Thoughts for a Leader – Part 1

Smart Thinking … A Different Perspective

By Leslie R. Wolff, A Marketing Curmudgeon

Leadership is action, not position – Donald H. McGannon


“I praise loudly; I blame softly.”Catherine II

A true leader knows that in order to move forward all the members of their team needs to feel they count, that their effort is not only recognized, but also appreciated. Research has shown praise given sincerely is far more successful motivator of people than cash or material rewards. A combination of both can be a ‘home run.”

We all are imbued with the love of praise.”– Cicero


“An optimist sees opportunity in every calamity, a pessimist sees calamity in every opportunity.” – Winston Churchill

A leader has to have a positive outlook focusing on what can be achieved rather than focusing on why something can’t be accomplished. It is up to that leader to instill that same spirit in those he or she leads. When one expresses a negative or pessimistic approach to things ask this question – “Name one benefit you gain from a pessimistic viewpoint?” There are none. You will only get inaction, indecision and guaranteed failure. Although optimism must also be tempered with reasoning, it will always lead to great achievements and more fulfilling life.

A man’s greatest enemies are his own apathy and stubbornness. – Frank Tyger


None of us is as smart as all of us.” – Phil Condit

Some so-called leaders have a “kill the messenger” attitude to anyone who might bring them bad news or make them aware of a problem on the horizon or already beginning to affect the business. Such a leader is stupid, as a smart leader will set up a 2- way communication conduit that invites others to give you input and feedback, it not only builds teamwork, it makes you act as well as look smarter than you probably are. Such a system combined with a “reward not retribution” outlook will provide a much smother road to success … for everyone.

It takes two to speak the truth – one to speak and one to hear.” – Henry David Thoreau

Goal Setting

In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high” – Henry David Thoreau (Walden)

Setting goals is not an easy task, but is best accomplished by having the right attitude, input from your team, customers, vendors and even your competition, which you can often get by having established good relationships with member of the trade press and associations. Goals should require you and your team to have to stretch your talents and thinking to see what the possibilities might be if you are willing to think “outside the box.” I offer Wolff’s Rule of Business Opportunity for your reflection. It is that “every business, in every industry tends to 0opperate the same as everyone else in their field, until someone takes a magnifying glass and closely examines the common denominators and sameness factors and they will always find an untapped or overlooked opportunity.”

Before you can score, you must have a goal.” – Anonymous

Leslie R. Wolff is an experienced professional, obviously an outspoken curmudgeon with more than a half century in the marketing arena His mission in his business, speeches and writings is to reestablish a lost factor in business … commonsense! It is the foundation on which Smart Thinking is built. Les is CEO of The Smart Marketing Group, who simply help clients work smarter. Listen to his radio show on –“Smart Marketing for Small Businerss, participate in his Linked group of the same name, visit and he can be reached at 215-334-3432,, Skype: Smart Marketing or

You can also visit and participate at http://www.marketingcurmudgeon.comHis E-Book” Smart Thinking- Vol.-I” is available @


Filed under Management and Leaders, small business

3 responses to “Thoughts for a Leader – Part 1

  1. Thank you for making my day. This is such an inspiring post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s