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A Great Leader Asks, "Why Am I Here?"

By Otto Papasadero

The previous article on leadership in the Nov. 3 NARDA E-Newsletter mentioned that leadership is like an iceberg, in that the bulk of the mass is submerged. A leader’s actions and produced results are the tip of the iceberg. One cannot see the things that lie under the water, such as a leader’s core values and what they really stand for. At the conclusion of the last article, the reader was asked to list his or her intolerables and to discuss them in detail with their teams. Remember that leaders stand for what they tolerate. Additionally, leaders are defined by the way they answer two "why" questions and two "what" questions. We will deal with the “why” questions in this article and the “what” questions in the next issue of the NARDA E-newsletter.

"Why" question No.1: Why am I here?

Great leaders answer this question with personal core purpose. The greatest need for humans, and the most difficult achievement, is to find meaning in life. The following are examples of core purpose statements. Notice how individualized each statement is.

 •          "I'm here to leave things a little better than I found them." – CEO of a multinational Fortune 500 company.

 •          “I'm here to preserve human dignity.” – Turnaround expert who specializes in highly antagonistic situations.

 •          "I help people do what they have never done before.” – CEO who specializes in living on the edge.

 •          "I'm here to be about my father's business." – CEO of a fifth-generation business.


 Read the full article in the Members Only section

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RRetailers, Servicers, Suppliers: A Call for Industry Participation

For more than 75 years, the North American Retail Dealers Association has been the voice of independent appliance, electronics, bedding and furniture retailers. Through education, representation and a host of benefits, NARDA has worked diligently for all retailers.

Here’s how you can help both the industry and your own enterprise: NARDA is now moving forward into new areas and seeks volunteers that can give an hour or less each month to help guide the association. Please indicate your interest and you will be contacted and given more information.

Your name:

Contact number:

NARDA also is asking you to identify the areas in which it can assist you and your business. Whether it is legislation, education, legal services, publications, repair service or cloud-based services, please indicate which issues are most important to you. The very best suggestions will receive a $100 gift card.

Please express your willingness to volunteer and suggestions to

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North American Retail Dealers Association
222 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2100
Chicago IL 60606
Phone: 312.648.0649 or 800.621.0298 (US Only)
Fax: 312.648.1212

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