In introducing the focus of the meeting, MacLean said, “As business leaders, we are contunously faced with an ever-changing business environment. Customers are always looking for innovative and better offerings in both products and services. New – and often disruptive – technologies are emerging in our marketplace at a much faster pace. The future workforce has different expectations and aspirations than today’s labor force.
“That being said,” MacLean continued, “the one constant in this ever-changing business world is the need for value-driven leadership. Great leaders have and will continue to create inspiring visions and build healthy, sustainable operations. The importance of great leadership must never be underestimated.”
Over two days, TLMI’s converter members learned from speakers that focused on what MacLean identified as the three key pillars of leadership – Vision, Values and Fortitude.
“Fortitude,” MacLean explained, “is that intangible quality a leader must have to guide a business through turbulent times – a true test of leadership.”
Kicking off the speaker lineup on Monday, March 12, was leadership coach Ryan Estis, who spent 15 years directing the sales division of a Fortune 500 company. Today his mission is to help companies thrive in an ultra-competitive environment, researching and refining sales approaches and strategies.
Estis stressed the importance of building relationships. When is comes to selling, he said, “Relationships are still the most important element, but where and how we develop those relationships has shifted dramatically. The old rules no longer apply. Today’s top performers constantly experiment, and are simply more prepared to meet customers where they are.”
Estis drew attention to what successful companies are doing today. He urged the TLMI converters to “Initiate continuous reinvention,” and referred to “Futuremakers” – the people responsible for making the future happen and inspiring others to do the same, he said.
Branding the customer experience is another concept Estis stressed. He said, “There are three things that add to your company’s value proposition – being authentic, differentiated and compelling.”
Estis emphasized the importance of establishing with customers what he calls the “Human Connection.” He added, “Deliver a little more to your customer than they expect every time you do business with them.” In turn, this will lead to the ideal customer – the brand evangelist, those willing to go out of there way to promote your business by perhaps leaving a positive online review.
Today’s digital world, Estis said, provides “The greatest time in history for a small business to compete with anyone.” Estis also talked about culture, and how pivotal the right culture is to the health of a business, using the Peter Drucker quote: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
Monday’s second speaker was Nathan Jamail, an author of several books focused on coaching and leadership. He covered several tools and tips on how to coach employees in order for them to reach their maximum potential.
Jamail said, “To build a winning team, a leader must learn to become a coach and not a manager. Coaching creates a winning culture, builds a strong belief system, sustains motivation and teaches how to hold everyone accountable in order to sustain long-term results."
Through the now-maligned Alen Iverson press conference, where the basketball star infamously downplayed the importance of practice, Jamail showed that role-playing and practicing are critical to a company's success.
"If your employees are happy, you'll most likely have happy customers,” Jamail added.
Introducing TLMI 4.0
During the Converter Meeting, TLMI announced the unveiling of "TLMI 4.0," a concept that encompasses new and exciting changes that will engage TLMI's membership and augment TLMI's messaging in a whole new way. A new logo was also revealed.
Also, coming soon, the association will unveil anew website and Member Portal. The new portal will serve as an enhanced resource for converter and supplier members, functioning as an online repository for TLMI reports, meeting presentations, archives, intelligence and other resources. The portal will also function as a private social network for members to manage their profiles, form communities, and connect with peers and colleagues.
Dan Muenzer, TLMI president, explained, "TLMI 4.0 is one of the most exciting things the association has done in a long time. TLMI's new logo and website are going to bring the association into the future. I'm particularly excited about the new Member Portal. The portal will provide TLMI members with 24/7 access to their own personal dashboard, allowing companies to focus their attention on increasing the value and services they receive from their TLMI membership. As a member-driven and member-powered association, it's imperative that we constantly provide new ways that TLMI members can engage with one another and access the broad range of resources the association offers. TLMI 4.0 does exactly that."
Singer Award Winners announced
As per tradition, the TLMI Converter Meeting concluded with a gala awards dinner and celebration, where the winners of the annual Eugene Singer Awards for Best Managed Company were revealed.
This year’s winners:
- Precision Label, Small Company category
- Digital Label Solutions, Midrange Company category
- The Label Printers, Medium Company category
- Consolidated Label, Large Company category
For The Label Printers, the honor is its 9th consecutive Singer award win. And for Consolidated Label, the Singer Award marks 16 years in a row the Florida-based company has received the prestigious honor.