Leadership can be lonely work, especially when you are running your own company. While you may draw on others for information and advice, you alone have the ultimate responsibility for your company’s future and your own—you alone are accountable for making decisions that can lead to success or failure.
While every company leader feels the weight of this responsibility, perhaps none feels it more deeply than the owner of a small printing company in a tough economic environment and highly competitive marketplace, where each decision can be a “make or break” choice for the business and its employees. That’s why so many small business owners in our industry decide to attend our NAPL/NAQP Owners Conference each year.
As the only industry event specifically organized to meet the needs of small businesses in the graphic communications industry and those who run them, every session of the Owners Conference is tailored to help owners or general managers of quick, small commercial, or digital printing companies (25 employees or fewer) sharpen their leadership skills.
The theme of this year’s program is “The Difference is YOU”: you, the owner; you, the leader; you, the decision maker. It will give owners an exceptional opportunity to learn how to use their individual decision making power and leadership strengths to help their companies reach their fullest potential.
To be held in Chicago, September 8-10, immediately preceding Graph Expo 2011, the Owners Conference features keynote addresses, panels, and presentations that identify how leaders make a difference, look at the fundamentals of good leadership and the effectiveness of varying leadership styles, and offer real-world tips and techniques leaders can use to make a positive difference in their organizations.
And, as at every Owners Conference, the event will serve not only to provide information and insights for company leaders but to put them in contact with their industry counterparts; helping to take some of the loneliness out of leadership by discussing shared problems and concerns and exploring solutions that have worked for others.
“When our small business owners get together, they soon find that they are not alone in facing tough industry problems,” notes NAPL chairman Keith Kemp, president, Xerographic Digital Printing in Orlando, FL. “They draw on the experience and friendship of their peers; finding new solutions, gaining new confidence, and taking home new ideas and plans for moving their businesses forward.”
One of the most popular conference sessions, the annual Ideas Exchange, is built to get the most from this interaction. Mike Stevens of Marketing Ideas for Printers.com will moderate a highly active interchange of new solutions and approaches that have worked for some companies and can have successful applications in many others.
Also certain to be a full-house event is the annual address by NAPL senior vice president and chief economist Andrew Paparozzi, this year covering “What’s Happening and What’s Ahead for Quick and Small Commercial Printers?”
“We’ll be reporting on answers to questions about whether business is picking up for quick and small commercial printers, whether their sales are growing, and what the latest trends are in owner’s compensation, hiring, and sales per employee,” said Paparozzi.
The review of current conditions “will be followed by a look at what’s expected in 2012. The session will conclude with big picture questions,” he explains, “such as what quick and small commercial printers see as their greatest opportunities and their greatest challenges.”
Two unusual and intriguing presentations will help owners take a close look at how their leadership abilities impact their businesses. The conference’s opening session, “Know Your Kolbe, Know Yourself,” will give attendees a chance to harness the leadership power they possess by learning how to use their inner strengths to get the best results from those who work for and with them.