60 Seconds with Dennis McEntire
by Clay Neely
Who had a significant impact on your life and why?
Lots of people. I have had the opportunity to be friends with and mentored by many older than I, local business leaders here in Newnan and elsewhere. By being around successful folks in casual situations and talking to them about their success and experiences I have learned a lot about how to run a business. In my case the business is of course the City of Newnan’s utility, Newnan Utilities. I have never hesitated to pick up the phone and call someone that I thought might be able to help me with difficult situations. Without doubt, however, the person I have depended on the most through the years has been my Mom.
What's the best business advice you would give someone just starting out?
The quicker you can realize that in almost every case the employees closest to the challenge are the ones most likely to have the best answers. So when there is a problem at work whether it be not enough revenue to meet budget, problems with absenteeism or just about any other challenge always ask for opinions from the employees you manage. That of course does not mean someone doesn’t have to be the boss and make decisions. However, I have always been amazed that in most situations employees care very much about the organization and its success and given the opportunity will be part of almost all solutions. Part B to this question is to always, and I mean always look to hire smart people and smarter than you if you can find them. In my case that has not been all that hard to do. Treat them right give them a job to do and let them do it. The organization runs better and the employees are happier.
What's the best business lesson you've learned?
Three average intelligent people working together are smarter than any one brilliant person. Always ask for and consider opinions of others.