American Towman Magazine - September 2022

Page 12

Tow Manager

Building a solid team of tow operators includes identifying those that are open to advancement.

Dream Team Building A Better Group of Operators By Brian J Riker Brian J. Riker is a third-generation towman, with 26 years of experience in the ditch as a tow operator, and president of Fleet Compliance Solutions. He specializes in helping navigate the complex world of federal and state transportation regulatory compliance. He can be reached at


ou want the best possible team, a competent, efficient and safe group of skilled tow operators. Yet it’s a struggle just to fill open positions—what might you be doing wrong? Anyone in ownership or management has asked themselves that very question, maybe even a few times. It’s not an easy question to address, but the answers are well worth taking the time to find them. First off, a great team doesn’t just happen by accident. Many hours of hard work, sacrifice and intentions are what’s needed to help you find, create and refine the ideal mix of personalities and skills for your dream team. Where most of us fail is in trying to rush the end result. There’s simply no substitute for taking the time needed to develop and nurture the work relationships necessary to create success.


Let’s be frank: How many of you have rushed the hiring process just to fill a seat? 12 • September 2022 |

And then realized they’re really not qualified for the job. On the other hand, you hire a seasoned and experienced professional, only to find out that even though their technical abilities are excellent, their people skills are abysmal? Or what about keeping high performers on the payroll for their productivity, even when they create a toxic culture? None of these scenarios will result in long term success, yet many of us have— or still do—these things daily. The first area we need to address as leaders is our own presence. Do we model the behaviors we want our team to exhibit, or do we follow the “Do as I say, not as I do” leadership style? We must show— not just tell—our team how we expect them to behave every day. Otherwise our words will be merely that, words without any weight when we speak to our “culture.” As with children, more is caught than taught, meaning your team will model what they see you allow. Whether it’s showing up late, not obeying safety policies, or being rude