Jeff Pope 2013-03-08 06:10:06
Focusing on the next generation In this month’s issue of Supply House Times, you will notice a strong focus on the next generation of leaders in our industry. This goes to show just how important this topic is and will continue to be. John McNally’s young executives feature on Page 14 highlights up-and-coming leaders poised to make their marks on our industry, if they have not already done so. In addition, ASA News features a spotlight on the upcoming ASA Spring Forum, to be held May 20-22 in Kansas City, Mo. An important priority for any successful business, as well as for our industry as a whole, is to identify and connect the people who represent the next generation of leadership. Over the course of the last several years, ASA’s Young Executives Division has done a great job in doing exactly that. The Y.E. Division continues to focus on the development of necessary skills and the cultivation of key industry relationships that are critical for success. As a matter of fact, throughout the past five years we have redefined the Spring Forum program and can proudly say the Y. E.’s are one of the fastest-growing segments of ASA membership. As is the case in many industries, technology and the way we communicate has almost made face-to-face negotiation a lost art, especially among those in their 20s and 30s. The predominant use of email, texting and social media to communicate has even replaced the old standby phone call, which goes without saying has historically been a key negotiation component. This very topic will be addressed at the 2013 Spring Forum. As part of this year’s program, industrial distribution expert Mitch Harper’s Effective Negotiation Skills & Strategies session will provide program participants the opportunity to learn about common misconceptions of negotiation tactics, be part of role-playing negotiating exercises involving buying and selling and last but certainly not least, learn key concepts involving industrial negotiations. This is a great opportunity for the future leaders within your company to not only learn with their industry peers, but also build relationships with their colleagues across the industry. Over the years, tremendous friendships have developed among new and returning attendees of the Spring Forum program. While the program offers a great balance of learning, networking and fun in a tight timeframe, attendees historically arrive early and/or stay beyond the program dates to enjoy the camaraderie they have built with others within the industry. The inherent value the program provides in relationship building is invaluable. It is safe to say many of these relationships last entire careers and beyond. I strongly encourage each company owner to consider sending one or more of your up-and-coming leaders to the May event in Kansas City. Please visit the ASA homepage at www.asa.net for more information on registering and turn to ASA News on Page 28 of this issue for even more reasons why the 2013 Spring Forum is the “place to be.”
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