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Mold The Mindset of a Leader

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When it comes to shaping future team leaders, common themes tend to emerge. 

Plenty of shop owners are quick to highlight the importance of training, or SOPs, or day-to-day delegation, but for the team at AutoStream Car Care the impact of a shared read is never underestimated. 

Director of Operations David Askwith notes that recommended leadership- and growth-focused books aren’t just ideal for spurring personal growth—they can help future leaders understand and match the mindset of those already at the helm. 

“We’ve all heard the phrase ‘leaders are readers,’ and it’s absolutely true,” says Askwith. “But the more we’re taking time to share those books with each other, the easier it is to create a similar mindset and stay on the same page with each other—it leads to that synergy you want to see on a leadership team.”

As Askwith begins to train and mentor budding leaders like AutoStream service manager Fred Hansen Jr., recommended reads like “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin have helped to build that shared mindset.

Askwith says the book is a favorite for AutoStream’s leadership team and a pick that’s helped give him and the owners a common language in their work together. “It’s these books we’re all reading that give us this shared experience and help us align our thought process through that common background,” he says. 

For Hansen Jr., who is an avid reader of trade resources and publications and is in the process of becoming a technical trainer for the organization, the book has been equally rewarding. 

“This book was passed on to me to help expand my understanding of leadership and to get new ideas for how to go about leading a team,” Hansen Jr says. 

Hansen Jr. says he now draws from the book in leading others and has also passed the book on to others on the team, “but the clearest takeaway was the concept that there’s no bad teams, only bad leaders. And that’s really given me perspective as to how the shops were already being run and helped guide me in setting a precedent for how I want to approach being a leader.”

Hansen Jr. finds the recommended read has helped provided ideas and context in preserving and building on the shop’s strong workplace culture. 

“Culture is everything and if you have one Debbie Downer that’s impacting the team, that can really limit our success as a group,” he says. “We have a great culture here and this book gave insight and some concrete examples of how that was built, and it also gives and our guys some ideas for how to work through situations like that, with real actionable steps.

Next up? Hansen Jr. will tackle “Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business” by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters, a book that’s also a favorite for Askwith and AutoStream’s ownership. 

“These books can really start to fill in pieces of the puzzle to things I’m working on day-in and day-out with the team so I’m excited to see what I can take away from this next pick,” Hansen Jr. says.

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