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6 Steps to Becoming the Leader Your Shop Needs

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What kind of leader are you?

That’s the question Patrick Leddin asks his audiences during his three-hour presentations as part of FranklinCovey’s “On Leadership” world tour, where he discusses what holds leaders back from being great. And from city to city, nation to nation, it doesn’t matter how big the company is or how much experience one has—Leddin always hears the same response:

“‘Oh my gosh, you are so right,’” recounts Leddin, a professor of managerial studies at Vanderbilt University. “‘We’re not even tackling half of the equation that’s causing a sizable portion of the problem.’”

As your company grows, it can be easy to lose touch with your employees, “especially as the workforce experiences a generational shift,” Leddin says. When discussing leadership, it’s not about giving the same broad, general advice—it’s about developing managers through six different stages of their leadership growth.

It starts with your role as an individual contributor, where you have to learn how to lead yourself, to collaborate with others, to go from dependent to independent to interdependent.

Then you become a first-level leader, a supervisory position where your worth is no longer measured by completing tasks and instead by developing people.

A huge hurdle is stage three: the senior-level leader, who moves beyond managing a core team to leading other leaders. You must put systems in place that inspire trust across multiple parties and give your vision life.

And, ultimately, there’s the executive leader, who creates a top-down system that empowers senior leaders to execute the grand company vision at multiple levels.

Four vastly different expectations and monumental undertakings can be navigated through these six different stages professionals in the collision repair industry have mastered. And several of them spoke with FenderBender to help you find the right answer to that question:

What kind of leader are you?

Becoming a great leader may seem like an arduous process, but, really, if you’re methodical and take one step at a time, you can work your way through those six stages in a healthy manner. Going through those six stages, here’s how leadership experts say you can become a leader that carries confidence, that inspires trust, that a changing workforce looks to for guidance.


  1. Create a Culture Where Everyone Relies on One Another

  2. Improve Your Body Language at Work

  3. Form a Deeper Connection with Employees

  4. Create a Fearless Environment for Your Employees

  5. Inspire Confidence in Your Employees

  6. Make Everyone in Your Shop Feel Heard

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