"Your employees come first. And if you treat your employees right, guess what? Your customers come back, and that makes your shareholders happy. Start with employees and the rest follows from that."
--- Herb Kelleher
If you get a chance, and you have time to read a book, I suggest a classic that has been around for over 25 years titled, The Leadership Challenge, by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner. But, if you feel you don't have the time, I will outline here five key leadership principles that you can begin applying to your business today. The book offers so much more, so it is worth a read.
The first principle is to Model the Way. What is meant by that is that if you have employees, your actions are being watched on a daily basis. If you talk a good talk about providing great customer service, working with integrity, and treating others fairly, but you don't do those things, your words are useless.
"Employee loyalty begins with employer loyalty. Your employees should know that if they do the job they were hired to do with a reasonable amount of competence and efficiency, you will support them."
--- Harvey Mackay
The second principle is Inspiring a Shared Vision. This means that the leader sets a course, communicates the course to the team, and sticks to the course. It is amazing to me how many business leaders hide this information from their team members. It is as if they are afraid of letting the cat-out-of-the-bag for some strange reason. To the team, it shows a lack of confidence not just in the team, but a lack of self-confidence on the part of the leader.
"Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks?"
--- Steven Wright
Number three is Challenging the Process, which means that the leader equips team members with the right tools - education, training, equipment - and then allows them to fail. It is the competent leader that can do this without freaking out over the consequences. The smart players know that well-trained employees may fail, learn from their failures and provide even greater productivity than ever before.
"If you are a parent, you have probably already realized that your children are always watching what you do. And just as children watch their parents and emulate their behavior, so do employees who are watching their bosses."
--- John C. Maxwell
The fourth key principle found in The Leadership Challenge is Enabling Others to Act. This means that the leader builds trusting relationships with team members and this in turn builds confidence and trust in the leader. The leader that incorporates this principle is not afraid of the employee surpassing the leader in productivity, creativity, sales, and more.
"The only people whose opinions I worry about are my wife, my children, and my employees."
--- Alan Sugar
Finally, the fifth principle is Encouraging the Heart, which implies the touchy-feely side of leadership such as providing encouragement, sympathy and empathy when needed, and celebrations when a team member succeeds.
Applying just one of these principles will make a positive difference in your business, but can you imagine mastering all five? Your business will reach new heights and you will have mastered the leadership challenge.
The State of Digital Die-Cutting/Digital Finishing for Wide- and Grand-Format Print in 2014
By Steve Aranoff
Oh how the market has grown and changed to accommodate varying needs and wants in the digital finishing and cutting shops. Read on to see the most current trends.
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New Mexico Neon on Route 66
By Jennifer LeClaire
Sign makers are getting their kicks restoring vintage neon signs along New Mexico’s portion of Route 66.
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Advertiser - ISA Sign Expo 2015
Registration for ISA Sign Expo 2015 is OPEN!
The International Sign Association is inviting you to get a jump start on planning for ISA International Sign Expo 2015 by registering right now. ISA Sign Expo 2015 is back at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center in Las Vegas on April 8-11. Already, the 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall floor is more than 90 percent sold out. This year's ISA Sign Expo is looking to be the largest yet with more than 550 exhibitors and 21,000 attendees.
At every corner, sign and visual communications professionals can explore the leading products and innovations - ISA Sign Expo showcases the ENTIRE industry all in one event! Wide-format and 3-D printers, channel letters, neon, architectural signage and digital sign systems all will be on display. The Dynamic Digital Park will include educational seminars with exhibitors offering solutions for traditional sign companies that want to explore digital signage as a new business opportunity.
The current exhibitor list is already online and being updated continually. And most importantly, registration is open!
In a Japanese restaurant (over each of several fountains):
"Yes, it is real water. Please do not touch"
A Sign On The Side Of The Highway Saying:
Changeable Letter Sign In Front Of Church In Springhill, FL:
We need those funny signs you've seen in your travels, come on, we know they're out there.
Send them to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.