By Brian Canning
Leaders, who are responsible for delivering positive results, carry the weight of the world on their shoulders and, working through our employees, oversee every aspect of our business. They are very literally the ones who take our ideas and turn them into action, take our goals and turn them into driven reality.
Leaders need to be focused, task driven and nearly bulletproof. They do things that many of us would choose not to do and by stepping out from the crowd and highly visible, they are often convenient targets, blamed and discredited at every step. We would be lost and rudderless without them and in their ability to move us and our agenda forward, despite their many imperfections and our reliable resistance (kicking and screaming comes to mind); they find ways to make us extraordinary.
Look at your own operation over the years and track your highlights and lowlights. I would suggest to you that in the case of your competition it wasn’t great ideas alone, it was also leadership and thoughtful implementation.
It wasn’t marketing — it was drive and motivation and the courage to implement a great plan. Ideas and exposure by themselves do not win us market share. The conviction that something needs to change and the will and determination to see it through are what take a great plan and make it into a success. Look at your own operation and look at your greatest successes. There were great ideas there but anger or a new determination or very real necessity made your dedication more complete, your determination more urgent. Take an idea and make it a new reality. Great leadership is where it begins and where it ends.
An acceptance of responsibility and a stubborn determination to succeed and overcome, will serve you much better than anything else. I would suspect that even if you don’t love people, you at least have to respect them and have an appreciation for them.
You have to be willing to both lift them up and ask them for better. And this no matter how tired or busy or overwhelmed you already are. By description you are expected to have the answers even when they know you don’t, to show the way when you don’t have a map and are already lost, accept the blame even when it wasn’t your fault and refuse to quit or give up, even in the face of many doubts. You are the leader and this is what leaders do.
And don’t worry about making mistakes or bad decisions; your loyal staff will be happy to note and expound upon and remind you of every one of these, ad-infinitum. They are your people and that is what people do.
Brian Canning is 30 year veteran of the automotive repair industry who recently moved to the federal sector as a business analyst, writing for SearchAuoParts.com. Read the full article here.