Do you inspire passion and motivation in others?

June 27, 2022
As the collision repair industry changes rapidly, so does the need for our vision of the industry.

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What you will learn:

  • What leadership means for the collision repair industry.
  • The difference between coaching and managing.
  • Why it's important to treat employees with respect.

I thought about leadership the other day, figuring out precisely what it meant in our industry. After doing some research and reading, I wanted to share what I found. Leadership is defined as the action of leading a group of people or an organization. A leader is someone who inspires passion and motivation in others. So, how is this needed in the collision repair industry? The answer is quite a lot. 

When I think of great leaders, I think of people like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill, and more. These great (influential) leaders possessed traits that gave them that distinction of being "great." Each one had vision, courage, reliability, humility, and focus. Along with these traits, they could plan strategically and foster cooperation among people. Do you possess the characteristics of great leadership? How can we apply this to our industry? 

Envision what we want the industry to become

Vision, as industry leaders, is about what we want the auto collision industry to become. It is about advancing safety procedures and learning tools for new vehicles. Things are changing so rapidly, and our vision of the industry needs to, also. This leads to the quality of courage in leaders. We must have the courage to trust this change within the auto collision industry. Do not be stuck in the past. What used to be simple is not anymore. We cannot take shortcuts in repairing cars. We must follow procedures so our customers will be safe after they pick up their vehicle. Each player in our industry has a role, and we must trust that they know what part they play. Reliability. Can your employees or employers count on you to lead and be present? Are you available to listen, advise, and not dismiss? Do you coach your team instead of just being a manager? Coaching will help you draw more out of your team. As Zig Ziglar said, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care… about them." Learn how to be the coach that your organization needs. Instill in your team the importance of personal and professional development every day, if only for 10 minutes. Ten minutes a day will make a massive difference down the road within your facility.  

Treat your employees with respect

Being humble as a leader in the auto industry can be observed from simply treating your employees with respect. Letting them know you may be the boss, but their ideas and opinions will always be considered. Do not have an ego. Work to reduce bias and inequities in the workplace. Lastly, you need to focus. Are you focused on making your job run as smoothly as possible? As bosses, we can make sure processes are in place for our employees, so they know exactly what needs to happen from start to finish. We can take the confusion out of their day-to-day tasks. As employees, we can make sure we eliminate distractions while we are working, setting an excellent example for our coworkers.  

Mo matter which area you work in, you can become a great leader. Find ways to build vision, courage, reliability, humbleness, and focus with your job. Cooperate, and instill a team dynamic with those you work with. Leaders are found everywhere. Will you be one?  

About the Author

Patrick Porter | Associate Manager, Collision and Technical Compliance

Patrick Porter is associate manager of Collision and Technical Compliance at OEConnection (OEC). Before that, he was a third-generation shop owner/manager at Porter's Body Shop in Brookhaven, Miss., with the one goal of consumer safety. Porter is an I-CAR instructor and has obtained his AMi Accredited Automotive Management Certificate and AMI’s new Accredited Collision Repair Estimator Certificate. He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Belhaven University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

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