From the opening remarks by Mike Miazga, VP of Sales and Operations at the American Supply Association, and Stephanie Cook, Committee Chair for the Emerging Leaders Conference, to the closing event by the Savannah Bananas, this event highlighted how crying in baseball (a Tom Hanks reference from the movie “A League Of Their Own”) is now also acceptable on the baseball diamond AND in the world of business 🙂
All jokes aside, there were LOTS of reinforcements supporting THE FACT that it’s also okay to be vulnerable, kind, and even shed a tear of sadness or to let tears of joy roll down your cheek in the world of business these days. In Hollywood movies, being sensitive has always been pitched as sexy and created blockbuster hits. However, in the boardroom, not so much.
Well, at ShowroomMarketing.com, we believe (and fully support) that the times are a-changin’, and our company cannot thank the ASA and the upwards of 200 awesome attendees for sharing their in-the-trenches wisdom about team dynamics, HR insights, sales strategies, eroding margins, how they’re coping with the supply chain and vendor relations, and much more during this action-packed 2-day event in the gorgeous city of Savannah, GA.
The first reason why this event was a game-changer is that it highlighted one of the top trends in the business world today: BEing heart-centered, endlessly understanding, and compassionate, and the speakers did a wonderful job at sharing how-to strategies for being as supportive as possible for those we have differences within the world.
There are lots of talented people out there to work with and bring aboard at your company.
However, IF these talented people DO NOT FEEL understood, appreciated, and free to express themselves and perform to the greatest (and worst) of their abilities, their employer and co-workers will never see or experience the best version of who they are or what they can contribute to the organization.
As Lindsey T.H. Jackson stated in the closing presentation, it’s okay to fail and to cry, AS LONG AS there is a mutual understanding that “failing forward” is the path being traveled by all.
Long story short, we’re all “in it to win it,” but not everybody is having their best day all the time!
The second reason this event rocked was because there was a record number of attendees who all came to Savannah realizing that they DO NOT know it all.
There seemed to be an undertone among the group that, “remaining open” to navigating today’s business landscape with an understanding that updating what our industry believes to be a best practice in business and in life is perfectly acceptable. Conversely, being a “know-it-all” has gotten old, and to some degree, WILL NOT BE TOLERATED at many organizations.
Although many of the operational principles that got our wonderful industry and all of the American Supply Association members where they are today will remain the same, lots of the methods, tactics, and practices that will propel us all forward are in “loading mode” as each generation embraces what success means in today’s world for the future eras of business at their own speed. #StayPatientEverybody #WeGotThis
To Make this transition as smooth as possible, we need to grant ourselves permission to give appropriate answers to scenarios we may not be comfortable with or have experience in solving time to reveal what’s best. We don’t need to ALLways have the ‘right’ answer all the time.
As Larry Levine said in his wonderful presentation about “Selling From The Heart,” writing or calling someone and telling them that you’re checking in, touching base, or following up simply isn’t enough anymore…
If we want to overturn the pathetic percentage that 92% of salespeople ARE NOT trustworthy, WE MUST LEAD with the #1 thing that connects the human race, our hearts!
And although it’s not “common practice,” to communicate in an overly emotional way most of the time, it’s imperative that we let our heart shine bright and sing loudly, and to also let our feelings lead when we communicate how much we care about the success of the people and organizations we want to work with and to share what it is we offer solutions for.
The third reason the EMERGING Leaders 2023 event was so wonderful is that so many of us collaborated in ways we hadn’t before.
There were lots of insider secrets being openly shared – in a non judgemental way, that will 100% be useful as the next generation transitions into leadership and into ownership roles.
Seeing first-hand how togetherness is happening in really unique and compelling ways was worth the price of admission alone. Since we’re a company of 20ish people, it was refreshing to speak with and bounce ideas off of some of the human resource experts in the room.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to those who helped one of our leaders, CEO, John Gosselin, hone in on effective strategies for getting our people recipe and company culture on point as we continue to do big things for companies of all shapes, sizes, and structures in the B2B and B2C world of distribution.
It’s refreshing to see how Independent wholesale and retail distribution businesses are powerfully walking in lock-step, with a goal of NOT LETTING any of the outside noise or companies with extra deep pockets take their eye off the prize of controlling more market share, operating more efficiently, and using their business as a powerful and unstoppable force in the communities they serve clientele to continue to accomplish amazing things….
If this year’s EMERGE event was any indication of what future American Supply Association gatherings will be like, count us in! Cheers to everybody who made this a special place to be.