The ability to listen is an important trait in being successful, said Drew Linn, the HDT/American Truck Dealers 2013 Truck Dealer of the Year in his recent commencement address to ATD Dealer Academy graduates.
“Fellow employees and customers are going to come to you looking for solutions. How you respond to this will set the stage for your success," said Linn, president of Southland International Trucks in Homewood, Ala.
He also stressed that successful dealers need to be able to “imagine, be open to change and most importantly, be able to execute.”
"Listen, imagine and change are very powerful, but they have little value without execution," Linn added. “Winners are the ones that execute. You are all winners today. Now go get your diploma and create your destiny.”
The graduation ceremony, held at Westwood Country Club in McLean, Va., also included a dealer panel discussion with questions from the graduates on topics such as hiring good employees, doing business with next generation customers and OEM facility upgrade programs.
Jim Schoonover, director of the dealer academy, and Mike Kirby, class president, also provided remarks. The 26th ATD graduating class included 26 students from the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The students were required to complete six weeks of classroom instruction and 45 weeks of dealership training. The program began in June 2012.