By Marty Hollingshead
Often, there can be a chasm in setting a growth goal and the ability to achieve it. This can be a frustrating place to be. For auto recyclers who find themselves here, ARA has a program for you. Back at the 75th Annual Convention in November of 2018, ARA launched the Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program. It was the idea of RD Hopper during his year as president of ARA, and it was his vision to bring together some of the best operators to act as mentors to those that were in need of help. His focus was to mentor those that were new to the industry, those that may be struggling, and those that simply wanted to become better at what they do.
The ARA Executive Committee all quickly got on board with the initiative, with the goal to improve our industry, one recycler at a time. Our simple approach is to focus on the three P’s: People, Process, and Product. We emphasize the proper fundamentals such as not taking the easy way out, doing things the right way the first time, and using a ladder approach that over time, and small accomplishments lead to big things.
Three years later, ARA has put together a team composed of some of the industry’s leading recyclers to serve in the role of mentors. Now, we are even looking to grow this into an International Program.
In order to meet our aggressive goals, we need help! We are looking for additional mentors who are ready to give back in time and talent to the industry.
What’s the Deal?
What’s the catch? Well, there isn’t one. It program is a benefit of ARA membership. This mentoring program has a “big picture” focus with a “getting back to the basics” approach, and an emphasis on consistency and the importance of proper execution of fundamentals. If this resonates with you, please consider being a part of the program.
For each new mentee, our focus this year is 7 steps to success, with 7 tasks each to perform. These tasks will be tailored to the needs of the individual mentee.
Rewards for the Efforts Made
One thing we want to emphasize: This isn’t just for fun. Rewarding, absolutely – but there is work involved. Whether you wish to become a mentor or a mentee, you have to realize that this is a serious program and with a clear commitment. All involved will have to hold up their end of the agreement between each mentor and mentee to succeed. This will require hard work and an honest effort from all involved.
If you are not willing to invest the time and work required, this program is not for you. But, if you are willing to invest the time and work hard, this program will definitely be of benefit to you. What makes this industry different from many others is that even though we are competitors, we are always willing to help one another.
For those applying as mentors, we are looking for the best of the best. With this being said, these folks are also the busiest with the most on their plate. The sacrifices of their time, work, and other investments made to help others really demonstrates what great folks our mentors are, and why they have achieved a high level of success. I believe this is a great program – maybe one of the best benefits ARA has to offer.
Mentor Point of View
On a personal note, I am proud of all of the folks that are a part of this. Change can be difficult and overwhelming at times. The best approach is to first realize the need for change, then to accept and embrace it. Challenges can be opportunity in disguise, it’s all about how you look at it. These two quotes that sum up this program well.
From RD Hopper, Sonny’s Auto Salvage in Jacksonville, Arkansas:
“If we can save just one recycler, this program will be a success. … This is a transitional and trying time in this industry. These mentors have shown me that those who are willing to adapt and improve their businesses and processes will survive. I am grateful for those that have asked for help to improve, and for those volunteering to be mentors. They both have inspired me to do the same.”
From Lawrie Beecham, Jeeepart Recyclers, Hervey Bay Queensland, Australia: “Every person owes time and money to the industry to which they are engaged. No one has a moral right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions within his sphere.”
Martin “Marty” Hollingshead is President of Northlake Auto Recyclers, Hammond, IN, and is the First Vice President of the Automotive Recyclers Association.