Book Club | Leader of the Band

By Sara Waldner
  • 09.03.19
  • 3 Min Read

Welcome to our new Book Club blog series. Each month, an L&Ser will give an overview and highlight top takeaways from their favorite recent read. From intriguing autobiographies to industry-specific short stories, each blog will leave you with useful lessons to apply to your daily life.

Our first feature is a quick, inspirational read that will get your leadership groove going. Scott Lawrence, our fearless leader, President and CEO recently published a book: The Leader of the Band.

An engaging read with such strong voice it sounds like Scott himself is in the room reading it to you, Leader of the Band is a story about his experiences as a school band director and how the vital lessons learned during that job impact how he leads our marketing agency today. The varying mix of personal stories makes up a leadership book different than any I’ve ever read. It offers invaluable lessons and insight into the man all of us L&Sers call “boss.”

TOP FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM LEADER OF THE BAND

1. MARCH FOR YOUR PEOPLE AND THEY WILL MARCH FOR YOU.

This might be the most important lesson in the book. At L&S, our culture and the way we do things is built around our people. The belief that our people are our most valuable asset comes straight from Scott himself. He knows taking the time to invest in and grow each employee and client will benefit the company in the long run. And he learned that lesson in the kitchen of the first school he taught at over a pot of coffee.

2. BE WILLING AND PREPARED TO RESPOND TO THE ADVERSITY THAT YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO FACE.

Every organization, agency and business will inevitably have roadblocks (which can sometimes feel like full on brick walls) to overcome on their path to success. How you rise to the occasion will say a lot about you as a leader, and it will determine whether your company will win or fail. As Scott says, “believe in your leadership skills and trust yourself, because it all pays off.”

3. IF YOU WANT TO GROW, BE WILLING TO CHANGE.

This is a great complement to lesson #2. Sometimes you will feel like it’s difficult to create growth in your business. Ask yourself, are you willing to change? The willingness to change and innovate is accepting the challenge to grow. Don’t be intimated by it. Be “the wedge” (more info on page 12) and never accept good as good enough. You might face some pushback, but in the end when you win, your team will thank you for the challenge.

4. BE OPEN AND HONEST ABOUT THE WAY THAT YOU WORK.

Whether you are pitching your agency, interviewing for a position or meeting a new business contact, make sure to be up front about the way that you work. Not only will this help set boundaries and expectations, but it will project your ability to lead. “They [those you work with] will appreciate you when you stand your ground and have conviction in your work” (43).

5. CELEBRATE YOUR VICTORIES AND THE TEAM MEMBERS WHO HELPED YOU WIN!

When you do win, be sure to appreciate and thank those employees who helped you achieve success. Whether it’s the “sophomores,” “juniors” or “seniors” on your team, be appreciative of them. And especially in times of struggle, look to those around you for feedback to improve your game. You never know who has the “golden idea” to transition you from facing a challenge to winning an achievement.

 

This book got me thinking and reflecting on my role at L&S and our agency as a whole. And I think that’s the point of it. The Leader of the Band is a quick read full of insight and wit from a leader with 40+ years of experience. Check it out, and let us know what your favorite lessons were.

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