The MHEDA Journal - First Quarter, 2016 - (Page 39)
Company: National Companies
Title: Director of Strategy and Innovation
Years on Job: 12
or some people it may take years to discover
their passion and figure out how to make
that passion into a career. For me, I was
literally born to work in Industrial Equipment.
My grandfather founded our company in 1957.
Since then, multiple generations of my family
have worked in the industry. I started working
for National Lift Truck when I was 11 years old
in 1996. I worked over the summer, after school
had ended, and started what would later become
my career path in a shop utility role, mopping,
painting poles yellow and steam cleaning.
When I was kid, I saw myself as an astronaut
or an engineer. I didn't anticipate that I would
make Industrial Equipment my livelihood.
But 12 years later, I'm still here and I wouldn't
trade it for the world. I started from the bottom
and worked my way up from the ground floor,
moving around to different departments and
really learning every facet of the business.
A huge part of my job is organization and documenting. Too often, I see
individuals working really hard all day
who don't document and measure what
they're doing. This makes it virtually
impossible for them to differentiate themselves with a quantifiable business case
for the future. I document everything so
that I can figure out what's working and
what's not and be able to point to the
solid evidence when it's time to improve.
What many companies don't realize is
that, as a hard assets-based business,
it's not necessarily about how much you
can sell or rent, it's about how much you
Generational diversity is one of the
biggest challenges I face day-to-day. As
technology and equipment commoditization evolve, we need to constantly keep
abreast of new, innovative ways to do
business and monetize the industry.
As the rate of change on these things
increases, it's sometimes difficult to
communicate the value of technology
to workers who may be set in their ways.
And if an employee won't embrace the
more efficient innovations, it makes them
less valuable to the company.
Prior to working in this role, I never
would have pictured myself as an educator. But leadership and coaching is a
large part of my job and professional
development is something that I'm very
passionate about. Without great leadership, employees can't effectively follow. Once direction and expectations
are effectively defined, employees need
continual coaching to ensure that they're
on the track to success. A failure to
achieve corporate and organizational
goals can be tied directly to ambiguous
direction and expectations as well as a
lack of coaching.
I honestly believe that if I hadn't
focused on and built a professional network early in my career, I wouldn't be
in the position I am today. Every opportunity I've ever had was a direct result
of networking. Professional social media
channels such as LinkedIn and even
Twitter have been instrumental to my
success. At the end of the day, business
is about people and solving challenges
with a solution or product. Having a
growing network of people and organizations that can add value to you personally
and professionally is priceless.
The MHEDA Journal | First Quar ter 2 016
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - First Quarter, 2016
From the Desk of Liz Richards
MHEDA’S 2016 BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND MBOA
Ask Your Board
MHEDA University Calendar
MHEDA MEMBER PROFILE
WOMEN AT WORK
A POSITIVE 2016 IN STORE FOR MATERIAL HANDLING
Spotlight on Association News
Index of Advertisers by Product Category
The Last Word
The MHEDA Journal - First Quarter, 2016