Turning Passion into Action: True Leadership Creates a Better Tomorrow

by Scott Thacker Monitor 50th Anniversary 2023
Scott Thacker says true leadership must include three prongs of focus: long-term, strategic and storytelling. He urges equipment finance leaders to funnel their passions into volunteerism that will create a better future.

Scott Thacker,
Ivory Consulting Corporation

Whether it is news feeds, corporate training programs or formal education, thoughts on leadership are front and center. Leadership applies everywhere — in business, your personal life, volunteer activities and the political world — it’s pervasive. Many people seem to be leadership experts and there are more theories on how to be a good leader than anyone could possibly read about or put into practice.

In my case, leadership is all about the immense satisfaction I derive from two things: 1) the creative process — building a brighter future for others by creating something new and beautiful and 2) helping others achieve their dreams. Creating something that moves people and organizations forward in an effective and positive way is at the heart of my leadership style. Asking the “why not” questions, encouraging others to think differently, educating — opening eyes to new and different possibilities — and challenging long-held beliefs that may no longer apply are critical to my creative process.

For me, leadership has three critical perspectives: A long-term focus; a big picture, strategic focus; and, most importantly, a story-telling focus. If a leader cannot paint a compelling picture of where their organization is going and why, there is no leadership. If a leader cannot tell an engaging story in a way that others will emotionally bond with it, there is no leadership.

How does this approach play out in the equipment finance industry? Fortunately, our industry is very volunteer-centric and there is no shortage of people who are enthusiastic volunteers. In my case, since 1999, it’s been easy to create, show passion and move the industry in new and improved ways by encouraging quite a bit of out-of-the-box thinking. Creating both ELFA Equity and the foundation’s 1989 society were born out of a strong passion to be myself, tell my story and, most importantly, help others be themselves and achieve their goals. These initiatives have markedly contributed to both the ELFA and the foundation.

Today, our industry faces significant challenges from the uncertainty of rising interest rates, inflation and a potential recession to the question of how many jobs artificial intelligence will replace. Our industry needs leaders who don’t sit back and let others do the heavy lifting, it needs leaders who have discovered their own unique approach to effective leadership and have the courage to create positive change.

Turning passion into action worked for me. What leadership style will work for you?

Let’s all find our passion for volunteerism. Become a leader and leave our industry in a better place. Don’t sit back and let others do the heavy lifting. Find your leadership style, jump into the fray and create a better tomorrow.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Scott A. Thacker is the chief executive officer of Ivory Consulting Corporation. He is the founding chair of ELFA Equity, the ELFA’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiative, the immediate past chair of the foundation and the founding chair of the foundation’s 1989 society, the legacy giving initiative. His previous roles include ELFA board of directors member, ELFA Ops & Tech Committee chair, ELFA Lease Accounting Committee member, ELFF board of trustees chair and vice-chair, ELFF Research Committee co-chair and ELFF Industry Future Council member.

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