Follow the Leader
A childhood game or a lesson in business?
Back to following the leader. In life, you don’t
want to follow your leader just because it is what
everyone else is doing, but because you believe
in that person to lead the team with integrity.
Integrity is an important word to me in both
business and personally. I was reminded of
this sentiment when Guy Gecht, chief executive
offi cer of EFI, gave his acceptance speech as
the recipient of the 57th Annual Walter E.
Soderstrom Award at the University of Chicago
Gleacher Center during PRINT 17 week.
Reminiscing about his time serving as an
Offi cer in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF),
managing an engineering development team
and, later, as an acting manager of one of the
IDF’s high-tech divisions, Gecht told a story
about a time a colleague who worked under
him made a mistake during a soft ware update,
which impacted an investigation into a group of
terrorists who were about to attack. His colleague
came to him and said that he thought he had
done something wrong and didn’t know what
to do. Someone called them the next day asking
if they did anything to the soft ware. Th ey were
told that IDF was following 15 suspects and now
had 35, which didn’t happen overnight—literally.
IDF was worried they would be stopping the
wrong people—it had tremendous consequences.
Gecht and his team later found out it was a bug,
memory corruption, and fi xed it. It may have
been uncomfortable at the time, but Gecht relies
on his integrity and values honesty in business
today, as he did back in his IDF days.
Gecht said that he learned back then that doing
something wrong and letting it slide could really
impact others and uses that same methodology
as a leader at EFI today.
“People follow you because they trust what
you do, they trust your judgement,” Gecht said
during his speech. “Th ey think you’re going
to make a better decision for the team. It’s not
what’s going to be good for you; it’s going to be
what’s good for the team.”
He also made a point to explain that in the
Israeli Army, the commanding Offi cer is always
in the front, leading by example, which is why
there are so many offi cer casualties.
“People follow you because they see you
doing it, running up front and toward enemy
lines, instead of hiding out in a bunker telling
everyone else to go out and fi ght,” Gecht said.
So, go fi ght for your team and lead the way.
6 Printing News October 2017
Find this article at
By Jennifer Wilberschied
Jennifer Wilberschied is a
seasoned journalist who brings her
award-winning talent and fresh
perspective to the ever-changing
print and graphics industry,
exploring the issues, challenges,
and technology revolving around
the commercial, digital, sign, and
wide-and grand-format markets.
Did you ever play Follow the Leader as a kid? I sure did. It is a sneaky game where a leader, or
“head of the line” is chosen, then the children all line up behind the leader. Th e leader then
moves around and all of the children have to mimic the leader’s actions. Any players who fail
to follow, or do what the leader does, are out of the game. You had to be on your toes to stay in
the game. When only one person other than the leader remains, that player becomes the leader, and the
game begins again with all players joining the line once again. Reminds me of an entirely diff erent game
where someone repeats everything you say instead of what you do. Not a game per say, but more of an
annoyance. If anyone has had a little brother or sister in their day I am sure you know that one well.
Always Vote on Printing
No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, there is no denying
that we are currently facing legislative uncertainty on a wide range of
issues. To get a better idea of what issues printers need to be aware
of, and what they should be doing about it, check out our story “The
Legislative Landscape” starting on page 17.