February 3, 2023

Mentor Spotlight: So You've Been There, Too?

by Kenny Bridges and Jacki Lutz

YANG council member, Kenny Bridges, participated in this summer’s YANG Mentorship Pilot Program under the mentorship of Dwayne Myers, owner and managing partner, Dynamic Automotive. Dwayne spoke about his long history of active mentorship during our “What are the Shops Saying?” session at the YANG Leadership Conference earlier this year. Kenny had the chance to speak with Dwayne one-on-one to ask him a few more questions on leadership for this quarter’s mentorship spotlight.

Leading a team pulls you in many directions. Do you have any advice for new leaders to help them stay focused and organized?

Have a plan for your day. Try to stay on track so you can get your work done. Time management is a challenge for leaders and extremely difficult for new leaders. I have found having a list of duties scheduled out helps you be more efficient and allows you to get things done during the workday. It also helps to keep your work life from taking over your personal life.

What advice would you give a young leader to help them stay calm, cool and collected during challenging times or difficult conversations?

I coach every new leader we have and one thing I always tell them is to “never talk while you are mad.” You will always regret it. It's okay to address that there is an issue but wait to deal with it. You need to remove the emotions from the issue. If you are angry, you are now in their world. If you have a calm and cool head, you bring them into your world. 

When you promote from within your company, what skills or characteristics do you look for? 

It comes down to people. I look for the person that not only wants to better themselves but wants to help those around them. Someone that tries to help their peers is a good sign of a leader.

Why is dedicating time and energy to training the next generation so important to you?

It is the most important job we have. My business partner said from day one to always train your replacement. If you ever want to move up in an organization or be able to delegate duties, your need to have someone to replace you. Start training them before they need the skills. Investing in your team creates a great culture and it improves retention. Training and developing team members helps to grow the team and the organization.

Why should a young professional consider getting involved in a mentorship program?

Everyone should be a mentor and a mentee. I have a business coach that helps me grow as a leader. I try to pass on my skills to my team and others around me. It is the best way to learn and grow with some structure.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Don’t let other people control your happiness.

About section background | Auto Care Association

Mike Chung

is director, market intelligence at Auto Care Association. With more than a dozen years of experience in market research, Chung provides the industry with timely information on key factors and trends influencing the health of the automotive aftermarket to help businesses throughout the supply chain make better business decisions. Chung has earned degrees in chemical engineering, environmental health, and business administration. He can be reached at michael.chung@autocare.org.

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