Leadership From Within – Part II

In my last month article, Leadership from Within, I referenced two leaders, Jim Butler and Shannon Nordstrom from our industry. Jim Butler of Butler’s Auto Parts is in Pensacola, Florida and their newest yard is in Milton, Florida. The Milton location used to be an old Lumber 84. I met Shannon Nordstrom many years ago when I had plenty of brown hair. So, I’ve known Shannon a very long time. Nordstrom’s is a gold seal, certified auto recycler in Garretson, South Dakota, located just north east of Sioux Falls.

Last month, when I spoke about their leadership qualities, it was my intention to highlight leadership I’ve discovered within our industry. These two guys are real leaders. Both are second generation locations, and both have multiple locations with three or more now. Time usually brings change. For Shannon Nordstrom, change has been good.

Shannon and the boys can be heard every week on over 225 radio stations across the country. Their radio show is called “Nordstrom’s, “Under the Hood.” In Atlanta, where I live, Shannon’s show is found on Saturday morning on station, WGAA 1340AM at 10:00 a.m. Check your local area to see if you can get it or go online to find out.

Before, I get sidetracked, let me revisit my “Leadership” topic. I am proud of Shannon and Jim for their ability to be successful leaders. Everyone’s leadership ability directly impacts their team—positively or negatively. Remember, if a leader doesn’t continue to grow and develop his or her leadership abilities, it will hinder the development of those below. I personally believe your leadership ability always determines your effectiveness and can have a positive or negative impact on your organization.

Both Shannon and Jim are church going leaders. I am not saying that a person who doesn’t go to church can’t be an effective leader. What I am saying is they take care of and respect their employees as treasures of the business. Shannon and Jim have an “open-door” policy and know everyone on a first name basis. They know what makes their employees tick and what they need to perform their best work. The attitude of the leader affects the working atmosphere of the salvage yard or business. If as an aspiring leader, you desire to add value by serving others, you will become a better leader. With your tickle-down leadership skills, your people will achieve more, develop more loyalty, and have a better time getting things done than you ever thought possible.

At URG last year, I told everyone in my audience, “You need to have a servant’s attitude if you want to become a leader.” Leaders should spend most of their time working in areas of great strength. Occasionally, however, it is good to get out of your comfort zone. Always, remember to delegate stuff you are not the best at. Surely, someone on your team can do a whole lot better at it than you.

Both businesses have what I call, The Big Mo. I’m referring to Momentum. Both of their families started it, and then Shannon and Jim continued the momentum. I visited Butler’s location last month and will be at Nordstrom’s next month. A recycling center with the appropriate momentum is like a speeding train that’s moving sixty-five miles per hour. If it slows down even a little, it can’t reach the next stop on time. Momentum is often the ONLY THING between winning and losing. Having momentum makes leaders look better than they are, and at the same time helps team members perform better. The right momentum is the most powerful change agent a leader can possess.

The great training leader, Simon Sinek said, “Leadership is not a license to do less; it is a responsibility to do more. Leadership, true leadership, is not the bastion of those at the top. It is the responsibility of anyone who belongs to a group.” Motivation is like food for the brain. You cannot get enough momentum in only one sitting. It is a daily thing and must be continued each day. Both men have it. Leadership!

Thanks for reading. See you next time!

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.