Brian Tracy is Chairman of Brian Tracy International, a company that specializes in training and development of individuals and organizations. Last week I had a heartening call with a franchisee. Afterward he sent me a video similar to the one in this post by  Tracy. It’s worth a few minutes of your time. It was certainly worth mine.

Tracy points out that most of the things you try will not work the first time. He says that in “90% of businesses the business succeeds once it starts in an area completely different from what the founders thought than when it began. You must  keep moving, learning, getting experience and constantly change direction as you get new information. It’s important to be with people who recognize this is the way the world works.” The interviewer calls those that are in our way are “energy vampires.” They don’t appreciate when we want to take a risk and tend to hold us back as we travel on the journey to success.

In this era of open leadership with mantras of  being “open, transparent and authentic” I made a decision to reach out to my franchisees for their assistance. Some say I took a risk asking very direct questions which could possibly open criticism around my leadership. I was also told there are a few that have a pessimistic view on the future and will only share their negativity. Jeff Hayzlett, Kodak’s former chief marketing officer said “An open leader has to be willing to take criticism and know when it’s important or not” in his book The Mirror Test. I met Jeff last month and in a presentation he explained that much of Kodak’s transformation and success came from his ability to listen.

I consider myself an open leader. I believe I have a strong dose of optimism and belief that openness, sharing, and collaboration will achieve my goals and objectives to transform my organization.

I don’t have time for “energy vampires.”