Auto Glass Week Seminars Offer Lessons for
September 21, 2012
by Megan Headley, firstname.lastname@example.org
|In sharing his dramatic story, Captain
Richard Phillips offered his auto glass industry listeners lessons
they could apply to improving their own leadership abilities.
Seminars and a keynote address on becoming a stronger, more effective
leader have drawn in crowds at Auto Glass Week, taking place
this week in Louisville, Ky.
This morning, Captain Richard Phillips shared his remarkable story
and lessons for strong leadership as the keynote speaker. In April
2009, the world watched and wondered at the ship captain who offered
himself as a hostage to Somali pirates in order to protect the lives
of his 20 crewmembers.
He began by highlighting to his rapt audience three key points he'd
learned over the course of 33 years sailing, 23 years as captain:
- You are much stronger than even you know;
- The only time that all is lost is when you chose to give up;
- A dedicated professional team can overcome any obstacle.
He began with a lesson to which any auto glass business owner could
relate, the importance of the adage: "Hope for the best, but
plan for the worst."
Phillips always told his crew he expected it would at some point
be attacked by pirates, but felt they could handle it if they were
prepared. To improve that preparation, he went over the required
quarterly security reports, springing a surprise drill on that voyage's
crew. They found problems that they discussed, and then generated
new safety ideas as well. "There was some grumbling about the
drill ... but a few days later the crew was real glad we took sometime
to prepare for the worst," he recalled.
That was when, on calm seas, a small ship with four armed pirates
caught up to the ship, despite evasive maneuvers, and boarded Phillips'
At that moment, he and the crew knew they were responsible for getting
themselves safely out of this situation."At sea, you don't
get to pass the buck," Phillips said. "At sea, you get
to learn firsthand how strong you are."
From the start, he guessed that the pirates weren't as practiced
in their task as his crew because his crew performed their safety
procedures nearly flawlessly while the pirates lost their ladder
and sank their boat in boarding.
That practice also meant that the crew stayed in the safe room when
the captain was ordered to call them to the deck, because they didn't
hear the safe word.
Ultimately, Phillips said, he knew the "best way to protect
my crew, my ship and my cargo - and myself - was to get the pirates
off my ship."
Phillips recounted the harrowing account of being held as hostage
on a lifeboat with the four pirates, not expecting rescue but staying
focused on keeping hope, and remaining the pirates' "adversary
rather than a passenger," never becoming simply a hostage.
As the pirates played mind games and withheld water, he remembered,
"I don't think anyone solved their crises at sea by being panicked."
After four days as a hostage, Phillips was rescued by U.the S. Navy
SEALs, who he calls the real heroes of the story.
He summarized his tale by sharing with his audience, "The one
simple reason I'm here today ... a dedicated team of professionals
who did what it took."
Yesterday's leadership speaker focused on a specific aspect of working
with dedicated professionals. Auto glass business owners with a
fleet of young techs found lots that made them nod when Garrison
Wynn, author of The Real Truth About Success, took the stage
with suggestions for how different generations can work better together.
Wynn, who at age 27 was the youngest department head in a Fortune
500 company, knows just how challenging it can be for people
of different generations to communicate their ideas and values productively
to one another. Wynn showed off his background as a stand-up comedian
as he shared with his audience the importance of making employees
feel like a valuable part of an organization. For starters, tell
someone often enough that they're wrong and pretty soon nothing
you say will be right.
Wynn explained that top-performing CEOs don't say "wrong,"
they say "I don't agree with you but I'm willing to listen."
A request for information can be the start of trust building, a
key for effective leadership.
As Wynn explained, your employees under 30 have been made to feel
"heard" their entire lives, by schools, parents and friends,
making it more important for this generation over others to feel
that their ideas are being received.
"The pure power of making people feel heard," Wynn said,
is part of why some employees will stay with the same company, the
same products, the same industry, despite tangible results.
Wynn also touched on some of the skills that employees under 30
bring to the table. "People under 30 have a gift for reading
your sincerity extremely well," he said, making it very important
to communicated honestly to these employees. In addition, they believe
that are multiple solutions for a single problem. The minute these
youths hear "there's just one way" everybody under 30
stops listening. Finally, there is a desire for prestige. "Can
you make your young people who work for you look good in front of
a customer, in front of each other? Can you explain something so
clear and easy they can turn around and explain that to a customer?"
Wynn also pushed a positive point to these differing generational
viewpoints. "The foundation of true agreement is disagreement,"
he advised, as this can get to the heart of problems and lead to
"There's a big lesson in life, a big lesson in leadership,
a big lesson in generational differences: everybody knows something
you don't," Wynn said.
Auto Glass Week continues in Louisville, Ky., through Saturday,
September 22, with more educational seminars, the opening of the
Exhibition/Extravaganza and the Pilkington Clear Advantage Auto
Glass Technician Olympics and the Walt Gorman Memorial Windshield
Repair Olympics. Stay tuned to glassBYTEs.com for updates
straight from the show.
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