Leadership 2.0, the University of the Aftermarket’s annual Leadership Development Program, officially began its second session this past Sunday at Northwood University’s West Palm Beach, Fla., campus. This week, several participants in the 2014-’15 class bring us their firsthand perspective on the experience. Today, we present the fifth and final blog entry from Ryan Kooiman, director of training for Standard Motor Products.
It’s Thursday at Leadership 2.0 and that can mean only one thing – team project presentation time! But first, we had our daily roundtable discussion, led as usual by University of the Aftermarket Director Brian Cruickshank. This has been one of my favorite parts of the class. Earlier this week, Brian told us that there are not many places in the industry where technicians, distributors and manufacturers (many of whom are competitors) can come together and discuss the industry with such openness and candor. I love to hear the input and perspectives of the others in the class.
Today, we reviewed the industry forecasts made by the class 20 years ago. We found that the early class was right about many, many things. We then made our own predictions about what we think the auto care industry will look like 20 years from now. I can’t wait to see what the future holds, and hope I’m able to revisit this in 20 years!
Our afternoon was spent watching the presentations by the seven teams in our class. Here’s a quick rundown of the team topics:
- Net Prophets – Perspective on e-commerce and e-tailing
- Game Changers – Recruiting fresh new talent to the industry
- Aftermarket Safari – Manufacturing, distributing and service opportunities in South Africa
- Lost Treasures of the Aftermarket – Finding and capturing lost dollars from underperformed maintenance
- Y2 – Understanding Generation Y and Millennials as customers and employees, and how to reach them
- Thumbs Up – Understanding and utilizing social media options to reach customers
- Dirty Dongles – Marketing aftermarket telematics to shops and customers
I was impressed with each team presentation. Each team came up with fresh new ideas and put a new spin on some previously discussed topics. I think each team grew in various areas (presentation skills, team work, organization, leadership) as a result of our projects.
As the week draws to a close, I am proud to be a member of this talented class of industry professionals, and it has reinvigorated my passion for this industry that has been a large part of my life, as well as for my family. The best asset in this industry is the people, and I’ve been blessed to call many of them friends. My wife and children have been blessed by the generosity and welcoming attitude of the industry as well. I’m not sure if there is another industry like ours, so my challenge to all involved is to keep it moving forward in a professional manner, and remember we’re in the people business as much as the parts business.
Editor’s Note: The University of the Aftermarket’s Leadership 2.0 class of 2014-2015 graduates today on Northwood University’s campus in West Palm Beach, Fla. The next Leadership 2.0 class, which starts Aug. 23, is now open for registration. For more details and to register, please visit www.universityoftheaftermarket.com and click “Course Calendar.”