Building The Perfect Future By Mentoring

Building The Perfect Future By Mentoring

The term ‘born leader’ may actually be doing us all a disservice in this industry - instead, try to grow greatness.

Two of our key contributors regularly address the topic of successful business practices in different but complementary ways in many months, and I encourage you to consider their suggestions as you strap in for another trip around the Sun by searching their names at our recently redesigned website.

Happy New Year, everyone, and welcome to a year that many of us never dreamed would be a reality. Whether you grew up considering 1984, Space: 1999, 2001: a Space Odyssey or 2010: The Year We Make Contact too far away to imagine, 2023 is, quite literally, the future.

I too want to address success; but rather than offer suggestions for how you can do better as a business person (or a person person) over the next several months, I want to invite you to share your stories of how you have helped others reach their goals.

Of all the training methods out there – and we all know how prevalent and varied those methods are – many experts say that the simple process of helping someone reinforces the practice in ways that other processes can’t match. Whether you’re a visual learner, thrive in a lecture environment or learn best by doing, mentoring is usually the most successful way to ensure enduring results.

Let’s put it all on the table – it can be difficult to find good leaders in the auto repair industry. Many shop owners struggle to find good people at any time, let alone during an ongoing labor shortage. And, even if you do hire someone who seems like the ideal candidate, you really have no guarantee things will work out.

The term “born leader” may actually be doing us all a disservice. Instead of looking for perfection to come to you, people who “know stuff about stuff” say a more efficient method is to BUILD a leader from within.

I’m not suggesting that you should follow Dr. Frankenstein’s methods or try to create Oscar Goldman’s “Six Million Dollar Man,” but I do believe that as a successful shop operator, you already have skills that can be passed on to a new generation of leaders. 

In an ongoing, year-long project to help bring awareness to the practice, and recognition of the participants in mentorship programs, I’m asking for your help. I’m hoping you’ll tell me ways you have successfully groomed new leaders in your shop, whether they’re at the shop management, customer service or technician level. We plan to collect stories from across the country, highlighting what works – and, in some cases, what DOESN’T work.

Just as with our new Vehicle Care RockStars program (you can check it out at VehicleCareRockStars.com), we’re excited to capture real-world examples of leadership development programs you have employed. Here’s how I’m hoping you’ll participate:

Send me a message at [email protected], addressing these three topics: 1) You believe in the power of a mentoring program, 2) You have worked within your organization to help younger or upcoming employees advance in their career and 3) You’re willing to be considered for an opportunity to share your experiences through print, podcast or video resources.

Or, utilize our content submission portal HERE.

There might be prizes involved; there will certainly be recognition. If nothing else, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping your contemporaries in this industry build a real future we can all be proud of. 

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