Leadership and management skills are crucial in today’s maintenance sector, and speakers at this year’s NBAA Maintenance Management Conference (MMC) underscored that point.
While some technical subjects were on the agenda at the recent San Diego conference, the majority of the presentations were aimed at developing and fine-tuning management and leadership skills. Mick Harrison, who has more than 25 years of leadership and customer support experience in the FBO and MRO business, gave a presentation titled “Asset Management to Asset Leadership.” Harrison emphasized the importance of being a leader over being a boss and talked about how managing a team properly is the difference between success and failure.
“Branding yourself for success” was Connie Ghuman’s topic. Ghuman is a business etiquette and international protocol advisor who provides consulting services to executives and organizations. She discussed how an individual can develop strong brand identity to establish an edge in today’s competitive business environment.
“Just like your company has a brand, you have a personal brand that communicates to others your level of professionalism, values, trustworthiness and moral character,” she told the audience. “Studies show that one’s perceived quality of work is greatly influenced by factors other than job knowledge. We spend a great deal of time, effort and energy every day on our tasks at work. However, we don’t always pay attention to what we are communicating through our appearance, body language, tone of voice, attitude and level of professionalism, which are all contributors to our credibility and success at work.
“Our culture has become so casual that we often forego the respectful act of dressing well and practicing the basic elements of business etiquette that were once expected and required in the business world. Casual is appropriate at times, inappropriate at others. We all need to understand the level of formality a business situation calls for and be able to rise to the occasion,” she said.
Currently in its fifth year, the Maintenance Tracs program awarded 30 scholarships to maintenance students and technicians. Award recipients are able to attend model-specific courses at aircraft, engine and avionics training centers for free. Brad Townsend, chair of NBAA’s Maintenance Committee, emphasized that the conference reflects the long-term needs of the industry. “We’re most grateful for industry’s support. They make Tracs possible and the all important and appreciated vendor community seems satisfied with the work of the MCC subcommittee. They see this conference as the potential market place of the technical decision makers.”