Leading the Way

NACS Leadership for Success program participants share their project results.

November 08, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Each year, leaders from across the industry attend the NACS Leadership for Success program to develop their skills as a leader, learn from industry peers and discover personal strengths. The week-long program aims to arm its participants with practical skills they can use immediately on the job to improve their leadership and operational performance.

At the end of the program, attendees leave with a work project they must complete over the next six months. They also leave as a member of a small group of fellow attendees, and they are expected to communicate with the team their project’s progress and any obstacles or triumphs they come across during the period.

After six months, the attendees present the results of their projects during an education session at the NACS Show. The 2019 Leadership for Success Report Out session featured four different teams, each consisting of three to five members, with each member reporting on his or her individual project.

Each team found a common theme to their projects and came up with their team name accordingly. For example, team “Service Stars” strived to create a higher level of service for their customers.

“We’re in business for our customers, and if we can get this right, we can guarantee success,” said Tony Marino, territory manager at R.H. Foster and member of Team Service Stars.

The Service Stars’ projects included revamping a training program, increasing in-stock merchandise for customers, increasing beer sales and better promoting a customer loyalty card. Each team member experienced successes, which they attributed to skills they learned during the Leadership for Success program, such as the leadership style assessment they took at the outset.

“Through DISC training, I was successfully able to communicate with others for a successful outcome,” said TJ Tellez, store manager for the Robinson Oil Corporation. Because of the assessment, Tellez was able to better understand his own leadership style and how he communicates, as well as other communication styles and how to best communicate with them.

The “Missing Links” team theme was identified through each team member’s project, which was finding the “missing link” to a successful store.

Elisa Williams’ project focused on the missing link in her stores, which was team member engagement. Williams, an area manager with Double Quick, aimed to reduce turnover and develop her employees’ people skills by establishing pre-shift huddles, one-on-one counseling and coaching, and training.

“A properly trained team member can become a good team motivator and grow with the company,” said Williams, who developed a training method for her store managers to implement. Williams saw a lot of improvements from her store managers and their teams.

“They’re more engaged,” she said.

Overall, each participant in the Leadership for Success program saw improvement in their jobs, either through a direct result from the project, or by utilizing the skills they learned during the program.

“This class was instrumental […] for me. To take those lessons learned and apply them in store was key,” said Pat Schappell, district manager at Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores. “I never would have gotten the results [I did] without NACS.”

Unlock your potential in 2020

NACS Leadership for Success is designed for district managers, supervisors and other convenience store retailers to raise their game and improve their leadership and operational performance.

Participants, who have been chosen by their companies, work on skills they can immediately use on the job, including:

• Increasing their understanding of how their actions affect their personal effectiveness
• Discovering how they work with others as well as how they are perceived by colleagues
• Defining a vision of their ideal leader-self
• Mastering tools to improve their leadership effectiveness and building better relationships
• Charting a course of action to apply what they have learned and to become the leader they want to be

The 2020 Leadership for Success program, endowed by The Hershey Co., will be held April 19–24 at Virginia Crossings Hotel and Conference Center in Glen Allen, Virginia. Click here for more information and to register.