DSC keeps leadership development a top priority

Sept. 5, 2014
With the 2014 Distribution Solutions Conference set for October 21-23 in Indianapolis IN, its sponsor, the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), recently reflected on DSC 2013 and its workshop entitled “Foodservice HR Experts Discuss Need for Developing Leaders.”

With the 2014 Distribution Solutions Conference set for October 21-23 in Indianapolis IN, its sponsor, the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), recently reflected on DSC 2013 and its workshop entitled “Foodservice HR Experts Discuss Need for Developing Leaders.”
At DSC 2013, senior HR execs from three foodservice distribution companies had some advice about the importance of developing leaders at a company.
Development plans at the DC level (Terry Cameron, McLane Foodservice)—“In our larger, more complex centers, we’re moving toward having a number 2 in the warehouse. That gives us a slot to move a high-potential supervisor into a higher-level role, still reporting to the manager but having some of these higher-level activities so we can ready them. How many of you, if you lost three transportation managers today could replace them? It happened to me, and we still have a vacancy. You get caught short on things like that you don’t expect. If you have that number 2 spot, you have someone who has a bit of a track record with most of the job.”
The future of your company is your responsibility. (Dr Elliott Stephenson, Ben E Keith Foods)—“The reality is that at some point in the future, all of us are going to retire. We have a responsibility to make sure our organizations exist in perpetuity. That is easy to say, but difficult to put in place. If we look back over our career, was there ever a day in which we knew we had to assume a position of leadership? The answer to that is: probably not. Someone recognized certain intrinsic skills and capabilities and allowed us to do what we do. The challenge is whether or not we’re going to have the ability to identify those resources and those skills (in our potential leaders).”
You have to account for changing job roles (Karen Williams, Shamrock Foods Company)—“In the old days, everyone had a chief procurement officer—or chief accountant. We recently hired a vice-president of transformational services. This is a person who handles our information technology, business process improvement, and process management throughout the entire company. That’s a very different job from the former CIO position. The positions are incredibly broad in scope, partly from technology changes. Companies are leaner, and people are tasked with doing more. Some of the positions may go away, but the functions will remain so we have to figure out how to get them done.”
The importance of mentoring (Bob Beake, Shamrock Foods Co)—“In my career at Shamrock, I’ve had several key mentors that helped me develop my career along the way. I’ve taken that same position with people within my organization because I know they are going to be key leaders in the organization going forward. That’s a key point. We’ve got management training and we’ve got Shamrock University for career pathing, but you’ve got to take people under your wing and help them one on one if you want to develop leaders in the organization who will embrace the company’s values and corporate culture.”
For the full discussion from the 2013 conference, click here.
To obtain more ideas on leadership development, attend the 2014 DSC Super Session on "Leadership Development That Works.” To register now for the 2014 DSC, click here for full conference info.

Sponsored Recommendations

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...

80% Fewer Towable Accidents - 10 Key Strategies

After installing grille guards on all of their Class 8 trucks, a major Midwest fleet reported they had reduced their number of towable accidents by 80% post installation – including...

Proactive Fleet Safety: A Guide to Improved Efficiency and Profitability

Each year, carriers lose around 32.6 billion vehicle hours as a result of weather-related congestion. Discover how to shift from reactive to proactive, improve efficiency, and...

Tackling the Tech Shortage: Lessons in Recruiting Talent and Reducing Turnover

Discover innovative strategies for recruiting and retaining tech talent in the trucking industry at our April 16th webinar, where experts will share insights on competitive pay...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!