It’s no surprise that seasoned, veteran, skilled tile setters are getting older (like the rest of us) and many contractors who have run their companies for years are eyeing retirement. So how to keep your company – and the industry – running when it comes time to hand over the baton?
NTCA, working with Wally Adamchik of Firestarter Speaking and Consulting, has developed a program to guide, develop and support the next generation of leaders who are moving into positions of increased responsibility and impact in their companies.
It’s about a “deep dive into self-awareness to be a better leader while meeting and getting to know like-minded professionals in the tile world,” Adamchik explained.
Bart Bettiga, Executive Director of NTCA, explained the association has a focus on development of young leaders as one of its goal. “One of the most important strategic objectives the NTCA has identified is the recruitment and engagement of active participation for the next generation of leaders in the tile industry,” Bettiga said. “Our inaugural program, coordinated by Wally Adamchik of Firestarter Speaking and Consulting, has been very well received and we already have another group of people interested for our next session.
“We see this program as a way for our young leaders to get to know each other and learn and support one another,” he added. “We also view this as an opportunity for NTCA to foster engagement and participation with the next generation. We are really excited about this program!”
The first meeting of the NTCA Emerging Leaders Program took place February 1 at The International Surfaces Event (TISE) in Las Vegas. Firestarter’s Wally Adamchik guided the 16 participants – all under 40 – through the findings of their personal assessment DISC evaluation tool that revealed insights into personality and work style. The goal of this session was to deepen personal awareness of communication style and optimal ways to manage – and be managed – based on participant’s own tendencies as well as understanding those of employees they manage. Other tools were discussed – including journaling for self-awareness, the book True North: Leading Authentically in Today’s Workplace, Emerging Leader Edition – and best practices to get the most out of the program.
The group will meet virtually six times over the next few months, leading up to a live meeting at Coverings that will bring together all that has been taught and the peer relationships that have been built. Each virtual meeting will have a different topic and facilitator:
• Leadership vs. Management – Wally Adamchik
• Learning the difference between leading and managing.
• Coaching for Success – Ulli Munroe
• Understanding your coaching style and learning tools for elevating your team.
• Influencer/Relationships – Lanny Hass
• Using powerful influence strategies and skills to actually change behavior
• The Neuroscience of Leadership – Wally Adamchik
• Examining the power of habit and the challenge of goal setting.
• Servant Leadership – Joe Schneider
• The age of the heroic leader is over – learning how a servant leadership approach helps all team members succeed.
• Command Ready – Garthy Massey
• What the Marines can teach you about leadership
The second cohort of this educational program will commence at Total Solutions Plus 2023 and run through Coverings 2024.
Megan Giberti, Senior Manager of Pro Education for Floor & Decor, did a lot of research on the program to “really know what I was getting into,” she said. She appreciated the personalized testing of strengths and weaknesses and personality style. “It’s not a check the box leadership program.”
“There’s an aging demographic in the industry,” said Tim Kessler, of Landmark Tile & Stone. “We need leaders in the wings who are ready to go.”
“To be a good leader, you have to understand yourself first – and how people operate,” said Cody Cox, Cox Tile. He added that clear communication is a daily struggle. He’s eager to have his crews take the DISC evaluation as well for their benefit and to have a sense of how Cox operates as well.
Megan Garvey, Manager of Manufacturing and Marketing for Welch Tile, added, “I believe wholeheartedly in the tile industry and the fact that in order to move it forward, we have to shake things up a bit and energize and excite the next generation and upcoming generations. The best leaders are constantly learning and growing. I may not be a technical expert in the industry, but do believe I bring valuable assets to the table and want to consistently grow and develop myself.
“When I read about the Emerging Leaders program, I knew I wanted to be involved in some way,” she continued. “I’m excited to learn from the others and Wally and the Firestarter program to see not only what I can bring to Welch Tile, but to the NTCA and the industry as a whole.”
For more information, and to get details on the upcoming fall cohort, visit www.tile-assn.com and enter “Emerging Leaders” in the search bar.
Editorial Director and Senior Writer for TileLetter and TileLetter ARTISAN
Lesley Goddin has been writing and journaling since her first diary at age 11. Her journey has taken her through a career in publishing and publicity, landing her the editor position of TileLetter and its special publications in 2006. Her goal is to educate, inspire, recognize and encourage those in the tile industry -- especially the tile and stone contractor.