Published January 9, 2015

I started writing this about supply chain strategy, and I might go back to that topic next week as I was preparing to teach an APICS CSCP (certified supply chain professional) class tomorrow; however, I was diverted on a conference call that compelled me to change my topic to leadership. There is ZERO doubt in my mind that strong leaders will prevail in the worst of conditions whereas weak leaders can cause even the BEST people to fail. Leaders must be willing to confront problems and address reality. It is easy-sounding until you have an issue arise.

This has occurred several times this week already. Unfortunately, in three cases, the leader didn’t “stand strong”, and repercussions will follow. The problem is that the consequences don’t necessarily follow immediately but they will occur. On the other hand, in one or two cases, they did “stand strong”, and those leaders will be respected. I guarantee results will follow.

As we go into the New Year, no matter your position, build upon your leadership skills. It will pay back ten-fold vs. anything else you could do.

One tip to implement this week:
The good news is that there are countless ways to build your leadership skills, and you only have to choose one path for this week. Thus, I’ll provide a few options: 1) Read a good book on leadership skills. I find reading about examples of exceptional leaders provides ideas to try out. 2) Find a mentor – undoubtedly, this is your BEST option. It doesn’t have to be someone you work for. Seek out someone who has a few of the skills you want to develop and ask. Offer to do something to help them as well. 3) Join a trade association and volunteer. For example, my APICS Board of Directors seeks new people who are willing to support our events, and it’s a great way to build your skills in a safe environment.