GOOD HELP HUNTING AND FOLLOWING THE CUSTOMER DISTRIBUTOR PERSPECTIVE TOM LEAHY SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, SUPPLIER RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPMENT, CONSTRUCTION SUPPLY GROUP “John Quincy Adams reportedly said; ‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.’ We need leadership in our homes, businesses, professional associations, communities and world. I would argue that leaders aren’t born, they are raised; through time, touchpoints and experiences. For most of us, our foundation of leadership raised came from our parents and home life. Attributes such as “doing the right things,” being thankful, honest and loyal are the moral compass points that parents instill in their young. “Time with mentors or positive (or negative) influencers in life is the next key to raising leadership. Who in your life has spent time; sharing teaching and coaching you? I have been fortunate to have had a number of positive touchpoints in my life. One was meeting Senator Barry Goldwater, who received me at his home instead of his office. What grace he demonstrated while making me feel an important part of his day; I was 18 years old. He certainly was a positive touchpoint on raising my leadership. “Raising leadership also needs experiences to provide perspective for future decision making. The more experiences you have, the better prepared you are. We often think of raising leadership as training, and it can be, however, it is more about spending time, sharing experiences and providing positive touchpoints. Are you raising leadership?” SUPPLIER PERSPECTIVE JOE SMITH PRESIDENT AND CEO, METABO POWER TOOLS NORTH AMERICA “Late last year, Metabo was acquired by Hitachi and since then we were both acquired by one of the world’s largest investment groups, KKR,” Smith says. “A lot of companies are pursuing acquisitions because you need a certain critical mass to compete with very large competitors. When you put Hitachi and Metabo together and include plans for organic and non-organic growth, we now have the ability to compete on a global scale.” Smith also sees the power tool segment accelerating, both in sales and into new markets. “In addition to the ongoing innovation in this segment, cordless is not just about traditional power tools anymore; companies are looking at the lifestyle of the end user and at products that can be developed for users who like to camp, hunt and fish, such as heated jackets, radios, fans and even ice augers. There will continue to be a proliferation of battery systems into other parts of the end user’s life.” “We see the power tool market expanding four to six percent annually for the near future, and that projection could end up being low. One reason for this is because the cordless category has not cannibalized corded tools — while cordless tool sales grew 12 percent last year, corded tool sales also grew three percent. Again, some of this is incremental growth because companies are putting cordless technology into new products that never had it before.” WHEN AND WHERE The distributor and supplier State of the Industry addresses will take place during the General Session, 8:30 - 11:00 a.m., Monday, Nov. 13 in the Austin Convention Center. The Session hall doors will open at 8:00 a.m. for seating.
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