LCI Blog: Don’t call me “Mr. President”

gfgBy David Landis, President, LCI – and incoming President, Public Relations Global Network

I just returned from the first of our bi-annual meetings with the international affiliate members of Public Relations Global Network (PRGN). These meetings are always inspirational. Our now nearly 50-member network shares business leads, best practices, expertise and even recipes and travel tips from around the globe.

gfdThe spring meeting only required a short hop for me.  It was hosted in Los Angeles by our Southern California affiliate, VPE PR.  We inducted great new member agencies from Tokyo (Integrate Communications), Chile (RumboCierto) and Portugal (Global Press). This PRGN meeting held great personal significance for me because I was installed as the network’s new President.

The new job is definitely a thrill – and a challenge

This position got me thinking about true leadership and the skills required.  Too often, we go through our daily paces and forget that leadership requires time, effort, forethought and guidance.  It doesn’t just happen on its own.

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What are the qualities of a great leader?  Here are five of mine:

  1. Listen. Good ideas can and do come from all levels of an organization.
  2. DelegateIf all you do is tell people what to do, colleagues will never learn how to handle responsibility on their own.
  3. Allow failure – safely.  Make sure you don’t give them more rope than they can handle.
  4. Mentor.  I honestly think this is the one I never seem to find enough time to do, but it’s extremely important.
  5. Celebrate success.  At LCIs weekly staff meeting, we ask each team member to share a great accomplishment for the week.  Then, we celebrate with a round of applause.

Most importantly, don’t call me “Mr. President.”  That sets up a “we” and “they” situation.  In truth, as with all successful businesses, we’re a team.  We are all in this together.

What leadership qualities would you add to this list?  Please leave a comment below or email me directly at: [email protected].

 

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25 Comments

  1. Rob Reply

    Congratulations, David! PRGN is in great, capable hands. We’re all very proud here at LCI!

    • David Landis Reply

      Thanks, Rob. I’ll try to live up to all the expectations! Cheers, David

  2. Brianne Miller Reply

    I would add, “don’t forget to laugh.” Creativity, so important in our business, is fired by shared positive emotions. We laugh a lot at LCI…and we are one of the most creative groups on the planet!

    • David Landis Reply

      Brianne – you’re right. Not only is laughter the best medicine, it helps keep everyone sane in this crazy business. Thanks for contributing to today’s blog. Cheers, David

  3. David Landis Reply

    Rob, thanks. I’ll try to live up to all the expectations! Cheers, David

  4. Alessandra Malvermi Reply

    David, you are such an excellent leader and a talented person. I’m sure you’ll do a great job….and actually, you have already started to do it.

    • david Reply

      Thank you so much for your support, Alessandra! Cheers, David

  5. Sandy Lish Reply

    David, as a leader, you are constantly faced with difficult decisions. I find if you always take the high road you can move forward without regrets and at the same time set a positive example for your team.

    • David Landis Reply

      Great advice, Sandy. . .I may need for you to help me remember this! Cheers, David

  6. Scott Hanson Reply

    Leadership is earned. This will be an excellent year for the PRGN!

    • David Landis Reply

      Thanks, Scott and I agree about earning leadership. And I know I also have a lot to learn but glad to have your vote of confidence. Thanks for being such an important part of the team. Cheers, David

  7. esther buchsbaum Reply

    As a PRGN-er I congratulate you Mr President and look forward to a successful and insightful year under your leadership. “Leader” is far more than just a title. To be a leader one must mentor, guide, support and show wisdom – most of all one must be human – you Sir are all that and then some!! How about you lead and I’ll follow :)!

    • David Landis Reply

      I don’t know if I’ve got the wisdom part, but I will say I think I’ll always remember the humanity part – it’s critical to success. Please don’t let me forget it, Esther. Thanks and we appreciate all you do for PRGN – you always make it FUN! Cheers, David

  8. Jim Licko Reply

    I love #3 that you list above. Without the opportunity to fail, people either don’t have the option to try new things or the option to learn from mistakes. Congrats on your new appointment, David!

    • David Landis Reply

      Thanks, Jim. I think I learned the most when we had our hardest year after the dot com bubble burst. But it helped us re-invent the agency and be stronger. So I agree, learning from failure is key to success. And you are a great part of PRGN’s success, too – thank you. Cheers, David

  9. Aaron B Reply

    Mr. President, congrats on the new role! Looking forward to tapping your influence since we’re your neighbor to the north!! Success for all.

    • david Reply

      Aaron. . .neighbors are some of my best friends. 🙂 Thanks for all you do for PRGN, you’re a great example of what PRGN can be in the future. Cheers, David

  10. Sean Dowdall Reply

    Congratulations. Now that I am a first gentleman, I have to find an appropriate cause. Suggestions are welcome! Sean

  11. Mariusz Pleban Reply

    The most important when leading is having fun. Fun stimulates leader internally. In the same moment this is contagious for the external surrounding. Plus remember Richard Branson’s claim – Screw it! Let’s do it! Repeat yourself this quote every morning and simply… screw it and do it!

    • david Reply

      Mariusz – love it! And in the words of my favorite Uncle Paul, “Wherever you go, whatever you do, don’t walk. . .DANCE!” I appreciate all your hard work on behalf of our global PR network. . .and please keep me laughing. Cheers, David

  12. david Reply

    Sean – it’s called the David Landis Charitable Fund. And you know where that money goes: theatre, music, dining out, skiing – and especially entertaining the spouses of PRGN members. Thanks for being there for me. Your support is invaluable. Cheers, David

  13. Uwe Schmidt Reply

    Hi David, what about Ms. President then?

    • david Reply

      Uwe, in the words of the Broadway musical, just “Call Me Madam.” Do you detect a theme with my Presidency? 🙂

  14. Jane Oppenheim Reply

    I was President of a national organization 10 years ago. It was a terrific experience, and I know you will love leading PRGN. The friends you have made in PRGN will be there to support you, even when you have to make tough decisions. You will learn so much (although you may get even more grey hair!)

    All the best, my dear,
    Jane

    • david Reply

      Jane. . .many thanks for your sage advice, which as usual, is always on-target! Cheers, David