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Probably the most important key to effective leadership (in my somewhat ridiculous world of entertainment and publishing) is looking up from the daily mess of creation to see the big picture and recognize the need for renovation–for a new solution to a problem that is lingering and not getting solved.  In our world right now at Writers of the Round Table, we have been struggling with the distribution of our books.  As I have mentioned in other postings, we have spent years (a decade myself) learning to develop exceptional products.  I am not an expert in the distribution of those products.  My team is amazing, mind you, and we have unbelievable expertise in creating the brand and all of the support for the distribution machine.  What we do not have is the distribution network in place.  It just has not been a priority until now. So instead of continuing to function from the standpoint that our branding will be enough, I have finally started to wake up to the reality that is in front of my eyes.  I need a powerhouse distributor.  Whether that be a hungry individual who will spearhead researching and building this aspect of our business, or a partnership with an already effective company such as Independent Publishers Group (who we are seriously looking into), is yet to be determined.  What is most important is that we have recognized the need for change and are in the process of immersing ourselves in information so that we can make an educated decision and then proceed aggressively (something we LOVE to do). This is my job as the head of the company.  While my staff is building their own divisions and working to make those aspects of our business as effective as possible, I have the responsibility to look at the whole and point us in that new direction.
Leader to Leader, I encourage you to look up from the work as often as possible and listen to the conversation that is being had beneath the surface, so you can find solutions to problems you are yet aware of. For me the problem makes itself apparent in my emotional landscape (I get crabby!–ask my wife!).  Think of how ineffective systems within your company or organization effect you, and then maintain a sense of awareness, so that you can see those reactions rising in you–effectively warning you of the need for contemplation and eventual change and growth.  Don’t avoid the work in these times.  Instead–read other books, have conversations with those around you. Take a walk and ruminate. Clarity will come from the silence and space you give yourself to find it.