It’s a little bit exciting for us that you — the creator of the 100 Best Fleets — will be addressing our conference. Are you excited? Why?
One reason is that I’ve travelled to five different continents and I think the Australian people are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I’m also excited to be around people that are having personal and professional development; those are the kinds of people that I want to meet. And, also Caroline, I’m very excited about the program. It’s one of the best that I’ve seen in 30 years. The educational program combined with the networking that has been buit in is a perfect storm, where you can be learning and then sharing the learning. It’s a tremendous educational program.
Have you ever been involved in consulting on any Australian fleets?
I’m not a consultant per se anymore. What I do is I go around the world looking for the best fleet managers. I’m a talent scout. Once I find these exceptional people I bring out the best in them. That’s what the 100 Best Fleets contest does; it brings out the best in these fleet managers.
Your biography says you have worked with more than 3,500 fleets over 30 years. Can you tell us how this point in time in fleet management is characterised, compared with past decades?
I can sum it up in one word — technology. The difference between now and 10 years ago is technology. An example of that is in LA County. They had seven people running the motor pool and now they have a fob — a keyless key. That’s one great example of how technology is changing the world. Another one is from the City of Sacramento. It is taking food waste and turning it into fuel that they use for their trucks.
You have published a book The Seven Qualities of the 100 Best Fleets in North America. For those of us who haven’t read your book, can you list for us the qualities of the best fleet managers?
1) They are high trust leaders.
2) They are proactive, and an example of that is the people who go to this conference. They are proactive and that’s important. There’s a book written about 600 leaders and the quality they all had in common is they were proactive.
3) They are creative and they are innovative.
4) They are excellent in their use of technology, and in embracing technology. There’s only two ways you can do more with less, which is what fleet managers have to do, and one of those ways is with technology.
5) They have accountability to themselves and to their employees.
6) They have acknowledgement of employees and this is the number one reason that people work – for recognition. It’s not money, it’s recognition and recognition costs zero dollars.
7) They are influencers. That means they are able to express themselves to officials and to employees, and they have to get buy in for change.
Will you be bringing copies of the book to sell to IPWEA fleet conference delegates, so they can get the full story?
Well that’s a good idea and I’m working on making sure the books will be available to delegates. Why the books are valuable is that with those seven qualities we just went through, there are tools in the book to get those qualities.
You must have so many stories to tell, but what is going to be the theme of your address at the IPWEA fleet conference in Brisbane?
The essence of the presentation is continuous improvement.
Why do you think attending a fleet conference is a good idea for fleet managers?
First of all by going to these conferences you get smarter quicker, and you do that by associating with other smart people. We only learn from the best and only the best go to these programs. You can shorten your learning curve with these educational sessions and the other networking sessions with other fleet managers. You’re building relationships and everything comes down to these relationships.