Today on the show, our guest is Nate Iglienski. Nate is a husband of 16 years, father of five beautiful children, and Service & Parts Field Operations Manager at FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. He is an energetic and personable business professional with more than 24 years experience in the Automotive Industry (mainly within the Sales, Service and Parts disciplines).
After completing an undergraduate degree in Business Management at the University of Tennessee in 1998, he capitalized his four-year work experience for Chrysler Corporation in the Memphis MOPAR Parts Distribution Center and was interviewed for a full time position to become a District Manager. After a quick six-week stint in a per-diem state in the Pittsburgh Zone, he was hired full time on July 20, 1998 just months before Chrysler Corporation “merged” with Daimler-Benz to form the new DaimlerChrysler Motors
After earning his Graduate degree of Global Management at the University of Phoenix, eight move transfers and job changes within the Sales & Service Field organization and the Customer Care center, he had a unique viewpoint to witness the breakup of DaimlerChrysler, the rise and fall of Chrysler, LLC, the emergence of Chrysler Group, LLC after bankruptcy and the current transformation of FIAT Chrysler Automobiles, LLC (FCA US, LLC).
Although he has held positions of various leadership roles, he was afforded the opportunity to lead a group of employees starting in 2009 which grew into then moving to Phoenix, Arizona to assist in the creation of a new West Business Center territory and lead Tech Advisors.
After successfully launching and establishing the base for a customer centric culture, FCA moved his family to Denver, Colorado as the MOPAR Field Operations Manager for the Denver Business Center managing 18 Area Managers within 11 states covering 309 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram & FIAT franchised dealerships responsible for the MOPAR part sales revenue of $337M.
In this episode, we talk about the life-changing event that greatly impacted his leadership style, trust and transparency, individual versus team performance and mentorship.
Click the play button below to listen to the episode!
Where His Leadership Drive Comes From
Even going back when Nate was a kid, he always took the high road of not getting involved until something finally pushes him and he realizes that he has to get involved NOW.
“If there’s one thing that would drive me as a leader, that’s waking up every day and saying, “What can I do to change the culture better?”
They could be small things; they could be big things. But what’s one thing I can do to change the culture better?
It could be just a person – what can I do to help somebody out?
My Catholic faith has a lot to do with that as well.”
Trust and Transparency as a Leadership Style
Part of that transparency is that I can’t communicate everything to them all the time as well, and I would tell them that.
I can’t do everything they’re doing on a daily basis, and I have to trust that they’re doing the right thing out there.
Even though on the front end of it the employee experience might feel good because we’ve done all these things on the back end, we use a lot of data to inform what we do going forward, and that’s what leaders have to do all the… Click To Tweet
How to Make Your Team More Cohesive
I asked Nate how he connects with his team. He answered me with a personal story that happened back in 2016. He thought things were running really well, and so he set up a behavioral training session with his team that focused on connecting as a team.
“I thought I had a pretty good team, and I found out that wasn’t the case.
One of my area managers said, ‘This is great, I love this training, and I know we’re supposed to be a team but I don’t think myself or anyone else feels like we are a team, because we’re ranked on all of our numbers, and then we’re ranked against all the other business centers. It’s an individual performance.’
That was an arrow to my heart, because I knew we had a really good team. But I also knew that I probably wasn’t doing everything I could be doing better to make our team cohesive.
So what did I do to reconnect?
First, I asked questions. Right there and then, I pulled him off to the side to find out more where he was coming from.
What I did in the short-term was instead of having them perform individually, I grouped them into teams. I made it fun where we had the Denver Broncos versus the Minnesota Vikings, etc., and I grouped all those guys together and gave 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize to the teams out there.”
Creating a Mentorship Program
Throughout 2017 and going to 2018, I didn’t lose an employee – I retained them all. I think that’s one of the main reasonings for that is because we had launched a mentoring program that can really connect with those guys out there. Click To Tweet
What do I do to reconnect with the team? I travel with them. I have to. It’s a business – I don’t care how much technology we have; it’s still on a one-on-one basis and a personal relationship with each one of them. Click To Tweet
Connect with Nate on LinkedIn