Who is a Leader?

By Andrew Paparozzi
In January 29, 2010

“There are a lot of ways to define a leader. NAPL defines a leader as an organization that can make change, whether cyclical or structural, an opportunity rather than a threat. They don’t do it overnight. And their numbers may not look pretty while they’re doing it. But leaders ultimately turn change—no matter how disruptive—to their advantage by making the tough decisions that others delay or avoid altogether.” NAPL 2009 SOI: Strategic Perspective

The figure below compares the growth of NAPL leaders with the industry at large over the last 10 years. Notice how the gap between the two widened significantly as  recovery from the 2001-03 recession progressed. It wasn’t because leaders are insulated from recession. They clearly aren’t. Rather:

• Leaders know that because structural change is redefining our clients, markets, competition, labor force, value proposition, and everything else that matters, we aren’t the same industry coming out of recession that we were going in. Therefore, we now either prepare for recovery or get left behind.

•Preparation has to begin long before recovery is firmly in place. The foundation for gains made in 2005-2007 was laid way back in late 2003, when recession was winding down, and early 2004, when recovery was still painfullyweak. While others were still hunkered down in a wait-and-see mindset, leaders were moving aggressively to get more efficient, more competitive, and more valuable to their clients.

They’re doing the same today. Meaningful recovery is still a ways off. But when it finally gets here, most likely late this year or early next year, NAPL leaders will be ready to gain market share and widen their lead even further. They always are.

Who Is A Leader


Andrew Paparozzi

Epicomm's Andrew Paparozzi, Vice President/Chief Economist, is well-known for his accurate and thoughtful discussions on the economy and US commercial printing industry. A foremost author and speaker on economic business trends in the printing industry, Paparozzi heads Epicomm's Printing Economic Research Center.

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