Are You a Leader or a Laggard?

Every week bloggers (I am no different) write on topics that are designed to make you think in new ways. This week I am really going to challenge you. First, feel free to exclude yourself from this if you are a printing company executive who is running things smoothly, leading and making money. For the rest of you, here is the challenge. Is there anyone who is truly spending time “leading” their printing organization? Not running it. Not putting out fires. Not managing it day to day. Are you truly leading? Do you have a vision for the future and a plan of how to get there? An idea without a plan is just that—an idea.

Here is what I often observe in this industry. The top-level people focus on survival. Is survival important? Of course, times are tough. However, this is not a strategy but simply a temporary Band-Aid. I hear executives say we don’t know what we want to do or where we want to go or even where we should begin. Yet, at the same time, they are spending time looking at equipment purchases or trying to “pick off” salespeople from other companies. Not good.

I hear executives share that they are drowning, buried, covered up, swamped, coming up for air, in the weeds, up to their eyeballs, running ragged. Well, you get the idea. Not good.

So, is there anyone out there who is running a printing company and wants to become a true or better leader? A leader who can create a vision and passionately help their company and team grow in an exponential manner. Is there someone who wants to understand how traditional media and digital media are different yet intersect to create amazing opportunities? Is there a person who wants to really understand what sales are about in 2013? And finally, is there a person who also wants to learn what is expected in marketing in our new world?

Ryan T. Sauers is president of Sauers Consulting Strategies and spent nearly 20 years leading printing and promotional product companies prior to founding the firm. The organization consults with printing and promotional product related companies across the country, helping them grow the front end of their organization. Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and is the author of the top-selling book “Everyone Is in Sales”, with another book in the works.  He is a Certified Myers Briggs Type Indicator and DiSC Practitioner and Certified Marketing Executive. Ryan writes national feature articles and speaks at national conferences on such topics as sales, marketing, communications, leadership, organizational strategy and social media. He is also an adjunct university professor. More info at
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