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Leadership Lessons—Make the Decision

Mary Kay and I just got back from The Dwyer Group’s annual Reunion, where 2,000 franchise professionals from 10 brands got together. This year’s event was held at the new J.W. Marriott, downtown Austin. (In fact, it is the second largest Marriott in the world!)

Two seminars stood above the others, as far as I’m concerned.

The first was the keynote speech by Brian Tracy. Here are a couple of quotes that he gave to better understand what leadership can be:

  • “80 percent of self-made millionaires started out with nothing. They decided to be one;”
  • “All business (Leadership) skills are learned. You can learn any skill that is important to you;”
  • “If you want to earn more (or want to be a better leader) go to the mirror and negotiate with your boss what you are going to do to make this happen;”
  • “Invest three percent of income back in yourself and what you do;”
  • “What is your most precious resource? Time;”
    • “Do fewer things, but focus on those things that are most important to you to achieve your specific goals.”
    • “The average adult checks their e-mail 45 times a day. The average student checks their Facebook page 18 times per HOUR;” and,
  • “The average person works the first year to learn their skill. 10 years later they are no more productive than they were the first year because they didn’t continue growing.”

Let me focus on that last bullet point. For some reason, many people believe that a technician with 10 years’ experience is much more value than a tech with one year of experience. If you aren’t challenging your techs, teaching them or providing leadership for them, they will be the same after 10 years that they were at one. All of us know techs like this.

The other event that stood out in my mind was our panel of the pros. I asked our last 10 franchisees of the year to join me on stage. Then I stepped off the stage and announced that they were there to answer any/every question that any of the other 150 people in the room had. The questions flowed for almost the next 90 minutes.

These same ten had joined us in our room for a toast on Monday night after our huge gala where every brand president introduced their franchisee of the years. Glass Doctor’s franchisee was Justin Eimers of Sioux Falls, S.D. Justin is the first person ever at Glass Doctor to repeat as franchisee of the year. Not only was he well-deserving, he also raised the bar for previous award winners.

Justin, as well as several other franchisees of the sear, simply made the decision to be excellent. I hate to say it was that simple, but this was their first decision. Their goal was to be excellent and they focused on just that.

As Brian Tracy said, “You can learn any skill that is important to you.” I’m amazed at the people who believe that leaders are “born.”  I just received an e-mail from one of my favorite speakers and mentors, Greg Reid. It was entitled, “Lies a Speaker Will Tell You.” One of them was that there are natural born leaders.
No baby was ever born where the Doctor said, “Oh, look! It’s an accountant.”
Along life’s journey, we find what we’re good at, then do more of it.
This is how we build our competency, confidence and composure.

If leadership is important to you, then make the decision to be an excellent leader. I saw it work with Justin and so many other excellent business owners this week at the reunion. Just think—it all started with a decision.

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