• Latest from Contracting Business Success

    Photo 50628633 © David Franklin | Dreamstime.com
    Photo 161233010 © Jamesteohart | Dreamstime.com
    PeopleImages/iStock/Getty
    Cheering Team Getty Images 515688567
    Cheering Team Getty Images 515688567
    Cheering Team Getty Images 515688567
    Cheering Team Getty Images 515688567
    Cheering Team Getty Images 515688567

    It's Authentic Leadership that Truly Inspires

    May 17, 2022
    True leadership requires a commitment to your business and team, a vision for success, and an investment in learning the skills that define it.

    There are a lot of misconceptions in the HVACR industry about leadership.

    Many people say leadership is something you’re born with. Or only people with a particular type of personality can be leaders. Or leaders don’t make mistakes.

    None of those assertions are true. Leadership is a set of skills that can be taught and learned, not a personality trait someone is born with. Anyone can become a leader. All it takes is a commitment to your business and team, a vision for success, and an investment in learning the skills that define true leadership.

    Leadership Starts With You

    The first step toward authentic leadership for HVACR distributors is taking care of yourself and setting the right example for your team.

    Pay close attention to your physical and mental health to ensure you’re prepared for any unexpected challenges. When you’re fit and focused, you are better able to manage physical strain, long hours, and other unavoidable pitfalls of the HVACR industry. 

    By putting a priority on your physical and mental well-being, you’ll set a standard your employees can follow.


    Additionally, taking care of yourself sets an example for your team members – an essential element of leadership. By putting a priority on your physical and mental well-being, you’ll set a standard your employees can follow.

    That’s an example of a bigger principle that is key to effective leadership: live what you preach. Personal accountability is a foundational element of leadership. To
    achieve meaningful success, leaders must live up to the same high standards of character and performance they expect from their employees. Own your mistakes. Do what you say and follow through with your decisions.

    Leadership doesn’t mean you never face challenges. How you respond to challenges is what defines a leader – and it’s also an opportunity to lead by example. Fortunately, leaders don’t have to bear all this responsibility by themselves. Remember you’re not in this alone. Get excited about building other leaders who can drive your common vision.

    Build Other Leaders

    Look to your executive team for support. These should be people who share the mission, vision, and values that are the foundation of the company.

    If you’re not sure, or you don’t have a clear mission, vision, and values, it’s time to take a step back and identify exactly what drives you and your company. Define the goals and values you stand for and make sure you have buy-in from your entire team, especially at the highest level.

    Develop a shared approach to serving your customers and a plan for how you will react to challenges.


    Then develop a shared approach to serving your customers and a plan for how you will react to challenges. Task your executives with sharing this plan with the rest of the team and getting them on board. This is often the bold first step of leadership. At the same time, you will have empowered the people you rely on to join you on the journey, and the leadership-trust dynamic you have established will start to transform your company’s culture.

    Lead Your Team to Success

    Ultimately, what you do at the top of the organization has a profound impact not only on your company’s culture but on operations, performance, productivity, and results.

    When managers and executives embody the values of the company, even in the face of a challenge, team members notice. They also notice it when the people at the top of the company don’t live up to the values they speak about. If you expect the best from your team and show them they can expect the same from you, you’re leading your team in the right direction.

    • Leading your sales team: The sales team is the face and voice of your company. Lead them well, and they will lead your customers well. Give them resources to excel at their jobs and to become leaders themselves: training, feedback, communication, and motivation. Most of all, teach them to be true partners with their customers – to move beyond a transactional relationship to one of service.
    • Leading your warehouse and administrative teams: Your operations teams provide foundational support for customers. Sales and support are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to customer experience. Fast, accurate, and efficient responses from your warehouse and administration teams streamline your company’s productivity. Their results are critical for turning customers into clients and partners. Educate operations and support teams on the importance their jobs have to your company’s mission and inspire them to be a force for success

    It's true that anyone can become a leader. That doesn’t mean leadership is easy. It takes hard work: identifying your vision for your company, developing a plan, and empowering your team to implement success with passion and drive.

    Authentic success in our industry is impossible without the skills and commitment that define powerful leadership.

    Jeff Plant is a head coach and trainer with Business Development Resources, helping businesses develop their teams and grow their profits. Jeff’s has special expertise in leadership development and instructs the Lead the Way leadership workshop as well as BDR’s new Leadership Excellence Academy. Jeff has over 26 years in the trades, and has managed companies ranging in size from $1.5 million to $12 million in revenue.

    BDR (Business Development Resources) is a premier provider of business training and coaching to HVAC contractors and distributors. For more information, please visit www.bdrco.com.

    Related

    ID 85004673 © Dumrongsak Songdej | Dreamstime.com
    Dreamstime M 85004673
    Dreamstime M 85004673
    Dreamstime M 85004673
    Dreamstime M 85004673
    Dreamstime M 85004673