Great business leaders use passion to fuel their organizations. That passion could be about making money, providing opportunities to staff members, or serving customers. Maybe it’s about being the first to introduce the latest technology and steer the market or manage cash well enough to make it through tough times. While it could be about many different aspects of the business, be assured that there’s a passion about something. From what I’ve seen, great leaders make it a point to attract others – team members, clients, and suppliers, who share that same passion.
What is it?
Having a passion or focus for what you do is one thing. Being able to articulate it in a way that is inspiring and thought provoking is another. I can think of three situations where this can help differentiate your business. The first is to use this passion to attract the best team members that believe in you and have the expertise to help deliver on the mission. The second area would be in securing the financial support you need to help keep the business on the leading edge of the market. And the third, and perhaps most important, is to use that passion as fuel to secure the right customers for your business.
Spread the Word
Your passion can’t just be a saying. It’s not a banner on the wall. The best leaders live and breathe it every day. Some can become obnoxious along the way, while others are more subtle in their delivery. Either way, they talk about it at team meetings, and they bring it up with suppliers all the time. And finally, when they talk with clients, it’s woven into the fabric of why they are uniquely qualified to meet their needs. In many ways, it’s what keeps the company’s gears moving smoothly.
The First Test
The strength of any conviction can be tested when things don’t go as planned. The second guessing can be numbing! You hear it in the hallways. You may have someone from your team bring it up as a potential agenda item for the next meeting. This is where your passion might be tested against the follies of businesses past. It’s one thing to be on a single track, but if you see an iceberg and the ship begins listing, it may be time to pivot. Absent though, is it the passion or focus that is off, or is it the tactics you’re using that are being tested? Make sure not to conflate the two.
Great leaders use their focus as oxygen for creating innovative ideas and feeding the culture of the business. They use it to combat the quiet quitting and as a filter for those who are not engaged in what they do – a major issue across all size businesses and industries. They provide a safe space for innovation and don’t tolerate laggards. They stand on their passion for identifying who they are and what they believe in.
So, time to take the test. How’s your business, and is it the business you want or the business you need? There is a difference. If your leadership is clicking on all cylinders and all is great, congratulations. If you think you might have some areas to work on, make your list, prioritize the items by the time necessary to fix it and the impact it’ll make on your business. Then press the GO button. Your team needs you to lead them to the place they all signed up for when they joined your company. You’ve got this!
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.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published in Printing Impressions.