Complacency Isn’t the Key to a Successful Truck Driving Career

February 1, 2017, 10:18 am, Published by | Categorized in:

As a service-providing company, we have many goals and values that we strive to meet and continually improve upon. One of the most important values is responsiveness – to react quickly and positively.

But that dictionary definition doesn’t accurately describe how ITS works to be responsive, for both our employees and our customers. We take it farther and aim for greatness.

The ITS value statement on responsiveness is this: “Our purpose is to serve, and we respond when called to serve. If you wait, you are going to miss the opportunity.” We realize that’s a pretty broad statement, but we know that the definition of responsiveness can’t be put in a box. The real meaning simply evolves as we evolve as a business.

As your truck driving career progresses, you should be asking yourself if you’re evolving. Are you learning from past mistakes, making changes, and growing? Are you personally developing as a vital member of your company’s team?

If you answered “no” to those questions – or even if you hesitated a bit – your responsiveness may be weakening. But instead of worrying, take a step back and use this as an opportunity to reevaluate yourself. It might be hard to admit, but everyone and everything requires maintenance, and this is your chance to grease the wheel and try something new.

As I’ve matured, I’ve started to think more regularly about how I work to improve my responsiveness and find motivation in my daily tasks for renewed inspiration in my role in the transportation industry. These tips could make all the difference between complacency and greatness.

  1. Keep your emotions low.
    • High emotions create unease between you and the other members of your team. Unease clouds the objective at hand, and your team loses focus. When this happens, the objective – the most important thing – is lost, and so is responsiveness.
    • Your fellow team members could misinterpret your emotion and refuse to be responsive to even the simplest tasks for which you require assistance.
    • While emotions can accelerate responsiveness, they can also kill it. Be careful and make sure that expressed emotion is always positive. Even if that means acting.
  • Willingly accept new challenges.
    • If we’re not challenged regularly, our responsiveness can grow weak. But remember that new challenges should be achievable and realistic.
    • Keep up to date with what your team members are doing. This will help you understand real areas for improvement, which always comes with a renewed sense of responsiveness.
    • Be sure you understand the benefits of a new challenge. If you don’t, always ask. It’s easier to be responsive if you have a perceived benefit in mind.
  • Beware of command and control.
    • Too much command and control without communication of the principle can leave negative impressions on your team. It can suggest you and your team has lost a sense of what it means to be responsive. As a professional driver or support member being responsive highlights nearly every task we undertake in our daily routine.
    • Command and control can kill personal initiative, which is needed to fuel responsiveness.
    • Affirm to your friends and fellow workers that you are aware of their responsiveness and that you know they care as much as you do about meeting the objectives of the day.

Let your first act of renewed responsiveness be for you, and for others secondly. I think you’ll find that when your goal is self improvement, you, your company, and its customers will benefit.

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About This Author:

This post was written by James Eaton

James Eaton is the ITS National Account manager, and he has 28 years in with the company. He started his career as a driver and worked his way up through the ranks, so he possesses experience in a multitude of areas, including materials handling, warehouse management, load planning and logistics, supply chain management, and customer service. James believes that being willing to help at any time is how people can show they care. He’s driven by the idea of providing service to the company before self, and he believes in fully honoring commitments.