Editor’s Note: This week we are featuring blog posts from automotive aftermarket professionals who are currently participating in the University of the Aftermarket’s (UofA) Leadership 2.0 executive education experience.
UofA’s Leadership 2.0 program began in 1995. For this 24th annual class, 45 aftermarket professionals representing all levels and channels in the light vehicle aftermarket will spend two weeks together learning executive-level business expertise while earning credits toward their Automotive Aftermarket Professional (AAP) or Master Automotive Aftermarket Professional (MAAP) designations.
Session I was held on Northwood University’s Midland, Michigan, campus. Between Sessions I and II, participants work on team projects that tackle critical industry issues and opportunities. Those projects will be presented this week. The next class of Leadership 2.0 will take place Aug 11-16. To learn more, click here.
Today, we hear from Michael Hellenberg, Auto-Wares Technical Director – Myplace4parts.
The beginning of Wednesday started out just as the other days of Leadership 2.0, with a roundtable discussion. The class was full of energy and provided excellent feedback from all angles of the automotive aftermarket. The subject focused on image and how important image is to not only the end-consumer but to technicians and service advisers as well. Which is more inviting to a consumer or employee? A location with dim lights, no customer seating, oil-covered floors and nothing to look at besides the wall, or a location that is well-lit, offers coffee/bottled water, clean carpets and a clear view of the professional service technician working on vehicles? Image is something that impacts everything we do, especially how we attract employees and consumers of the current generations and upcoming generations. What is important to them?
Each team seemed eager to put the final touches on their presentations that will be presented in front of the group tomorrow. After the roundtable discussion, Rick Guirlinger had an interesting discussion about finance and how it affects all of channels of our business. The classroom portion ended just before lunch, but the day was far from over. Our group (Profit Domin8ors) met in the lobby to discuss our presentation before we practiced. After 30 minutes, we walked out only to find all the other teams stretched across the hotel lobby completing the same tasks! Seeing each group work together in person brought a thought into my head: Sometimes, when I walk into a business, there is a picture on the wall with the word T.E.A.M spelled out. Below T.E.A.M is a sentence that states “Together Everyone Achieves More.”
It is amazing to watch each industry professional bring a unique perspective to his or her respective group to accomplish a common goal. We are on the final stretch of this educational journey and not only have I learned more than I ever thought I would, I will go home on Friday knowing that I also gained a lifetime of friendships from all the industry professionals in the class. Thank you Auto-Wares and everyone at Leadership 2.0 for allowing me to be part of the 2018-‘19 Leadership 2.0 experience.