Fighting Against Human Nature–It just seems to be human nature to focus on what is not going right. Snow … again. Check. Sore back from shoveling … again. Check. New government regulation … again. Check. There are certainly plenty of things we could complain about, especially this winter. It has been a hard one. However, focusing on the negative is not a winning strategy. It creates a closed loop where bad thoughts feed on bad thoughts, dragging down performance.
Keeping Your Team Focused on the Positive–The true challenge of leadership is to keep your team focused on the positive, especially when life has been challenging. Positive data, positive stories, positive words … they all build a culture of hope and what is possible. You get to set the tone for your own life, and often those who work for and with you. Attitude is a choice regardless of the circumstances.
Some Good News to Share–Here is a short list of some positive things you can think on, and even possibly share with your drivers, dispatchers and office staff. Trust me, they will appreciate hearing it!
• Carriers report there is lots of freight to move. The data backs this up.
• 2013 saw freight tonnage jump 6.2 percent, the largest annual gain in 15 years.
• Minnesota Governor Dayton and House Speaker Thissen have both called for a repeal of the warehousing tax, which I truly believe will happen.
• The burden of assuring a person is qualified to conduct a DOT physical is lifted from the shoulders of carriers and drivers through the pending registry of certified medical providers.
• Carriers will have a more complete picture of a potential driver’s drug and alcohol history through establishment of a new database that will plug troublesome loopholes.
• OEMs are providing the safest and most comfortable power units and trailers ever to run on this planet.
• Fleets are once again experiencing improvements in fuel economy as bugs are being worked out of new engines and power systems.
• Drivers have more resources than ever to help maintain a healthy diet and exercise schedule while on the road with improved restaurant menus, workout facilities and on-line support.
• Both the federal and state governments recognize the value of freight movement by incorporating designated freight programs in their plans.
• Carriers can know more information in real-time than ever before, including how to purchase the cheapest fuel, take the shortest route and plan the most efficient load.
• Drivers and their families can stay connected through voice, text, e-mail and video-conferencing at a low cost and virtually whenever they want to, making the road a less isolating place to work.
• Trucking remains the backbone of the American economy moving nearly 70 percent of manufactured freight, and we aren’t leaving!
Don’t Let Someone Else Steal Your Joy–I know I work for truckers, and “joy” is not a word that pops up in our conversations. Call it what you will – joy, fun, fulfillment, satisfaction – but we each have something that internally motivates us to do our best. Drivers drive because they like to drive. Focus on that and do it well. Owners own trucking companies because they like the business challenge and working with people. Focus on that and do it well. Remember WHY you chose this business in the first place and make the most of it. There is good news … if you just look for it.
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