For-site, Hind-site and 2020

For-site, Hind-site and 2020

Living in Canada during the COVID-19 crisis has been mostly a positive experience. Though there are many areas of hardship and obstacles our country has retained its civility through patience. As a country we have pulled together to overcome several conflicts already this year (and we are only half way through it). Maybe hind-site isn’t as desirable as we all once thought.

However, the trucking industry has proven to be more than just an essential service. It has shown itself to be filled with many of the most trustworthy and integrity filled members. Leaders in our industry cannot build great companies without embracing principles of honor.

While spending more time than normal at home I’ve been doing a lot of research and reading. The primary focus has been on the relationship between : business and character. I do not believe a successful business can be built and sustained without integrity. There definitely can be short term gain in the realm of cheats and corner-cutters, but they cannot be maintained… especially in today’s digital environment. The more digital business becomes the more transparent each persons actions are made. Our futures are built on our ability to build trust in our products and services. If customers don’t trust us, they will leave.

In the last couple years many of our industries greatest men of integrity have passed on. Men who started with one truck and a passion to please their customer. They sacrificed and served with integrity and honor. Their legacies glow in the carriers they built. They could not have built it without a sound reputation for integrity and fairness. Without exception they all went through furnaces of crisis, not knowing if they would or could survive. When they did survive they realized it was because of their employees and customers trusting them. All service businesses are built on people and people need to trust those around them. Our industries greatest men knew that integrity was the foundation of building a great company. Those who took over their work run on the fuel of those before them, sooner or later they need to prove their integrity. If they know what they are doing (and most do), they will continue in the founders ways.

The challenges of 2020 may have been sinister to the economy but as I see it, it did not touch the resolve of our industries collective integrity. I have spoken and counseled many individuals (operators) through a series of compounding crisis’ this year and I have been encouraged tremendously that we have an overwhelming number of honest, hard working people of integrity. In my opinion our future is not in question when we have so many members who have been tried by fire and come out clean in the end. Those who have embraced integrity have an awesome future potential. We should be so lucky as to work for them.

Though we may have said good buy to some very influential and courageous talent in the last few years, I think we have a great future with some amazing industry leaders coming up the latter of prominence. As long as they stay true to the values that are getting them ahead today, they will be beacons of wise direction for our industries future. It’s amazing what a good crisis will do to an honest business and industry.

Robert Scheper

Robert D Scheper has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and is the author of two books, “Making Your Miles Count: Taxes, Taxes, Taxes” and "Making Your Miles Count: Choosing a Trucking Company".

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