Follow the Leaders
As children, I’m sure most of us played the game “ Follow the Leader,” tramping around the yard (or skipping, jumping, or climbing as the “ leader” saw fit) and hoping that the kid in charge didn’t march us all into a puddle just for fun. Ah, for those simpler times when the worst that could happen from following a bad leader was a little rain in our shoes.
In our professional lives, the stakes are higher. True leaders don’t merely shout “ follow me!” and charge forward. They require strategy, focus, and vision. They need a deep understanding of their products, markets, clients, and communities. And above all, they must be able to offer people a reason to follow them—not only by answering the question, “ What’s in it for me?” but by encouraging the question, “ What’s in it for everyone?”
This issue of Paper360° is all about leadership. We start with a suite of articles looking at some of the management challenges facing our industry today. The two stacks in the image on page 12 may look almost identical, but to me they starkly illustrate the “ higher stakes” our industry faces: One is attached to a thriving mill, the other to a mill that’s been closed for years. In addition, our annual TAPPI/PIMA Awards feature introduces 30 industry professionals whose contributions have truly made a difference to the growth of their companies, to our industry’s scientific advancement, and to the professional lives of countless colleagues and peers. These men and women offer examples of leadership that I am proud to share with readers.
We will also meet Cheung Yan, chairwoman of Nine Dragons Papers and founder of American Chung Nam LLC. She is also RISI’s Asian CEO of the Year, and one of China’s most successful entrepreneurs—and in this in-depth interview, she shares the leadership philosophies that helped her achieve her impressive success. We’ll then visit Stora Enso’s Varkaus, Finland, mill and learn how management’s investment in transforming the mill paid off. I’m excited to share an article about the TAPPISAFE program, which shows that organizations can take a leadership position on important issues like worker safety. Even maintenance expert Jay Shellogg offers tips for working with operations managers in Part 2 of his excellent article on re-defining mechanical failure.
As I’ve collected, edited, read, and re-read the articles in this issue, I’ve noticed that true professional leadership doesn’t look much like the children’s game. It’s not about getting others to fall into lockstep behind you; it’s about providing an ex-ample that inspires and motivates everyone to do their best. Often, it requires the courage to do things differently, and the confidence to reach out to others. I hope every reader finds content here that helps connect them with their own leadership potential. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts
LARRY N. MONTAGUE
President & CEO, TAPPI
VP Operations, TAPPI
Senior Editor, North and South America
Senior Editor, Europe and Asia
INTEGRATED MEDIA DIRECTOR
[email protected] (352) 333-3345
John O’ Neil
BK Publication Design