Philie Group Blog

Effective Printing Industry Leaders and Their Teams
By Mike Philie

A day in the life of a printing company owner, CEO, or president, could make your head spin. It’s not for the faint of heart and there’s always plenty to do. Having a good system and a good team to help prioritize, delegate, and engage others are success factors that leading business owners rely on — especially today.

The internal staff counts on the leader to provide the vision for the business and to allocate the necessary resources for the business to play to its full potential. That doesn’t mean that the leader has to be the hero and do it all. In fact, delegating and engaging the team allows for more discussion, debate, and buy-in on the things that matter most for the business. In the end, it also means more feet on the ground carrying out the mission.

In fact, playing the hero may inhibit others from stepping up and taking on more responsibility. If team members know that if they pause for a moment that the leader will take it on, they might just let them. Playing the role of the hero may feel good and provide a sense of accomplishment, but in the end, can prevent a leader from looking forward and working on the business.

Business leaders are also keen to keep up with changing customer expectations and buying practices. To protect and grow their market share, they are carefully reviewing their go to market strategy and questioning the client-facing touches that have been in place for many years. Many printers have seen their customer buying habits and strategies change. They want to make sure that their customer approach continues to be relevant, and effective. Their goal is to capture growth from existing client relationships as well as hunt for new opportunities that fit within their wheelhouse. Leaders regularly assess their client-facing teams and evaluate whether or not they were designed for a time that once was, or for today’s business environment.

But wait, there are additional headwinds facing business today. It appears that the supply chain disruptions and staffing challenges will continue, and may not let up anytime soon. Even with the strength of a good team, these challenges can create an elevated level of stress. Effective leaders have empowered their teams to make the right recommendations and decisions each and every day. Their interventions necessary by the leader should be the exception, not the norm.

In every company, the laundry list of action items seems to grow with each passing day. With ongoing interruptions, actually getting things accomplished can be a challenge. Hone an effective decision making process — one that works for your culture. This should be used not only for the leader, but for all the teams. If properly executed, this can pay dividends and accelerate “getting things done correctly,” within the business.

Leading a profitable business is a combination of many skills and the development and engagement of the staff. And, it is never ending. Working on the team dynamics is a great place to focus on. If you have any comments or thoughts as to how you’ve approached these issues, please send me a note or include them below.

Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic advice, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.comLinkedIn or email at

Originally published in Printing Impressions


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