This week, in partnership with the University of the Aftermarket, we offer you a front row seat into 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 from the front row of Leadership 2.0, we hear from Megan Hastings of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance.
Leadership 2.0’s second session participants only spent half of Wednesday in the classroom, but the lecture was full of relevant content for our group and was consistent with the week’s theme of taking care of people.
Rick Guirlinger began his lecture on finance by asking the class a few rhetorical questions: “Are you doing what you want to do? Does your current role align with your goals, values and where you hope to be?” This was not the icebreaker I would’ve expected for a session on finance, so I was intrigued to see where this discussion was heading.
Continuing his lecture, Guirlinger used case studies and classroom participation to drive home points on strategic decision-making. He stressed the importance of financial and data comprehension in order to gain competitive advantages. Before dismissing the group from the formal classroom setting to work on our projects, Guirlinger concluded, “Always remember what you’re trying to accomplish.” Tying in with our week’s theme, Guirlinger emphasized again that our industry is one built on customer service and taking care of people – customers, coworkers or employees.
The introspective statements made by Guirlinger were thought-provoking, as these values of “servant leadership” were most recently demonstrated to me through a powerful story of a young family of four in my hometown. The father, Michael, is a Northwood graduate, an ASE-certified technician and service adviser at Christian Brothers in Schertz, Texas. Michael has multiple sclerosis and impacts his ability to walk. Almost daily for the past four years, he has used a cane or mobility scooter. The owners of Christian Brothers in Schertz valued Michael’s work and quality of life and advocated to Mark Carr, president and CEO of Christian Brothers Automotive and Donnie Carr, director of franchise performance, who agreed to purchase a Bioness L300 leg brace – a new technology that will help Michael start walking again independently, which will give him the ability to perform his job duties more effectively and therefore better serve his customers and family. The amazing thing is that stories like this happen every day because we are still the type of industry where people actually take the time to help one another.
We are all poised to help a lot of people. May we all accomplish our goals, always be able to lend a helping hand, seek out and recognize opportunities to serve others.
If you missed yesterday’s blog from Philip Austin, click here.