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Leadership Lessons—All Shapes and Sizes

On Sunday afternoon, we had just finished our Glass Doctor annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. I didn’t get a chance to spend much time on the River Walk as there was too much to do. The bad thing is I love the River Walk. I couldn’t wait to get there.

Years ago I would have found the time to hang out with everyone. Years ago I would have gone down to the River Walk for a couple of hours rather than staying in my hotel room preparing for the next day.  Writing this leadership article has already made me a better leader. (Thank God!)

Almost 200 people were here this weekend. Franchisees that were brand new mixed with those who have been around for 26 years. Everyone has a dream. It’s fun seeing those who are new with a dream mixing with those who have been living their dream for more than 25 years.

Do you remember your dream of what it would be like to run your own business? Did you forget it takes focus, hard work, building your brand and doing what most people just won’t do?

As I get older, I get much more empathetic … as well as much less empathetic. Along the way I learned that good things take twice as long as I ever imagined and cost twice as much money. I root for those who do what is required and spend less energy with those who do not.

I’m not talking anything about Glass Doctor. I’m talking about life.

It is being calloused? Or is it being real? I vote for real! I hope and pray that my franchisees never feel that I am blind to their challenges. I’ve been on both sides and get it.

I looked around the room for the past couple days and I see Larry. He struggled to get to $1 million in volume. He told his team that once that he got to $1 million he would wear a dress for the day—and he did! Now he is over $4 million and he does something very simple—he awards everyone a $100 bill the day they exceed their goal for the month. Yes, brilliant. As he approaches $5 million in sales he has proved that this works for all.

I looked at Dan. Quiet. Unassuming. His business is in a region with serious oil and gas production. A territory where people make $18 to $25 an hour to work at McDonalds and Wal-Mart. It is hard to hire. Tougher than most of us, including me, could ever imagine. He brought his whole office staff to San Antonio to have them better understand who we are and make them learn how they could do their jobs better. More importantly, his staff got to meet other people who do what they do every day! Something Dan, nor I, can relate to, but that is critical for his team. Brilliant.

I look at Gene. Closed his business and brought his entire office to San Antonio for three days to make them better. Who among us would ever do this?

Mike brought six people from Montana. Want to figure out how much that cost him with hotels, flights, and time away from the office?

Leadership.

I can’t tell you how to become a better leader. I’m not sure how I can tell me how to be a better leader. I do know, however, when I see great leaders rise to the occasion, I appreciate them, applaud them and aspire to be as great they are.

As always, gents, thanks for another lesson.

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