Neither a leader nor a follower be. This is a play on another famous quote, does it sound like any companies that you may know or work with?

June 2nd, 2009

Middle of the road does not work. The same old same old does not work. The pace with which change occurs today requires companies to be able to turn on a dime. For that leadership is required. Not leadership that only looks at the bottom line. We require leadership that creates and innovates to both your benefit and that of the global community.

The leadership this author is speaking about is visionary actionable leadership. Not reactionary leadership. We need leadership that looks at the sate of their company and its products as well as the needs of the community at large and in offering their solution to the collective problems faced by these entities, does it better, faster, cheaper and for the general good. This is more about walking the walk before any one else does because it is the right thing to do. If these represent the guiding principles of a company, the money part will follow. This is not something that can be learned or taught in business school.

According to Wikipedia, leadership has been described as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”.

A second definition which I like better and is more inclusive of followers comes from Alan Keith of Genentech who said “Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen.

As an example of less than stellar industry leadership, let’s look at a recent news article on a subject this author has posted about on a number of occasions “BPA”. I was reading an article recently Titled “Firms aim to fight BPA ban” by Lyndsey Layton of the Washington Post. A quote from the article that follows speaks volumes to the lack of leadership in solving this problem. “Frustrated industry executives huddled for hours Thursday trying to figure out how to tamp down public concerns over the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA”. You have to be kidding me.

In tomorrows post let’s dig a little deeper into this article and suggest how industry leaders should be looking at this as an opportunity and how they can help buyers from all companies source products that are safer and have a better impact on the environment instead of continuing to follow the same practices they have been since the 1950’s.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Ron Southard

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