How to Lead Today, Part 2
For part 1 of this piece, click here.
Leadership is not about being liked. It's about doing what's right. That means being visionary and looking beyond your corners of the promotional products world. It means that as a distributor, you need to strengthen the supplier channel and vice versa. You must ruffle feathers or you're probably not doing your job as a leader. You were hired or started your business to lead—not to be a caretaker. You need to have the courage to describe the current landscape and define the ways to strengthen your clients' organizations in the context of today's market realities.
Windows of Opportunity not only open and close, they get bricked over and disappear. Your destiny will be shaped by how you respond to opportunity when it presents itself. You cannot allow yourselves to be blinded by fear nor paralyzed by it. And if you want to look for opportunity, you need look no further than your fears. Usually, if you will just pick up your fears and turn them over, you will see the beautiful opportunity that it presents. We are currently living in a time of the most opportunity that we will ever see in our lifetimes. If you are in the business of solving problems and taking away pain, you are living in what should for you be—the best of times.
Commitment starts at 100%. Leadership begins at the extra mile. If you are to become the organization that your competitors will try to emulate rather than the other way around, you need to have skin in the game. You cannot fear failure. Tom Peters said, "Screw-ups are the mark of excellence." The most successful people on the planet have failed more than ordinary ones. The only failure is the failure to try and dream and dare. But not dreaming big, setting big hairy audacious goals, not setting new standards of excellence and possibility would be the greatest failure of all. It is learning to be discerning enough to realize that when you say yes to something that is unimportant, that you have just said "no" to something that is.