Have you ever thought of going back to school? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a student again? I used to. Then I realized that you don’t have to go anywhere, you can learn anywhere and anytime. I think that is one of my favourite things about the transportation industry. It is school. It is education – Everyday. In the last four months I’ve learned about behavioural modelling as it pertains to recruiting truck drivers. I’ve learned about positioning your company to win, with strategies that work. I’ve learned about how successful companies became successful. I’ve learned about health and wellness initiatives. I’ve learned about cargo misdirection and identity theft. I’ve learned all of this from within my industry. All of this ‘learning’ came from conferences and seminars put on by our industry for our industry. All of the topics I’ve mentioned are timely, informative and so practically usable in everything we do.
I used to dread being sent to seminars when I first started in the industry. Twenty years ago seminars were so dry and boring and didn’t have much substance to them. It was almost like you had to go to say you went. I didn’t really learn much. I suffered through unenthusiastic speakers who looked more tortured than I felt. I brought nothing of value back to my job and felt that I had wasted my time. Not today. In our age of instant information and abundance of it, I really feel that those putting on the seminars know they have to have value. They know that time is such a huge issue in our everyday schedules. The speakers are passionate, dynamic individuals that really know their stuff and how to convey it to you. I look forward to going now. I mean, twenty years ago I would never have had the opportunity to listen to a tri-athlete who tailored a program especially for truck drivers that gets them healthy and keeps them healthy while they are on the road for extended periods of time. I got to do that just last week. He was up on stage showing how to elevate your heart rate in your cab, or beside your rig in a few short seconds and telling of the benefit of doing so. He has helped hundreds of drivers lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle while driving. It was incredible.
Twenty years ago, I would not have had the opportunity to listen to a clinical psychologist explain how his behavioural modelling test can accurately assess whether or not someone is suited to drive. He delved into things such as what does it tell him about a person if their favourite colour is red (vibrant, outgoing, personable) or how you feel in a confined room with one glaring pin point of light (calm, panicked, scared) is indicative of how you feel about death! This is interesting and it engages you and you learn insight and application.
Twenty years ago I think I would be hard pressed to have a fleet owner sit on stage in a room full of competitors and map out their success and failures and explain what works for them now. Well, that happened last week too. At a seminar attended by fleet owners, owner operators, insurance folks and other allied trades, this fella was up there being candid and frank and honest. I learned that you can make mistakes and that you can have a rough time through a bad economy and still be successful by working smarter, not harder and leaning into your company and coming out on the other side. It was so great to be able to listen to this gentleman and say to yourself, “Yep, I can see myself doing that in that situation in the future”. Now that’s learning right there!
So do I ever think of going back to school? Yep, everyday….and I do!
By Lisa Arseneau