Are You Leading or Following?
This week I want to really 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 organization? Not running it. Not putting out fires. Not managing it day to day. Not running in circles. Are you truly leading it? 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 printing industry 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 purchases they do not need 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 someone out there who is running a company in this industry who wants to become a better leader? A leader who can create a vision and passionately help their company 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? Note: this is your brand at the intersection of sales and marketing. And finally, is there a person who also wants to learn what is expected in sales and marketing in our new world?
So, I ask the question: Are you out there? The great leaders I work with in the printing/graphics industry are planning many months or years in advance. They are building long-term plans, not struggling as to what they will do in the afternoon. They operate as business people, not “printers.” I told you this would be a tough article. So, I ask: Where are you? Do you want to grow? Life is a journey. The choice is yours. You have 168 hours in a week. What do you do with it? Nobody has any more or any less time each week.
If you feel like you are drowning and buried, the question is, will you step up to this challenge to learn something new and find a way to make this happen, OR find an excuse of why you don’t have time?
Leaders look up. Leaders look forward. Leaders find a way. If you want it bad enough you will find a way. If you do not...you will find an excuse. Leaders are 'make things happen' people #MakeThingsHappen. So are you a leader or a laggard? Leading or following? Let’s connect...
Ryan T. Sauers has spent 25 years leading and/or consulting with printing, graphics, promotional and visual communications related organizations. Ryan is President of the independent consulting firm, Sauers Consulting Strategies, founded in 2010.
Key areas of focus of the firm include: sales training, marketing strategy, personal branding, leadership development and organizational change.
Sauers is a frequent national speaker and columnist. He has been recognized as one of the top 80 CMOs in the world and achieved the top designation of Certified Marketing Executive through Sales and Marketing Executives International.
Sauers is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and communication courses to current and aspiring leaders. He is a Certified Myers Briggs, DiSC and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner (one of few in US to achieve all 3 rigorous certifications related to human communications, personality & behavior).
Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and hosts a radio show in Atlanta (Marketing Matters). He is author of the best-selling books Everyone is in Sales and Would You Buy from You? More info at: RyanSauers.com