As part of a series on leadership, we asked the executives of Toyota Material Handling what advice they have for aspiring leaders in the material handling industry. This week, we feature Dan Kossow, the Director of TMH’s Big Truck Group.
Advice to 25-year-old self: “As a young person, I recall many people telling me to follow my dreams. As a 6-foot-4 basketball fan from Chicago, there was always that interest in trying to ‘Be Like Mike.’ Fortunately along the way, I heard another phrase — ‘Follow your efforts’ — which helped me learn that focusing on what your skills and talents actually are provide a much better opportunity for success. You will find that the things you do best are often the things you enjoy most.”
Leadership Advice: “We are a curious species and you will find that many questions will be asked of you throughout life. I have found that leading with honesty is critical to earning trust. It’s rare that the honest answer is the easy answer. Being a leader comes with great benefits, while also harboring significant responsibilities. Be intentional and be honest, first with yourself and then with all that you interact with.”
Quote to Note: A college professor, turned mentor, turned friend told a classroom full of students:
“If you think you are the smartest person in the room, leave the room as you are not providing any value.’ At the time, these were tough words to hear. As I have evolved and grown in my career, I have truly come to appreciate this philosophy. The ability to listen, learn, and improve is critical to becoming a leader.”