If you are reading this then you are probably already  looking for leadership inspiration.

The quotes above, as I see them says it all. When you are working in the graphic arts there is only so much that you can do as a business owner and if your business is to grow you need a functional and impressive team behind you. I have spent many years working in this sector and I have seen owner driver businesses develop to say £5M and then they hit a glass ceiling – Usually because the business owner(s) does not have enough bandwidth to work any more hours and is not  focusing on the business going forward.

I use the famous phrase “working on the business not in the business”.

I have set up this site because within these businesses there are many talented individuals who are also working very hard. The problem is that they have had little opportunity to develop skills for themselves,often adopting the same mind set as the business owner, controlling, subordinates. Checking other peoples work, getting involved in things that they would be better leaving to someone else – I hope to change this.

They have a management outlook, not a leadership outlook

What do I mean? Read this table, the left hand column is the subject, the middle is the perspective of a leader and the right hand column the perspective of a manager. When I visit organisations I see many “Busy Managers”


Subject Leader Manager
Essence Change Stability
Focus Leading people Managing work
Have Followers Subordinates
Horizon Long-term Short-term
Seeks Vision Objectives
Approach Sets direction  Plans detail
Decision Facilitates Makes
Power Personal charisma Formal authority
Appeal to Heart Head
Energy Passion Control
Culture Shapes Enacts
Dynamic Proactive Reactive
Persuasion Sell Tell
Style Transformational Transactional
Exchange Excitement for work Money for work
Likes Striving Action
Wants Achievement Results
Risk Takes Minimizes
Rules Breaks Makes
Conflict Uses Avoids
Direction New roads Existing roads
Truth Seeks Establishes
Concern What is right Being right
Credit Gives Takes
Blame Takes Blames

Table Courtesy of www.Changingminds.org

In the graphic arts, we have come from a manufacturing base, we micro manage everything, risk, subordinates, suppliers  and the like, we are extremely transactional in our management approach.  That was great when things were stable and consistent.

As our industry changes and the pace of change accelerates  we need to adapt, we can no longer structure our businesses in a hierarchical management structure.  Leadership skills help the whole organisation, not just the owner. Everyone can share, teach and work together for the good of the company.


That is why we called this site  “Leaders in print” everyone can become a leader in their own right. Leadership starts at the top for sure, it is cultural and a belief system, and our methods won’t suit every business but we are confident it will help most organisations to become more dynamic.

If you want to know more or you have a management team that has potential but you need help to create the appropriate environment contact me

John.charnock@ pr-int.net


Leaders in print is a web site run by Print Research International – www.pr-int.net