Last year, a young man stopped into the Lake Norman Chamber and inquired about membership. He, like many in our region, had been caught up in the corporate downsizing of the recent recession. Shawn Brodof saw this not as a setback, but as an opportunity to pursue a career as a business coach and consultant. Any one who has attended a workshop facilitated by Shawn, read his book The Termite Effect, or perhaps been coached by him, knows that Shawn approaches his decision making carefully as he examines the options looking to maximize both its potential and reward. Shawn was eager to hear how the Chamber could benefit his new business – Clarity Coaching – and was upfront in telling me he wanted to examine other area chambers of commerce, leads groups, and business associations.
He listened intently as I shared how the Chamber could help promote, serve, and represent his business. We talked not only about the relationships he could build through business networking but how the Chamber impacted his family and their quality of life as we work on advocacy issues such as transportation, education, health care, and business growth.
I then asked him to experience the difference membership could make in his new business by participating in our seminars and networking events as my guest. I wasn’t surprise when he joined. Quite simply, if anyone takes the time to attend a Chamber workshop, seminar, or networking event, and really participates, they will see for themselves the benefit of membership. The real strength of our Chamber is not in the words of its executive or the Board of Directors but in the membership itself and how each of you support and learn from each other.
Shawn volunteered to facilitate a series of business workshops and quickly built a strong following of business members who benefited from his coaching and the lessons he had learned in his career. While the membership appreciated his seminars, Shawn began learning from them as well and just a few months ago, published his first book gleaned from many of those sessions: The Termite Effect: 25 Common Business Mistakes and Their Hidden Consequences.
The premise of the book is the hidden damage that unseen business problems, much like termites, can do if precautions are not heeded. Shawn created not just a plan for success, detailing the most common mistakes business owners can make, he created an interactive workbook to lay out a plan of success and blueprint to work the plan.
In chapter seven, Shawn discusses our own unique abilities and the fact that most business owners who have truly found their “sweet spot” don’t consider work to be “WORK”. They’re simply having fun at what they are doing.
He quoted Warren Buffett who said, “In the world of business, the people who are most successful are those who are doing what they love.” Shawn Brodof is an example of how much we grow ourselves when we help others reach past self imposed limitations to become the absolute best.
Termites can crumble the strongest foundations and like the termite, our challenges can shake our very core. We build stronger businesses and better communities when we recognize the promises of tomorrow in the challenges of today and the fulfillment that touching lives along the way can make. That may just be the hidden consequence of leadership.