Leadership from Within

My articles this month and next are about Leadership. In these articles, I’ll reference two locations. This month’s article is about the leadership of Jim Butler, GM at Butler Auto Recycling located in Pensacola, Florida. It’s a family-run, family-owned, second generation business. Next month, I’ll show-case the leadership of Shannon Nordstrom from Nordstrom Automotive located in Garrettson, South Dakota.

Besides running his business, Jim Butler has held lots of positions at FADRA, the Florida Auto Dismantlers and Recyclers Association. Jim’s most notable position held at FADRA was Past President. Jim has also held positions at the national level for ARA. So, Jim knows his stuff about the industry and has been willing to lead others to success while running his own business.

First of all, Jim is a leader and he works at being a better leader every day. He is always the one sitting up front in every meeting or conference taking incredible notes so he can deliver the best information to his team at home. His efforts keep them always on the right path. No matter what it takes or what happens, Jim always tries to find a way for his team to win. No matter the crisis! No matter the challenge! Guys like Jim don’t fail because failing isn’t an option. I’m not sure if it’s really a trait or attribute, and I don’t know if he got it from his father. His Dad, Jack, is tight with a buck. Jack calls it being frugal. Even though he’s tighter than bark on a tree, he cares lots for his team. The alternative to winning is losing and that’s unacceptable to both of them. So together, they figure out what must be done in order to win.

From my personal observations, Jim Butler and Shannon Nordstrom are both “champions of results”. They believe that the right leadership is responsible for all outcomes. Losing is an UNACCEPTABLE result. Their passion is UNQUENCHABLE and both have creativity. Creativity is essential to winning. To both of them, quitting is UNTHINKABLE because commitment is UNQUESTIONABLE. That is why victory is INEVITABLE for Jim and Shannon.

Here’s a key point to remember.  At a sporting event, the drive to win is always obvious in the players. They either have come to the game with the desire to win or they haven’t. The winners and losers are clear to everyone. “Results Champions”, as my friend, John Maxwell, says, “do most of their work without the glory of a roaring crowd. They know that the success of the team is the real victory.”

There are three components of victory that all leaders possess. Here they are: first component of victory is Unity of Vision. Teams only succeed when the players have a unified vision…no matter what’s happening during the day, how much talent or potential there is or whether they’re from the state of Florida or South Dakota.

Second component of victory is Diversity of Skills. That means, every member of the team contributes his or her unique skills and is appreciated for those skills.

And lastly, the third component of victory is Dedicated Leadership. A leader who is really dedicated to victory works constantly on raising all players to their full potential.   

So, let me ask. Have you read and considered the first part of my two-part articles and what it can do for you? Before next month, please consider the important questions that I have listed below. I ask everyone reading this article those questions, because I would love to see more leaders like Jim Butler and Shannon Nordstrom working in the industry. Really be honest with yourself.

Question one:   Do I lead with a unified vision?

Question two: Do I understand the talents of my team?

Question three: Am I committed to winning?

Thanks for reading this article. See you next month.

Correspondence regarding this article should go to:

D.J. Says, 2820 Andover Way, Woodstock, GA 30189

D. J. Harrington is an author, journalist, seminar leader, international trainer, and marketing consultant. He works primarily with customer service personnel, and his clients include such world-class companies as General Motors, DuPont, Caterpillar, and Damon Corporation. He may be reached at 800-352-5252. E-mail: dj@djsays.com. 52 weeks a year, we are as close as your telephone.