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Leadership 2.0 Blog – Day Five: The End Of A Great Experience

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. Today, we hear from Nicholas Budka, Commercial Sales and Training Manager, Tenneco.

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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. 

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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 Nicholas Budka, Commercial Sales and Training Manager, Tenneco.

Over the course of the past eight months of Leadership 2.0, some funny things happened. Competitors became friends, arguments were had, and problems were solved. But most importantly collaboration was fluid between every level of our industry. This is something I had never experienced. When days, weeks and months are spent with your customer, and their customer, you get a true sense of every aspect of this industry.

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In our last day of Leadership 2.0, groups presented their projects to the class. The insights presented were wide-ranging, thoughtful and important. Groups covered topics from parts proliferation, the technician shortage, to the impact and opportunities in China. Every group project had more than enough information to have been featured in news articles ranging from professional to informal. Every team taught me something and I can say the same about every single person I met during the class.

The most important aspect of this class and my favorite portion were the roundtable discussions. University of the Aftermarket Director Brian Cruickshank would lead these discussions (or at least try to direct them) each morning. Once he began these roundtables, something incredible happened: Every person in the class then added to the discussions, and added his or her own personal touch. So many times in today’s society things are polarized or at least they seem that way. But in this class every discussion was intense, insightful, civil, but most importantly everyone realized that we are ALL on the same team. Every piece of our industry relies on one another for so many more things than just the profits that we see hit our bottom lines. That is truly the main thing I will take away from this class.

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This class taught me a lot, but the relationships will last throughout my career. The true talent I witnessed every day makes me realize that the industry is indeed in good hands. We’re all on the same team and we can solve anything that comes our way.

Click here to read Blog 1 from Rob Blitzstein, vice president, vendor management, Parts Authority/IMC.

Click here to read Blog 2 from Cory Martin, channel sales manager – import, CRP Industries.

Click here to read Blog 3 from Lisa Nazoyan, who works in marketing for MAHLE Aftermarket. 

Click here to read Blog 4 from Michael Hellenberg, Auto-Wares Technical Director – Myplace4parts.

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