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Building Future Leaders

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Sometimes, it’s simply better to lean on others to describe something for you. So, let’s do this a little differently than normal. The following are three quick excerpts from Associate Editor Megan Gosch’s feature story about three second-to-none “second-in-command” leaders of some of the country’s best-run operations. 

First, here’s a quote from Brian Sump, owner of Avalon Motorsports and Urban Autocare, about his director of operations, Phil Carpenter:

“There’s this concept that the person who got you to $1 million isn’t going to be the same person that gets you to $5 [million] or $10 million. Phil looks at that and says, ‘Maybe I’m not supposed to be the guy that gets us there, but I’m going to prove that wrong.’ He doesn’t see a ceiling.”

Now, Bryan Gossel, owner of BG Automotive, on his company president, Philip Christensen:

“He’s going to run toward the fire, rather than watch it burn and that was exactly what we needed.”

And Doug Grills, co-owner of AutoStream Car Care, on the company’s director of operations David Askwith:

“When David sets his mind to something, he’s going to seize the opportunity and do whatever is required to learn and grow to meet the challenge head on.”

Seizes the opportunity.

Runs toward the fire.

Doesn’t see a ceiling.

What more do you want from a leader?

Megan’s piece aims to emphasize the importance—and eventual impact—of grooming future leaders within your organization. In profiling Phil, Philip and David, the hope is two-fold: Leaders like yourselves can see the example set by Brian, Bryan, Doug and fellow AutoStream co-owner Rick Levitan in putting their trust and faith in others to help them maximize their businesses’ true potential; and, hopefully, hearing about (and from) Phil, Philip and David can inspire the next generation of leaders in this industry to stand up and make an impact. 

I feel fortunate to know all seven of them very well. In fact, it’s through that dynamic with our team here at Ratchet+Wrench that this story came about. If you’re a regular reader, I hope you recognize Brian, Bryan, Doug and Rick from past stories (and our conference). They’ve been cover subjects, award winners, and featured in different ways. And all three—true best-of-the-best leaders—have always been quick to pass the credit to their teams, and to Phil, Philip and David, specifically. They’re rock stars—all seven of them, and that’s where the premise for this story originated. It also will spill over into our Ratchet+Wrench Management Conference this fall, where we are offering a brand-new track of content called the Future Leaders Program. That full-day session is designed to offer up-and-coming shop and industry leaders the opportunity to learn high-level leadership, management, financial and operational strategies from the best young leaders in the industry—yes, you guessed it, it will be led by Phil, Philip and David. 

Read the story, check out the rest of this month’s issue, and I hope it all helps you to identify future leaders in your operations. 

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