Are you a leader? (part two)

Daylight Savings Time begins March 13.  Hallelujah! Attitudes change with the clock change, and everyone becomes calmer and friendlier. Most people can be led easily during this period. So, how can leaders take advantage of this? 

During the winter, our habits change. Some people leave work earlier; some choose not to make a call until tomorrow; some sleep more. As we emerge from our winter hibernation, our habits need stretching.

My trainer constantly reminds me to stretch after running. He says it’s the best time to stretch because your body is poised to benefit. Stretching helps prevent injuries but also strengthens. I understand, but the fact is that I hate to stretch. I have little free time, and after a run, I am hurrying to accomplish the next item on my to-do list. The fact that I have many things to do does not lessen the importance of stretching.

Be aware that employees will not want to change, or stretch, because most do not like change. Their resistance is similar to my dislike of stretching after a run. As leaders, however, we must teach others how to change—or stretch—their habits.

Also, most of your competition is resistant to change, so you will create a competitive advantage when you use this time to stretch. In a race, there are only a few strategic places where you can pass your competition. You may not know beforehand where these places might be. What is most important is to be alert to recognize the opportunities as they occur. Now is the time!

The best leadership is by example. My father taught me not to ask your employees to do something you are not willing to do. At Evans Glass Co., I make it a point of calling on new potential customers weekly, calling to collect a past due account from a “problem” customer, developing relationships with new suppliers, and generally doing things that might be uncomfortable initially. Leaders are willing to do the uncomfortable things until they become comfortable. As others see what we do, they will quickly lose their resistance to change. When you stretch, you grow (and your company grows).

—Bill Evans, president, Evans Glass Co., Nashville   

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

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