How to Lead Today, Part 1
To flourish and remain relevant in this highly competitive and rapidly changing industry environment, you must be very clear about who you are, what you are and what you deliver in terms of value, meaning, leadership and professionalism. This requires a consistent, integrated message and experience with your brand for your clients, your employees, your industry partners and the community you serve.
Clarity and Consistency. Leadership demands clarity and consistency. You need to demand NOT that you are consistently good. You must be consistently "world class." You must consistently deliver great experiences. You need to change the dynamic so that you are the standard that your competitors aspire to and not the other way around.
You Are the Brand. You cannot be everything to everybody. You need to discover your purpose and live it. It is your reality. The reality of today's economy demands that you react faster, deliver more consistently and never settle for "good enough." The standards keep getting tougher and you may either chase them or set them. Set them. It's going to require creativity, innovation, and a consistent push for higher standards. You must work every moment of every day to make Brand You the standard of excellence not only in the promotional products industry, but also in the marketing, communications and recognition industries as well.
New Thinking. There are some very, very old standard operating procedures in this industry. Just because Jasper Meeks did it in the 19th century doesn't mean you need to do it that way any more. You need to, in the words of Steve Jobs, "put a dent in the universe." You have an exciting, sensual, personal, engaging, interactive and lasting medium and you should be excited and see the possibilities that this brings to today's marketplace.
More opportunity exists today than you have ever seen in your lifetime. This can be your reality. A promotional product is not a thing. It's an idea. An emotion. A memory. An experience. A part of an identity—both the giver and the recipient's. Sensual. Lasting. It is time for you to stake your rightful claim as an evangelist for today's most relevant, measureable and impactful medium and communication tool. This is yours to make it so.