YOU Are Destined for Greatness
By Miriam Erickson Brown
CEO (and Chief Taste Tester!)
Anderson Erickson Dairy
Des Moines, Iowa
There is nothing more personal than leadership.
Maybe that’s because as leaders, bits of ourselves and our personalities have rubbed off in our businesses and organizations.
As the leader of our third-generation family owned dairy, I consider my role a reflection of who I truly am. In fact, Dark Chocolate Milk and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Yogurt are both examples of my creativity...in dairy form.
All of us can be leaders in many ways. Throughout the pages of this book, we find stories of great leaders who have a balanced and disciplined approach to constantly improving in their role. If we are focused on humility and excellence, as many of these wonderful leaders are, we can have a truly tremendous impact.
The downside in all of this is that our imperfections effect those we are leading. I should point out here that some of God’s best work in my own life has been through my inadequacies and losses. After all, good leaders possess an authenticity that is irresistible and relatable. Maybe that’s because the realness of their life stories shines through.
A leader is also a steward. They are a protector and defender of excellence and truth in their organization. Stewardship is a powerful force and something that doesn’t get its due recognition.
In an organization, it really is the art of staying true to the greater purpose. It requires constant re-balancing and the wisdom to determine what the right thing to do is...and is not. It is lonely. Often, the leader is the only one who has the information and vision to determine the best course of action. Because so few understand this about leadership, it’s an open invitation to be challenged.
Leaders must be masters of their trade yet remain open minded. We must be unflappable but full of passion.
We need to remain flexible but uncompromising in our standards of excellence.
We are communicators of vision yet realists in choosing wisely what we share and when.
We face a tornado of information, but we must make sure to carefully select the right combination of things to make our businesses and organizations successful and engaging.
There is no one best recipe for successful leadership, but great leaders exist nonetheless. My prayer for you is that you nurture, honor, grow and protect your leadership role just as those in the stories on the pages that follow have done.
Inspiration is contagious.
Miriam Erickson Brown