Confessions of an Accidental Leader

How Have You Gained Confidence as a Leader?

randy-fordI’ve invited a few esteemed colleagues to reveal their journey of leadership confidence with you, and today I have the privilege of introducing you to the story of Randy Ford, of Catalina Automotive, who has gone from holding management positions in the field of engineering, with an MBA, into living his passion for cars.  He has recreated his life into being a successful entrepreneur, utilizing this love of cars, in an amazingly short period of time.  Below is Randy’s story.

“We put a hummingbird feeder outside our living room window. It sits there silently every day and most of the time without apparent purpose. Then a ‘hummer shows up and it’s almost impossible not to smile. It’s a perfect yet fleeting match of needs and resources. And just as quickly the moment is gone. The feeder was the important first step. A green-winged hummingbird depends on it and that gave us the confidence to put out a second. Now several tiny families are being cared for and we are aware of the continuing responsibility to keep them filled.

Starting a business requires the same kind of willingness to hang out our own special type of hummingbird feeder while knowing there are no guarantees. Our passion drives us to assemble the team and the resources and the first customer shows up. Then the next…and the next. That’s when our confidence is boosted and we smile inside. Starting a retail auto repair business from scratch, after years away from the industry was my hummingbird feeder. My passion was the belief that trying to exceed customer expectations through honesty, fair prices, and quality work would set us apart. Commitment and passion are the foundation and confidence comes when customers and employees respond positively to the passion they see in you.

Our operation has grown steadily to over $1 million in sales and yet uncertainty still lurks at every one of the decisions each day requires. We are tweaking constantly to stay focused on what the customers need. A few bad decisions helped me painfully discover the importance of a small support group. They help me maintain perspective and help me keep thinking strategically about how to build the company. The strategy helps determine what tactical steps are needed to support the strategy. That way I’ll have a better idea of when to put out the next feeder.”

As you read Randy’s story, how can you see that it applies to you?  What were the stages of his confidence development?  What is it you see from his story that you are lacking in your circumstances?  I want to challenge you to implement some of these time tested strategies as you continue to embark on your own story!  Happy leading!

Confessions of an Accidental Leader
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