Leadership and Direct Marketing

Direct Marketing LeadershipWhen you think of a strong leader, what comes to mind?  An individual who can take control of a situation or perhaps someone who can inspire others to do the same.  Some leaders lead by example; others inspire through charisma and rhetoric.  We often conjure up the memories of great politicians or outstanding team athletes when considering the best leaders in history.  We often define leaders as those men and women who have been tried and tested, proving themselves to be extraordinary in the face of adversity.  But it is not just on the literal or metaphorical battle fields that leaders are made manifest.  In actuality, leaders can be found wherever innovation takes place.  Wherever the boundaries of a thought have been pushed, we can find leadership.  The late Peter F. Drucker said, “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”  He makes no mention of momentous occasions or tremendous heroics.  He only argues that leaders are those individuals who help others to see a bigger picture, to achieve more than their perceived potential.  There is a place for leadership within any context.  But the form it takes will always by different. 

So the question is this: is there a need for leadership in the direct marketing arena?  Is it necessary to have individuals who are constantly looking to broaden the view of advertising and to help others innovate the processes of direct marketing?  In a world where technology is constantly changing the way society intakes and responds to advertising, it is perhaps crucial to have those individuals who are always willing to question the strengths and weaknesses of direct marketing.  The classic practices and typical methods of direct marketing are being tested. Will leadership play a role in its next phases of innovation?  Will it need to?