Editor's Notebook: Learning Starts at the Top

Editor’s Notebook: Learning Starts at the Top

This industry has top talent all around it. From the manufacturer/supplier ranks, to the parts distribution system, to the service and repair specialists who collectively keep America's vehicles running, we have so many to applaud.

This industry has top talent all around it. From the manufacturer/supplier ranks, to the parts distribution system, to the service and repair specialists who collectively keep America’s vehicles running, we have so many to applaud.

Recently, the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) recognized 20 outstanding individuals with the 2011 AAIA World Class Technician Award, out of the more than 759,000 automotive technicians working in the U.S. (Click here for additional details and a full listing of award winners.)

Accolades such as these likely bring to mind your own path to success. Whether you’re a successful shop owner or a knowledgeable, skilled technician, you set your sight on a career, achieved the required training and education, and worked hard to meet, and even surpass, your goals and career objectives.

And, you know that your present and future commitment to professionalism and service excellence requires a continual commitment to training. Training that starts at the top — that is practiced, re-enforced and encouraged by those in leadership positions.

To that point, I’m sharing some insightful qualities of a great leader, which I recently read in a local business magazine. It said, Great Leaders are Great Learners, and they:

• Inspire and create conditions for employees to excel.

• Commit to help others excel.

• Realize their effectiveness requires continuous learning.

• Stay open to learning.

• Replace old leadership habits with new, more impactful ones.

• Genuinely listen instead of prejudging ideas, ensuring good decision-making.

• Seek solutions from diverse sources in non-traditional places.

• View experience as life’s best teacher.

How much emphasis do you put on training? Do you encourage and inspire continual training at your shop? If you want your employees to help “lead” your shop to greater profitability, then you need to empower them for greater achievements and get them on the path to learning. Your shop’s success depends on it.

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