The Significance of Leadership At Your Truckstop

Leadership is the most important aspect in every facet of our lives—both individually and within our families, our businesses, our communities, our government and our society. Without effective leadership, we cannot grow!

According to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2015 survey, leadership ranked as one of the most pressing talent challenges faced by global organizations for the third year in a row.

There have been more books written on leadership than any other subject. After reading the biographies of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Sir Winston Churchill (even though it has been said he indulged a bit), NO translation is necessary in defining the qualities of leadership. At its core, leadership involves pursuing a bold strategy and inspiring those around us. Ultimate leadership is when subordinates are inspired so much by the vision, they follow. As Gandhi says, “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscle; but today it means getting along with people.”

Effective leaders think about their teams’ needs before their own and take time to invest in the people around them. Within a business, people are the center of everything we do, and how we lead effects every aspect of our operations. Strong leadership results in employees who are more engaged and committed, which leads to greater customer satisfaction and improved profits. Employees who are committed can reduce shrink and also reduce turnover. It is also our leadership that helps us attract new employees, who can grow into our next generation of leaders.

Leadership does not come from a title. Every employee at our locations can be a leader to those around them. Sometimes the best leaders are the people who can boost morale and encourage those around them.

There is no right or wrong form of leadership, and what works for one leader doesn’t necessarily work for another. We often see new titles on the New York Times bestsellers list that incorporate the latest fad of the month or new workshops that tout new leadership methods. While we may not apply every new thing we learn, we can mine any new source of information for the nuggets that will work for us and our employees.

I believe being a leader is an evolutionary process in which there is always more to learn. I know from experience that my peers have been important in helping me develop and grow as a leader. Within this issue of Stop Watch, key leaders in the industry have shared what works for them and how they have developed their own leadership styles.

Our industry is filled with great leaders who are always willing to share their knowledge and serve as an inspiration. To be successful, we must continue to improve our own leadership skills while investing in our staff. According to the Deloitte study, “In today’s competitive business environment and rapidly evolving world of work, organizations should continuously develop a robust portfolio of leaders who are ready to engage employees, push forward growth strategies, drive innovation and work directly with customers.”


This article originally ran in Stop Watch magazineStop Watch provides in-depth content to assist NATSO members in improving their travel plaza business operations.

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Tom Heinz

Tom Heinz is President of Heinz, Inc. and Coffee Cup Fuel Stops & Convenience Stores, Inc. Tom’s thirty-seven year business career has been in different segments of the petroleum industry. Tom’s primary business and day job began 31 years ago as co-founder/owner of Coffee Cup Fuel Stops Tom received the following degrees: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Master of Science in Human Resources, and Master of Business Administration from Beacom School of Business at the University of South Dakota. Presently, Tom serves on the University of South Dakota Foundation Board of Directors, Vermillion, South Dakota, NATSO Foundation Board of Directors, Alexandria, VA, Dakota Hospital Board of Directors, Vermillion, SD., and is a member of David Nelson Petroleum Marketers 300 Study Group.More
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