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Vince Mayfield's August FWB Chamber Letter

Da Leadership Flavor of the Month
Humanizing people in 2020 is more critical than ever. Let's face it with everything going digital; we tend to forget that the person on the other end of that social media post or email is a human being. At Bit-Wizards, we work hard to humanize our Wizards. Each year I spend a lot of my marketing dollars to humanize our wizards to our customers. One of the ways we do this is to provide both a professional and a fun picture of our team members. Additionally, we shoot a video of them answering a series of questions about themselves. We do all this to help us humanize our wizards to our customers. Even I, CEO of Bit-Wizards, have a set of photos and a video. Check it out!

Recently I had to reshoot my video and chose from a list of questions that I wanted to answer. One question I decided to answer was: What color crayon are you? My answer was: "I can't be just one crayon, I gotta be a box of crayons. I gotta be the crayon I need to be, at the time I need to be it. I guess I am a chameleon crayon; I don't know." Answering that question got me thinking about leadership. Today we throw around the word leadership. One of my professors during my MBA at Notre Dame was Chris Stevens. Professor Stevens is the co-founder of Keurig Premium Coffee Systems and created the Keurig sales force and scaled it nationwide. One of the things Chris stressed when I was in his Change Management course was to be leery of the latest business or leadership "book de jour." He said that there are all kinds of people creating new leadership, management, business, or entrepreneur books and articles. Many of these books are well-meaning and sell books but have very little practical or widespread application in the real world. In leadership, this is sometimes called "Pop Leadership." The cycle is predictable: A pop leadership book or article comes out, sounding wise and most profound. It gains popularity because, on the surface, it seems great. As the hype continues, people buy lots of books or share the article. Once reviewed critically, what was once profound, is often one level deep, trivial, and wrong. The moral of the story view these types of books with a jaundiced eye.

One proven leadership model that I learned in the Air Force Senior ROTC Program at Troy State when working Twelve O'Clock High Movie Posteron my Bachelor’s degree was "Situational Leadership." There is also a similar leadership model called "adaptive leadership." If you ever get a chance, watch the movie 12 O'Clock High with famed actor Gregory Peck. In the film, Gregory Peck plays Brigadier General Frank Savage. Savage takes over a failing B-17 Bomber Wing during World War II in bad need of new leadership. The movie unfolds an excellent example of the practical application of situational leadership in the organization.

More recently, there is a model called transformational leadership and several variants. If you study leadership, you know that some of the tried and true models are often cyclical and resurface with a new name and maybe some new application. If you sift through leadership theory, a good leadership model focuses on "how." "How" is about action and execution. If you have read any of my other writings or listen to me talk, you hear me say that in business, you have to have a bias towards execution.

Situational Leadership, The main principle situational leadership model is that there is no single "best" style of leadership. You become the leader you need to be in the task or situation you find yourself in to achieve the desired results. If you are in a crisis, you may need to take charge and be authoritarian. However, in an emergency, in a room of CEOs, you might need a different leadership style. My crayon color answer is indicative of my leadership model and style. I need to be a box of crayons and be the crayon color I need to be when I need to be it.

So, you are probably asking yourself: "Vince! Why all the talk about leadership in this month's Coastlines article?" Well, I am glad you asked! The Fort Walton Beach Chamber is looking for applicants for the next years' Chair, Board of Directors, and Committee Chairs. I want to encourage all of you to consider applying to help shape The Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce and our Community. In doing so, you can come out and utilize your leadership skills and practice your leadership model in service to our community. The Chamber needs you to help lead and shape our organization and our community.

If you are interested, the time is now! Act and Execute! If you want to know first-hand what it is all about; seek out one of our life directors, board members, or committee chairs and talk to them. Next, fill out a nomination form for the Board of Directors or volunteer to be a Committee Chair for a committee you have been an active member.

Read this article in the August FWB Chamber's Coastlines Newspaper


Vincent W. Mayfield, Chief Executive Officer
Vincent W. Mayfield