Spread the ideas, not the virus: Support one another

Early on during the coronavirus stay-at-home order, I asked myself what I could do to help my fleet colleagues and my community. The first action I took was to comply with the order to stay at home. Just by doing this simple act I played a vital role in protecting the health, safety and well-being of my fellow Illinoisans. 

In thinking through what I could do to help the fleet industry something important, yet so simple struck me. We are a strong and resilient community and even more, what has always made me so incredibly proud is the willingness of people to help one another through the good times and bad.

When I thought even further, I realised that during these unprecedented times for our world, nation and fleet community, going back to the basics is what will bring us together and collectively make each of us stronger.  It’s that simple. Going back to the basics and seeing how an act of sharing, finding the right resources or advising is exactly the support we can lend to one another as we navigate our new normal. 

Sharing. I try to remain active across social media, but as people spend less time at the water cooler and more time on their actual computer, I realised that I can be a champion for those that I respect and admire across our industry. When I came across a video by fleet industry expert Mike Pitcher named "The coronavirus will test collective leadership skills like never before," I recognised the value in spreading this message further. This is a time when we all could use some additional tips for leading coolly and calmly in this environment. This simple share reinforced both my support for Mike and his best practices and paid his message forward to those across my own network who could be looking for some reassurance during these times.

Resources. During this time, the fleet community is very fortunate to have trade publications that are doing an excellent job in reporting on the coronavirus and how it is impacting the fleet industry. Further, we all must remain students to the trends and changes that shape our jobs now and in the future. With that said, last week I put my to-do list on pause and tuned in to a webinar by Automotive Fleet that provided advice and guidance from fleet subject matter experts from Merchants Fleet and LeasePlan USA. Topics covered include fleet best practices on vehicle sanitation, maintaining pool vehicles, should personal use vehicles still be allowed, customer interaction, and much more. This webinar was well attended, indicating that the professionals in our industry are in the front lines and really care about the well-being of people. We are blessed to have such a dedicated group of individuals calling in and the great leaders conducting the webinar. 

Advising. It goes without saying that we must be there for one another now more than ever. People are no longer travelling across the country or racing from conference to conference.  We must take the time to connect with one another. For those professionals with a long tenure in the industry, reach out to those who are up and coming. For those seeking counsel, I encourage you to make the ask and call up a mentor or colleague who can help you.

During the second week of the stay-at-home order, I was able to help a colleague on a global RFP project. Having just completed one myself, I was able to share key learnings and offered advice on how to navigate some of her challenges. After our call this colleague sent me an email expressing her appreciation and she also indicated the topics we discussed were very helpful to her when she was at a roadblock on how to move forward.

There is no denying that businesses across our country will be challenged, the fleet industry will see and feel this impact and people may find themselves out of work and seeking a new role. I ask that during these times, come together. Help one another, provide leads to people looking, check in on them and work your network on their behalf.  

In a time where our worlds have turned upside down, remember the basics. Support one another, connect, share and ultimately, be a community that takes care of one another. That is the community we have built and the community that will stay strong no matter what the hurdles. I would expect nothing less from my colleagues and partners in fleet. 

Stay healthy.

Author: John Dmochowsky, Global Fleet Manager, Mondelez International and 2019 European Safety Fleet Manager of the Year

With the Blog 'Spread the ideas, not the virus' we aim to support the fleet & mobility industry at times of the global spread of the coronavirus. We give the opportunity to our community to express their opinion, their ideas, their support in the format of a letter of max. 500 words to our community. It’s your personal insight to share with your peers and partners in the industry. Send your letter to Steven Schoefs, sschoefs@nexuscommunication.be