Scott Humphrey has been in the flooring industry in various capacities now for 45 years, most recently serving as CEO of the WFCA. As the opening keynote speaker at this week’s Flooring Contractors Association (FCICA) spring virtual meeting, Humphrey spoke to the importance of being a good leader at all times—when business and times are good and in times of crisis and uncertainty, like we’ve experience over the past several months.
“In my mind, associations should be simple in their mindset,” said Humphrey. “We should look at the things that are causing heartache and headache and we should try to solve those things for our members and for the industry as a whole.”
That became very evident at the onset of the pandemic, he says. It was during this time WFCA took on the responsibility to serve as a leading voice during a time of uncertainty and crisis, distributing weekly updates on how COVID-19 was impacting the industry.
Along with WFCA, Humphrey praises the industry as a whole for stepping up to the plate and leading the charge in respective areas of business. “I’m proud of the industry as a whole. I’m proud to see manufacturers stepping up and creating PPE so that we had the personal protection that we needed; shutting down machinery, adapting and doing what was necessary to do our part, not just for our industry, but for our country and the world.”
The key to being a good leader, in both good times and not so good times, is as simple as looking around and within, Humphrey says.
Look back: Look back at your past and look back at the things you can learn from. “Especially over this last year. Many of us had crises and trials that we went through and those are opportunities to become strong, to learn and to invest in yourself. I challenge you to look back and glean what information you can from there.”
Humphrey also suggests looking back at past leaders who have had an impact on your life. “I’ve been blessed to have phenomenal leaders pour into me over my career, and I think about the lessons I’ve learned from them. Right now is a great time to look back at those lessons and reestablish them in my life so that I am established well and my foundation is firm for moving forward.”
Look inside: Evaluate who you are. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? A great way to find answers to those tough questions is by asking the people that work for you that will be honest with you, says Humphrey. “Have a brutally honest conversation where you say, ‘if I can improve in my leadership, what would you like to see me be better at? As you’ve watched me over the past year in crisis mode, what do you think we could have done better? And specifically, how could I have improve to have a greater positive impact on the team?’”
Look up: When you’re looking down, you’re limited to how far forward you can look. “It’s vitally important, to us as leaders that we are looking up; that we are constantly focused on what can make a difference,” says Humphrey. Those who excel in times of crisis are those that are willing to look up and take risks.
Invest in yourself: There’s an old saying that says all leaders are readers, and Humphrey says this might look like taking the time to read a book, going to a seminar or doing anything to make yourself more equip to lead, because “You can’t lead someone where you haven’t been. You’ve got to be up to par, you’ve got to be up-to-date on the latest that’s going on, so that you can have an impact on others.”