One of the books we have is called, The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus. There are a group of great authors involved, but it's written as if it's from the big ho-ho-ho guy himself. I realize he's not on anybody's mind right now, but that's what makes this the perfect time to think about his management style!
"Here's a nugget of leadership wisdom that I've picked up over the decades...You can't possibly focus on your mission without focusing on the folks that make your mission happen. The two go hand in hand...And besides, since you manage things and lead people common sense suggests that it's people who are at the core of all leadership activities." (The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus, WalkTheTalk.com, page 14)
I've written a lot about the importance of the people who support you, I'm thinking about how bizarre the first quarter of the year was for so many photographers. You went nuts in the last quarter of the year and then *BOOM* it's January and things just got quiet. You've hopefully spent the first quarter thinking about what to do in the new year to get that momentum back, build your business, expand your network etc.
Here's the cool thing...it's been the same for just about everybody. If you're in retail, seasonality ended at the December holidays and you chased inventory issues and then did your taxes. If you're in manufacturing, you're shipping heavily right now and have been trying to stock your retail outlets for the last couple of months. If you're a consumer, there's an underlying tone of quiet panic as you think about getting your taxes done this week and wonder what this new year will bring.
For everybody it's the perfect time to think about all the people who support you every day. If you're a photographer and lucky enough to have a staff, it's a great time to think about ways you can help them grow this year. The more they understand the business the bigger asset they'll become. But, if you're like most photographers without a formal staff, then it's still the perfect time to recognize all those people in your life who help you do your job - from your lab, album or frame company to the UPS guy and to "Santa's" biggest helpers, your family!
So, it's not a new theme today. Nothing earth-shaking or filled with wisdom - just plain old common sense - hug your family, your friends and what the hell, hug the UPS guy! You're only as good as the people who support you and believe in you. Trust them, keep them involved and they'll come through for you every time - just as good as Donner and Blitzen!
Illustration Credit: © alphaspirit - Fotolia.com