Kickin' Keynotes
Three Messages Deliver Challenge & Inspiration
This year, the ARA 70th Annual Convention and Expo showcased three dynamic keynote speakers, from former congressman, J.D. Hayworth to best-selling author Scott Blanchard, and not forgetting Garry Ridge, the President and CEO of WD-40 Company. They touched on subjects that are important to auto recyclers, such as establishing legislative relationships, and building the best team of people you can.

“The ‘Recovering’ Congressman’s Guide to Survival on Capitol Hill: What Real World Business Professionals Need to Know About the Fantasy World of Washington D.C.” was the aptly named session by former Congressman J.D. Hayworth. He gave recyclers an insider’s view on how to best present your business and get the legislative results you want as he delivered the keynote speech on the Friday morning of the convention. Hayworth was part of the “Class of ‘94,” which gave Republicans their first House majority in forty years. He served in the GOP Leadership during his freshman term and as a Deputy Whip for ten years. He also served three years as Chairman of the “Conservative Opportunity Society,” founded by Jack Kemp and Newt Gingrich.

Hayworth’s career led him to broadcasting to collaborate on the communications strategy within the House Republican Conference, which made him a frequent guest on national radio and television broadcasts during his days in Congress.

“Any legislator at any level of government has an obligation to listen to you and as their constituents they should give you their consideration,” said Hayworth. “It’s vitally important for you to understand that no one can convey your message, in your walk of life, the same way you do. The most important thing you need to do is to talk to your legislators, and councilmen at the town and state level.”

He stressed that when it comes to public policy and the essence of staying in business, that there is value in trying to get together with other recyclers to collaborate on public policy. He also advised recyclers that when it comes to getting a better response from their visits to Congressmen, they would find the House of Representatives the most responsive since they are up for re-election every two years. 

“It is vitally important that you talk face to face to your member of Congress on the Hill and at home,” said Hayworth. “It’s important that you go to the Hill and see how it works. When I was in Congress, if someone came all the way from home to Washington D.C., I had a rule of thumb that I’d leave a meeting to meet them and say a few words. You must remember that you are a constituent and I would heartily recommend going to D.C. with your family and seeing your elected Congressmen and holding them accountable.”

And for any of you auto recyclers who have political aspirations, Hayworth encourages you to get actively involved in politics.

“I challenge some of you recyclers out there to run for office because you can bring what works in your business to Congress,” said Hayworth. “Congress needs to be continually replenished with people from the real world bringing their expertise to the House of Representatives.”

Helping People Win at Work and Cultivating Employee Work Passion – Garry Ridge & Scott Blanchard respectively. These two keynote sessions gave attendees dynamic tips on how to inspire their employees and how to become a better boss. Garry Ridge, the President and CEO of world renowned company WD-40 met Ken Blanchard, presenter Scott Blanchard’s father, and the management expert and co-author of the “The One Minute Manager,” the management bestselling book when Ridge attended the University of San Diego almost 20 years ago.

The two became friends and co-authored “Helping People Win At Work” which explains how WD-40 used Blanchard’s techniques and achieved unprecedented levels of employee engagement and commitment. In “Helping People Win at Work” Ridge shared the company philosophy that WD-40 embraces and the reasons why it has been so successful at creating a culture of honor and employee engagement.

He explained that they do not have company and employees, rather they have a tribe and tribal members. They strive to create a place where employees or tribe members feel that they belong.

“The three things that I think are necessary for any organization are people, products and passion,” said Ridge. “We are responsible for creating passion in people by helping them to do meaningful work. As leaders we have no right to mess with others’ lives and many leaders have been driven by hubris and greed instead of caring for their employees. Most people leave an organization because the boss hasn’t treated them nicely and they haven’t felt like they belonged.”

Blanchard in his keynote session delved further into the importance of having motivated and happy employees and what it costs your business to invest in doing so. “Engaged employees are safer, hard-working, and treat your money like it’s their own money,” said Blanchard. “People don’t quit companies, they quit managers.”

Watch future issues of Automotive Recycling for articles on leadership based on these philosophies!

Click to download the full January/February 2014 issue in PDF format

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