MTA was well represented on our recent Call on Washington trip. Thanks to John and the MTA staff for making the trip not only worthwhile for the association but for us individuals as well. Fourteen engaged MTA members had the opportunity to meet our Minnesota Congressional Delegates. Time is valuable, especially at the Capitol; our team did a great job of sharing our message with all nine representatives.
On the first night, after a wonderful dinner experience, we took a guided bus tour of the city. I left Washington with feelings of strengthened patriotism, a refreshed understanding of American history and appreciation of the sacrifices so many Americans have made for the safety of our families.
Perhaps the most important take away from DC is the impact of effective leadership. It is vital in every business, organization, school and church. Which leads me into the MTA’s highly regarded NEXTLeader program. I’m enthused that my son, Drew, is a participant in this program. Drew is my oldest son and the first fourth-generation family member to be working at our family business. I’ve asked him to share a few thoughts on his experience with NEXTLeader so far:
- The mission of the NEXTLeader Program is to shape the next generation of trucking leaders for the good of themselves, their businesses, and the trucking industry.
- Since last fall we have examined the qualities of an effective leader according to the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. We have studied how to recognize our personality strengths and how to apply these strengths to our work using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Currently we are reading “Leading Change” by John P. Kotter, which focuses on how one can effectively lead organizational transformations.
- Not only is there interesting course material; I have found this a refreshing group of people to be involved with. It is too rare an experience, finding ourselves in a room with our trucking peers who are experiencing, have already experienced or are anticipating the experience of similar industry-specific challenges.
- The landscape of the trucking industry in Minnesota is evolving at an unprecedented rate. The NEXTLeader Program is a terrific opportunity to shorten the learning curve for anyone pursuing a decision-making role in the trucking community. This program has become available at a very pivotal point in time for our industry. I highly encourage everyone, regardless of sector or size of company, to become involved with it in some fashion.