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Leaders on Leadership: Tracy Stachniak

Posted: March 28, 2023
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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 TMH Director of Human Resources and Training and Development Tracy Stachniak.

Advice to 25-year-old self: “Never stop learning. I once heard a phrase ‘The more you learn, the less you know’. There is so much truth in this. It is easy early in your career to feel you’ve learned what you need to know to be successful, but nothing can be further from the truth. Take every opportunity to expose yourself to new things and listen and learn from others. Never pass up an opportunity to take on a professional challenge — that’s when the learning and growth happens.”


Leadership Thoughts: “Culture and leadership are inextricably linked, and strong leadership starts with culture. It’s about how leaders interact, make decisions, and influence others. Leaders’ beliefs shape decision-making and behavior, and these repeated behaviors become leadership practices. Be mindful of the little things you do that shape the culture around you because these “little things” can have a big impact on the culture you create for your organization.


“If you want to grow as a leader, start by building trust in your relationships. The capacity for trust – both to trust others and to inspire trust – is a fundamental character trait every leader should possess. You can have a compelling vision, a rock-solid strategy, excellent communication skills, innovative insight, and a skilled team, but if people don’t trust you, you will never get the results you want. Trust is all about relationships, and relationships are best built by establishing genuine connections. Ask questions, listen, and above all, show gratitude – it’s the primary trait of truly talented connectors.


“One of the most important decisions you’ll ever make as a leader is who you surround yourself with. Bring top talent into your team, and you’ll be amazed by what they can do. Give them opportunities to grow and develop, so they too can become future leaders. Not only will you be setting your organization up for success, but you will build lasting relationships along the way.”


Quote to Note: “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” – Ronald Reagan

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