This week, in partnership with the University of the Aftermarket, we offer you an inside look at the Leadership 2.0 experience thanks to participants in this year’s session. Leadership 2.0 is a two-week, residential aftermarket-focused education program hosted by The University of the Aftermarket at Northwood University. The program is designed to develop the leadership and business skills of the next generation of visionary industry professionals. In today’s blog, we hear from Ryan Stuver, regional sales manager at CRP Industries.
Tuesday morning at Leadership 2.0 was met with optimism and excitement. After a full day of instruction the day prior, the class settled in for what has become a favorite exercise: morning roundtable discussions, led by University of the Aftermarket Director Brian Cruickshank.
While the topics of previous roundtables were exciting, no one was prepared for Tuesday’s intense topic: Amazon.
Manufacturers, reps, warehouse distributors and service dealers alike debated different strategies of dealing with the online retailing giant. Themes like cataloging, DIY vs DIFM and millennials dominated the conversation.
The question remained: is Amazon just another distribution channel or does Amazon pose a new and unique threat to the industry?
Once the fire had died down and we had all returned to our seats, Dr. Frank Morgan launched us into a related discussion on the ethical dilemmas that all leaders and future leaders will face in their careers. By studying special cases, our morals, values and decisiveness were put to the test. I found this quote from Jon Stewart of The Daily Show fame apt, “If you don’t stick to your values when they are being tested, they aren’t values. They’re hobbies.” Ultimately, as leaders, we are only as effective as the trust that we build with those around us.
Lunchtime was yet again filled with an overflow of conversations that were seemingly left unfinished from the morning session. Some convened with their project groups, others debated some of the ethical case studies previously covered and the rest dove into emails and phone calls from the jobs they left behind for the week.
Upon returning to the classroom for the afternoon, Rick Guirlinger was already waiting for us. The lecture began as an overview of the critical KPI, KSI and other metrics that all companies rely on to track performance, productivity and returns. It was amazing to see how each segment of the business from manufacturing to professional repair technicians are affected by the same issues and metrics in unique ways.
With many groups already honing the final details of their team presentations, the end of this session wrapped up much more quickly than the previous days. Final preparations will be made on Wednesday before presentations and graduation on Thursday.
You can read Blog 2 here from Brian Burkett, a territory sales manager at AutoWares.