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The Leadership Lansing Blog is the open communication forum of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce. In the Leadership Lansing Blog, we will highlight all things related to the Greater Lansing business community. We will feature posts from our staff, our membership and the legislative leaders of this region. If you have any questions or would like to be a contributor to the Leadership Lansing Blog, please contact Eric Dimoff, Marketing and Communications Director, at 517-853-6460 or edimoff@lansingchamber.org. We appreciate the continued support!

 

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Focus: The Second Principle of Great Leadership

Posted By Michelle Rahl, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, Monday, May 11, 2015

Focus: The Second Principle of Great Leadership 

Good leaders achieve the expected. Great leaders deliver the unexpected. Fortunately for me I have had the honor to learn from the latter as evidenced by one particular encounter I will never forget.

I was making a sales call on an advertising executive in the automotive aftermarket business. I had never met this gentleman and knew little about him or his organization. Sitting outside his office his secretary asked, “David, have you ever met Mr. Anderson?” I explained that this was my first visit to their company. With that piece of knowledge she quietly said, “Well, let me prepare you. You are about to meet a monster.” I was stunned. “Let me explain.” she said. “A few years ago Mr. Anderson and his wife were in a terrible car accident. She burned alive while he was horribly scarred for life. Regardless, you will never meet a finer more upbeat person.” At that moment a voice on the intercom interrupted our conversation. “Peggy, please send David into my office.” I took a deep breath and proceeded to meet the “monster” on the other side of his office door.

Mr. Anderson was standing behind his desk with his back to me gazing out of his third-story window. Without turning around he said, “David, have you ever seen a bad day?” Recalling his secretary’s words I managed a timid response. “Well sir, I believe we have all seen or experienced a bad day.” His response was immediate. “Come over to my window and I’ll show you what a bad day looks like.”

Preparing for the worst I slowly walked over toward the statuesque man. He turned and smiled with a face that was no more. Turning once again to look outside he pointed to the ground below. Adjacent to the building complex was a cemetery! “David,” he continued, “now that’s a bad day. You and I are about to have a good one.” We did.

Mr. Anderson’s gift to me that day was simple: pay attention and focus, or be the focus of unwanted attention.


David Eich 
Marketing & Public Relations Officer
Consumers Mutual Insurance of Michigan

Tags:  achievers  attention  focus  leadership 

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Freedom: The First Principle of Great Leadership

Posted By Michelle Rahl, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, Thursday, April 16, 2015

Freedom: The First Principle of Great Leadership

Just because you’re right doesn’t mean you are right. At first glance this phrase seems contradictory. But the gift of freedom allows all those in leadership to empower others to make decisions especially when a “teachable” moment presents itself.

Case in point: The CEO of a major health system was known as “the wise old fox.” After receiving an offer to join his organization as the first-ever vice president of marketing I asked: “John, why would you hire someone who has absolutely no experience in health care?  He retorted: “Son, you’re not tainted.” And to be sure I remained that way his first assignment for this 35-year-old executive was to walk around the organization, ask questions, and come back and tell him what I learned.

Several months later I was having trouble with a few physicians who tried to undermine my hospital marketing strategy. I had all the evidence I needed to take my case before the CEO. I also had key members of the medical, nursing, and administrative staff supporting my position. All of my arguments were spelled out in a letter addressed to my adversaries highlighting their bad behavior and self-serving attitudes.

I met with John to articulate my grievance and shared a draft of the correspondence I intended to mail to the physicians. He read the letter, handed it back, and said, “David, you are absolutely right. The doctors are wrong.” John paused a moment and then continued. “But I’ll tell you what I want you to do. Put the letter in your desk until you have had time to think about your action. When you’re ready pull it out and read it again. If you still believe that mailing the letter is the best way to handle the matter, then send it. I will support whatever decision you make.”

As you probably guessed, I never mailed the letter.  A short time later the physicians became my strongest supporters—all because someone gave me the freedom to choose the right action, attitude, and agenda. 


David Eich
Marketing & Public Relations Officer
Consumers Mutual Insurance of Michigan

Tags:  action  agenda  attitude  empower  freedom  leadership  principle  teachable 

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