The Leadership Spotlight continues this week with Thom Carlin. Thom’s position on Dave’s team, as our Shipping Leader, was gained from experiences that have included receiving and maintaining inventory for a local Nashville grocery chain; being responsible for everything relating to the mail room for a health care company; right up to finding himself in a marketing support position for a software company, located in Tennessee.
Since joining Dave’s Team in September of 2000, Thom has seen our team grow from 38 people to over 300. When Thom started, his team consisted of just himself. Today, his team has 2 additional people, and depending on the time of year, can also include 1 to 6 temporary helpers. He also coordinates with our fulfillment center that we are fortunate to have partnered with since 2005.
In Thom’s free time he enjoys traveling to Malibu, California. It is one of his favorite places to go because; as Thom says “The people who live there, treat you like you belong, until you take out a camera.” Thom also enjoys going to television tapings and Game shows. He was even fortunate enough to be a contestant on The Price is Right during Bob Barker’s last year as host, in 2006. Yep, if you need to find Thom, you can find him either in the shipping room, or hanging out in Malibu.
CLo: What is your role in leadership?
TC: Vice President, Director, Team Leader, Manager of Shipping – take your pick. I just like to stand by the motto, Shipping Happens. As long as it does, any title is fine.
CLo: What is the best advice you’ve ever received about leadership?
TC: That the solution is service. Serve your team, serve your customer and always create a win/win solution for all in doing so.
CLo: What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
TC: Hmmm? I would say taking time for my team and department. In my area, we get so busy serving and doing that it becomes difficult to step back and check to see that we are doing everything in the best way possible. Sometimes too, in being so busy, I can miss the signs that someone may be dealing with personal issues in their life, good or bad. So I strive each week to listen while at work and watch what is going on with my team. In doing so, it allows us to recognize and celebrate wins and offer encouragement when team members seem stressed. An added benefit: I’ve been able to identify problems and improve our processes to better serve our company.
CLo: How do you continue to improve yourself as a leader?
TC: Reading. I’m a big believer in reading, listening and making time to think each day.
CLo: How do you invest in others?
TC: By listening to what they are saying and seeing how the smallest of changes will allow them to take ownership of their work..
CLo: What was the last book you read?