Philie Group Blog

Leading Inside a Snow Globe
By Mike Philie

Leading through these uncertain times can be like working inside of a snow globe. Every time you turn around, you lose clarity for what’s going to happen next. Adding more sales can often be the elixir, or the oxygen needed to manage in days like this. While there are many elements of effective leadership, let’s focus on sales and generating revenue for this episode.


One area to start with is your story. What is your story? What was it before the pandemic and what is it now — has it changed? Not only what is your story, but how effective are we at communicating your story to those that matter?


Leaders work to integrate their core values to be meaningful and relevant to potential clients. You’ve identified these core values for a reason, and it’s not just to post them up on the wall. These are the things that you view as being important to the business, your culture, your team and to you. Add these into your sales dialog to effectively win more sales.


Life in a snow globe can be daunting and not for the meek and uninitiated. You may often ask yourself why are you in this business, and that’s a healthy question. Your initial response may be to make money. Remember though, that making money or being profitable is a byproduct of doing all the right things and all the things right. Has the answer to this question wavered through this pandemic or has it only reinforced your drive and spirit to be that leader that your business deserves?


Make sure to understand what’s working to attract new business opportunities and maybe, more importantly, why they stay after the first few projects. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to repeat it. The less that you know, well, every time you get at bat it will feel like the first time! There are some great survey tools out there, many that will provide you with the instant feedback you need to reward your staff, learn what your clients like, fix problems before they get out of hand and ask for referrals—what’s not to like!


Finally, what are the three things that really separate you from the pack? True differentiators. Ask your senior team this question and then ask your client facing folks the same question (don’t ask them in a group, ask each of them individually). This will help you identify whether or not you have a clear and compelling message. Again, leverage this information to make your business thrive.


Leading a thriving print business isn’t easy, and will continue to face challenges (and opportunities) going forward. Evaluate your team and make sure they are all invested in your path forward. Update your plan to give you and your business your best chance of recovery and success in this great industry of ours.


If you’ve tackled any of these issues in your business, I’d appreciate your comments on how it worked for you. What did you like about it, and what you would do different in the future? Please add a message in the comment section below or reach out to me to discuss further.


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, LinkedIn or email at


This blog originally published in Printing Impressions.


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