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Leading the way in 2009

Change the world - courtesy of robinrkc's photostream on FlickrJohn Mayer is a moron. Sure, he’s written some great music. But rarely has so dumb a sentiment been expressed as in his hit, “Waiting On The World To Change.” John, son, here’s some advice. If you want the world to change, make it change.

2009 likely represents a tough year for many businesses. But one of the things I admire most about small business owners, about innovative managers – about leaders like you – is that you see solutions where others see problems. Opportunity where others see risks. Profits where others see costs.

So 2009 may be tough. But tough times grow strong leaders.

Case in point: I was struck by a letter Newt Gingrich wrote to the RNC about its attempts to link President-elect Obama to Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich’s alleged chicanery, stating, “In a time when America is facing real challenges, Republicans should be working to help the incoming President succeed in meeting them… Furthermore, once President Obama takes office, Republicans should be eager to work with him when he is right, and, when he is wrong, offer a better solution, instead of just opposing him.” (Emphasis mine).

Now that’s the spirit of leadership. Seriously. Don’t just oppose something. Offer a better solution. And not just in politics. Everywhere.

Leaders don’t fix little problems. Leaders fix big problems. Leaders don’t worry about a lack of credit. They ask, “How can we get cash to run our business?” They use techniques like “The 5 Whys” to get at root causes of problems. They make mantras others want to follow.

Leaders don’t wait for the world to change. They change it.

We’re all in the same boat. And we all need to be working towards solutions. If some jackass stands up and says, “your end of the boat is sinking,” hand him a bucket to bail with. Or pitch him overboard. Either way, you’re solving a problem.

Are you ready to lead?

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Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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  1. Thanks, Jake. Y’know, I never thought of Michael Jackson as a great representation of personal accountability, but you’re right about the intent behind that song. Maybe that should be the 2009 theme song? What do you think Big Thinkers? Should we choose a theme song for 2009 that inspires us to great things? Let me know here in the comments.

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