I regularly read a blog called: CEO Blog - Time Leadership, written by Jim Estill. He had very nice post this week about Amish Businesses and a book that was forwarded by Elizabethtown College Professor Donald Kraybill (one of the 3 authors of Amish Grace). I thought I would share Jim's thoughts.
I read a fantastic book called "Success Made Simple an Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive.” On the book jacket it says "discover why Amish businesses have a 95% success rate." Impressive.
It is written by Erik Wesner who spent an intensive period of time in the Amish community even though he is not Amish himself. He started by trying to sell them books which he did with some success.
I always had a bit of childhood fascination with Mennonites who lived nearby as I was growing up. They are similar in many ways to the Amish. They dress in black, drive horse and carriages, don't believe in cars or electricity and generally live life more like the turn of the 1900's than today.
I learned that the Amish are opposed to automation because they place such a high priority on family and they think things like cars would allow people to travel too far away from family.
The Amish success in my opinion is built on their great work ethic. In general I've seen most highly successful businesses, are lead by leadership with great work ethic. And work ethic permeates the culture. I often like hiring people that grew up on farms because the know how to work.
The Amish are highly religious. Because of that they can be quite calm in times of high stress. They turn there problems over to God rather than becoming twisted up inside.
There is a limit on Amish entrepreneurs because the church and the community frowns upon growing too fast and too big. I guess as in any entrepreneurs' situation, entrepreneurs need to be there own people and recognize the peer pressure just is.
In one sense I thought the Amish would have many disadvantages because of their lack of automation, however in business they are not opposed to using equipment and computers. I think being Amish has some advantages though too such as: work ethic, community, and even the Amish name which is quite well respected.
It's an interesting book that gave me some fascinating insights into the Amish people and although it's interesting I don't think I will become one.