Anderson Leadership Program-2014

Mike Anderson Presentation
GMS Central Division
Regional Meeting
December 3rd 2014
Impediments to New Businesses in the Past
• Financing – very few options rather than bank loans or a rich uncle.
• Facilities – very few options since there was fewer spec warehouse space
• Accounting – needed to have an experienced person to handle the accounting.
• Personnel – very important to have people who were experienced and very
knowledgeable in specific business.
• Distribution – small distribution networks so if there was not past history it
would be hard to find vendors.
Impediments to New Businesses Today
• Financing – many options other than banks including home equity and angel investment.
• Facilities – with exception of a few markets there is a lot of available space to open any
new business.
• Accounting – it is no problem to just purchase an accounting system off the shelf and
load into a computer.
• Personnel – institutional knowledge is not as important in the internet age where all one
has to do is google.
• Distribution – no matter the product there are multiple distribution options open to all.
Today what separates one business from
It’s People
Impediments to a Person being Successful in
the Past
Education – this was unavailable to many.
Family – who you knew was very important.
Scope of experience – all had varying degrees of exposure to the world outside
their hometown.
Geography – where you were born was important. Accents & culture were
Ethnicity – if you were not from the right clan or race it may be hard to get a job.
Impediments to a Person being Successful Today
Education – pretty much available to all.
Family – in most cases the “old boy” networks are dead.
Scope of experience – due to technology, no matter where we live, we can
have a clear understanding of the entire world.
Geography – regional differences in accents and culture are no longer a
Ethnicity – no longer are their race and ethnicity roadblocks.
Today what separates one person from
Their Ability to Interact with others
What does this mean for any business?
They need to hire the best people and provide
them the training and experience needed to
interact effectively with others no matter their
position but especially if they are in a Leadership
What advantages did a GMS yard have in the
past compared to competition?
• Superior buying power.
• Ability to handle yard burdens at a corporate level.
• Innovative thinking.
• Superior financial backing.
• Dedication to superior customer service.
What advantages does a GMS yard have today
that no one else has?
Dedication to Superior Customer Service
How can we sustain and grow this Service
We need to hire the best people and provide
them the training and experience needed to
interact effectively with others no matter their
position but especially if they are in a Leadership
How were most GMS Operations run in the
• Mostly single location subsidiaries.
• Focused on only a few product lines.
• Operated independently from other subsidiaries to the point of even
• Very streamlined Org charts with Manager, Dispatcher, Purchaser, &
• Most Strong Leadership was centralized at the top of the organization.
How are most GMS Operations Run Today?
• Most subsidiaries consist of multiple locations.
• We have many regions with multiple subsidiaries and divisions with multiple regions.
• We are focused on selling many specialty product lines.
• We try to work together as a larger brotherhood, especially when locations, subsidiaries,
and regions are close to one another.
• Our Org charts are very large and complicated, even at the yard level.
• We have important Leadership positions throughout the organization.
What does GMS need more of today than in
the past?
Effective Leadership at the divisional, regional,
subsidiary, and location levels.
Why do we need to Teach Leadership?
• We learn little from our home.
• We learn little from school. Even College or Graduate programs.
• It is hard to understand what it means to be a Leader until one has actually
had some experience managing people and being lead by others.
• If we do not teach it, most employees will have no idea where to get the
• Good Leaders do not just “Drop from a Tree”.
GMS NE Region
Leadership Program
Basic Requirement for Attendance
• New or experienced manager that manages at least 5 people.
• Must be invited and accept the challenge of the time and work
Purpose of Program – Develop a group of Elite
Leaders to carry our organization into the future.
New managers that we see a lot of promise and want to bring to
another level.
New managers that we are not sure of, but want to see if an
opportunity for leadership exists.
Long term managers that we have some issues with, and hope to
Experienced managers who have reached out and asked for help
to grow into better leaders.
Structure of Program
• From the beginning to graduation is one year.
• We have a Military name attached to each group – Mountain Brigade and Valley Rangers so far.
• 16 participants in each group along with Executive auditing.
• Consists of (4) 1.5 to 2.5 days of class instructions.
• Between session, homework and reading is required.
• We have a final session that includes a graduation at the Gettysburg Battlefield.
• Personality Test – To help understand own style and preferences.
• Full 360 – To help understand perceptions of others.
• EQ Test – To help identify key areas of Leverage for success and
potential derailers.
• Reading Assignments – To gather key information in short amount of
time and peak interest in leadership literature.
• Class Presentations – To develop presentation skills.
• Full year project working on specific GMS issues in groups of four –
Customer Service, Employee Development, Core Values, and
Communication are a few examples. Helps to develop team and
presentation skills while focusing on real problems.
Individual Coaching
• Four coaches to cover total group.
• Work together during classroom sessions.
• Check in calls and Emails in between sessions.
• On call to discuss key issues.
• Charged with keeping momentum going.
In Session Discussions
• The importance of handling more – We can not grow the company and they can
not advance their career unless this happens.
• The importance of thinking strategically – We can not Lead if we are totally
focused on “Tasks” rather than also “Strategy”.
• Management vs Leadership – Understanding the difference between the two.
• Interactions with others – How does a leader behave?
• Personal Mission Statements – The better they know themselves the better they
can lead others.
More Discussions
• Crucial Conversations – Ability to handle emotional and high stakes issues.
• Delegation – How does this really work.
• Teambuilding – Lessons on how to do better.
• Critical Thinking – A defined and repeatable process to insure higher
quality decisions that address the real issues and not symptoms.
• Types of Leadership – Several different models presented and discussed.
Special Events
• Customer Service Forum – Had several customers come to a session
and serve as a panel to discuss the parts and pieces of what they
need and discuss how well we perform.
• Kayak Trip – Spent half a day kayaking down the James river as a
group and had dinner at Mike’s farm. We used this as a relationship
building time.
Where do we go from here?
• Maintain the spirit that they are part of an Elite Group.
• Keep the group together working on issues that arise.
• Provide additional training for the group when applicable.
• Look at options for the group to provide formal training to a larger
audience than just their Branch / Department.
Some Unexpected Positives
• We found that a manager that was struggling was in fact in over his head
and we were able to deploy his talents at another level.
• It became clear that two of the students did not have the commitment nor
the desire, to learn to be better leaders, and as such we now understand
where they fit in the organization.
• We found a manager that was already doing a great job but in fact needed
more challenge and we were not aware. We have promoted him into a
position at a yard that was struggling and is already turning around.
More Unexpected Positives
• Now that we have 32 managers that have been in the program we see
our overall leadership culture changing.
• After the first group was started, we had some experienced managers
that we thought may not be interested, reach out to be included.
• The Executives in the Region have also learned a lot.
• We have identified some individual help we need to provide
participants that we could have never seen before.
Quotes after the First Session
“I am warning you that if you push me too hard I will come out
“Man this seems like a lot of work”.
“All this sounds great but I live in the real world”.
“If I have to get in front of the group and talk I am out of here”.
Quotes from Participants prior to Graduation
“The Leadership 360 Profile has afforded me the opportunity to
discover my significant strengths and weaknesses both as a leader and
in everyday life”.
“The experience I have had with the leadership program has been
“The leadership training is another tool for us to take advantage of
increasing the knowledge of ourselves and use thought processes to
better our skills, develop our people, and improve ourselves”.
More Graduation Quotes
“ The leadership program has given me the knowledge and tools to
better myself as a leader and help grow my employees and
“The deepest and most rewarding self-assessment I have ever done”.
“ An enlightening, eye opening, look into who I am as a leader and
More Graduation Quotes
“If you are willing to put in the work and time, this leadership program
will be life changing”.
“The leadership program has been a maturing process for the
participants, forcing them to think beyond their daily tasks and focus
internally on their leadership and personal development”.
“This course has helped me to understand that I need to go out of my
way to make sure I look, act, and portray positive behavior at all times”.