Lead the way — don’t just be the boss

Guest editorial
By Shane Woodman, Generation Next Treasurer
Onspot of North America Inc. – Onspot Automatic Tire Chains 

This article was published in the October 2017 edition of NTEA News.

No two people are alike, right? So why would you try to manage everyone the same way?

Dynamic leadership (also known as adaptive leadership) is a form of management in which leaders take on the process of adaptation. Specifically, its principles encourage employee engagement to help the organization adapt to its environment.

This form of leadership works well between generations. Some may say today’s generation feels entitled or yesterday’s is too old-school. Dynamic leadership acknowledges these differences and draws on the expertise of employees to contribute to the company’s survival. It’s considered a dynamic approach because it’s a system characterized by constant change.

Five attributes of dynamic leaders

  • They mentor employees to help them grow and succeed within the organization
  • They are at the forefront of change and will help lead it within the business
  • They rely on delegation and show trust in their direct reports
  • They understand when to be hands-on and when to be hands-off with direct reports
  • They facilitate new activities

Employee assessments
How do we understand how each individual should be managed? Many resources are available for assessing employee personality traits. My recommendation is to speak to your human resources department regarding your options. I used a DISC profile. This assessment tool is categorized into quadrants and allows leaders to understand what makes their team members tick — how they learn, communicate and focus. By taking the time to understand how each individual works, you can help set them up for success within the company.

Your assessments
The best way to measure your dynamic leadership is to look at the people you have developed. Have they advanced their careers, been promoted rapidly through the organization or improved in their current role? The goal here is to lead, not boss. Put your direct reports in the best position for success by understanding and exploiting their strengths.

Moving forward
Some are born leaders while others have to learn the skills. Becoming a dynamic leader will provide you with a strong foundation to develop people in your business. Understand that this style might go against your comfort level. It will require you to adapt to personalities that are polar opposites of yours. Just remember, the goal is to develop those around you — and this adaptive style will be key.

See Generation Next at WTS18
Generation Next is hosting a Leadership Workshop & Networking Reception on March 7, 2018, at The Work Truck Show® 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. During this session, attendees will learn how to leverage the power of EQ (emotional intelligence) to engage and motivate their employees and associates. All participants are invited to join Generation Next members afterward for light refreshments.

NTEA’s Generation Next gives new industry professionals support in developing skills and building peer relationships in the work truck industry. Find out how you can get involved at ntea.com/generationnext. You can also contact one of our Board of Governors — we are always available to answer questions and hear your feedback.