I Am A Leader: Tom Blair’s Thoughts about Leadership

Welcome to the I Am A Leader blog series, featuring leaders who make a difference. Today’s guest blogger is Tom Blair, CEO of Imagecraft ExhibitsTom is a senior executive with a broad based background in numerous functions and industries. His strong interpersonal skills, along with his problem solving, coaching, and teaching expertise equip him with the strengths to lead and mentor large teams to achieve consistent, outstanding results. Tom and his wife, Debbie, are the proud parents of three wonderful children, Christi, Jackie, and Brian. Brian and his wife, Natalie, have blessed Tom and Debbie with two energetic grandchildren, Brooklyn and Reed.  

Being a leader means being accountable to yourself and to those who follow you, which is always a challenging responsibility. When I think about my leadership journey, I realize the many leadership roles I’ve had and how they have formed me into the leader I am today. The most important leadership role in my life is my role as the spiritual leader of my family. As a husband, a father, and a grandfather, this is a role I take very seriously. I often ask myself, “Am I fulfilling this role to the best of my ability?” and “Am I providing the right direction as the spiritual leader of my family?”

I am also the CEO of Imagecraft Exhibits, which provides full-service solutions for trade shows and custom interiors for sales and marketing centers, museums, and showrooms. My role is to lead the company into the next decade by building the brand and exploring new opportunities for growth in a dynamic and constantly changing industry. Investing in the personal and professional development of our team is a key priority for me; I strive to remain focused on how I can grow and how I can help others to grow as leaders.

Defining how you want to be remembered as a leader isn’t easy. When asked to define my leadership legacy, I identified several key themes that define my leadership style:

  • I want to be remembered as a leader who was a strong family man.
  • I want to be remembered as a leader who worked hard and played hard.
  • I want to be remembered as a leader who had fun and made work fun.
  • I want to be remembered as a leader who was a good coach who focused on the personal development of each person on his team and cared deeply about the success and growth of others.
  • I want to be remembered as a leader who took the time to recognize and reward hard work.

Lastly, there is one piece of leadership advice that I’d like to offer that has served me well throughout my career: When someone’s not getting the job done, look in the mirror first. You hired them, trained them, and coached them. What is your role in ensuring their success? Ask yourself if you’ve done everything you can to ensure their success. If the answer is no, try harder. As a leader, it’s your obligation.

A special thank you to Tom Blair for sharing his insights with us today! Stay tuned every Friday as the I Am A Leader blog series continues. Please share this blog post via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Let’s continue the conversation on Twitter using the #iamaLEADER hash tag! You can connect with SOS Leadership on Twitter here.

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