Dieters will speak on Leadership; on October 11th he will speak on Selling in a Recession and the November meeting is tentatively scheduled as a full “Minding My Own Business Workshop” and fundraiser for the chamber.  More details to follow.

Fall Webinars for Business Owners

The Fremont Group is offering to small business owners high-quality, yet inexpensive, webinars. Sessions are on Monday’s at 11:00 am MDT. The fall 2011 schedule is as follow:

Only $25 per workshop!

Show Me The Money August 8, 2011

Techniques and tools to allow the small business owner to gain financial control of their company. Budgets, cash flow projection, break even and other tools are provided.

Get Bang For Your Payroll Buck August 15, 2011

Owners learn the foundation of their organizational structure. Examine the elements of accountability and incentives and their relationship to your budget.

Leadership Starts With You August 22, 2011

A hard look at what it means to lead a small business. Workshop dissects the famous Theodore Roosevelt quotation on leadership.

Selling In A Recession September 12, 2011

Owners examine their company’s sales effort in terms of a system and learn the role of pricing in that system—particularly in a recession.

Change Your Company’s Culture September 19, 2011

Owners learn how hiring, employee “buy in” and the establishment of a management team can change their company’s culture and results.

Cash Is King September 26, 2011

Workshop goes through a checklist of ways to change your company’s cash flow. A guaranteed method of achieving adequate cash on hand is presented.

Selling Your Employees October 3, 2011

The use of internal communications to sell your employees on doing what you need done.

Minding My Own Business Workshop October 17, 2011

The full, two and one-half hour workshop based upon the book, “Minding My Own Business” examining the six responsibilities of a small business owner.

To Register for the webinars, pay on the “Pay Now” icon to the right. Be sure to include your name and phone number, the webinar(s) that you are registering for, and your email address.

Dirk Dieters invited to speak at Aurora Chamber of Commerce

Dirk Dieters, Executive Director of The Fremont Group and author of “Minding My Own Business” will be the speaker for three consecutive weeks at the Lunch and Learn seminars sponsored by the Aurora Chamber of Commerce.  The three sessions will be broken out of the full “Minding My Own Workshops” that are offered through The Fremont Group.  On September 8, 2011 the session title is, “Show Me The Money.”  This session will cover small business budgets, cash flow forecasting and basic financial control of your small business.  On September 15, 2011 the session title is, “Are You Getting Bang For Your Payroll Buck?”  This session will examine organizational structure, accountability and incentives, and motivation of “climber, camper and quitter” employees.  Finally on September 22, 2011 the session examines sales—‘Selling—Internal and External—in a Recession.”  Attendees will examine their own sales system, identify their sales assets and learn to leverage their sales effort.

Like the full “Minding My Own Business Workshops” these sessions are personally tailored to the attendees—they are not general theory, rather they are designed to provide the attendee with something that can immediately be implemented into their operations.  Announcement will be forthcoming regarding the opening of these sessions as webinars on line.

Business Owner magazine retains Fremont Executive Director

Dirk Dieters, the founder and Executive Director of The Fremont Group has been retained by Business Owner magazine as a contributing author of business articles.  Dieters, author of “Minding My Own Business” (available on this site or is nationally renown for his work with small business owners.  Business Owner magazine is published quarterly by GPS, GR, CBS or STA—major firms in the small business management consulting field.