Successful leaders find ways to be part of the team

Michael LaMarca admires people who have the drive and tenacity to achieve their dreams, no matter the obstacles that lie in their way.

“I love the stories of incredibly successful people in their fields who failed out of college or couldn’t get a bank loan or had that moment of failure,” says LaMarca, a Smart 50 honoree and owner and CEO at Master Pizza Franchise Group LLC.

“There are all these crazy stories. These people just kept on going. They knew that failure is just part of the process. If you just keep that vision going forward, those will be bumps, not walls.”

LaMarca always dreamed of owning a pizza shop and today, he leads Master Pizza. The company has 10 locations and LaMarca has plans to open an 11th location soon, as well as pursue additional growth in the Columbus area. He had some challenges getting to where he is now, which you can read about in this month’s Smart 50 profile.

Very few business leaders find success without at least a few hiccups along the way. Some leaders fail many times and are left to wonder if their entrepreneurial dreams will always be just that — a dream. So what is it that enables the successful leaders to persevere and find that strength to continue forward? Often, it’s the people behind the scenes who play a pivotal role in achieving success.

“When you’re the manager or the owner, your hands are the dirtiest,” LaMarca says. “You have to work the hardest. It’s a hard lesson to learn. You’re so excited and you want to get going and move fast. But you have to remember that you’re always leading people and they are always looking to you for direction.”

Being a team player means you’re willing to step up and help out in other areas when you’re needed, even as the leader. I’ve spoken with many leaders over the years who relish the opportunity to get out on the floor and be among their people, helping to get the product out to their customers.

In some cases, it’s a more active task they perform. Other times, it’s just a conversation or the leader’s mere presence that can create that sense of purpose to get the job done. Whatever it may be, don’t be afraid to let down your guard and be part of the team. The reward is often immeasurable.

Mark Scott is Senior Associate Editor at Smart Business Network