Q: Tell me about what you will be focusing on during your presentation during Manufacturing First?
A: I’m going to be focusing on next level leadership. Specifically, how leaders can elevate engagement to drive performance and navigate some of the incredible change that we are experiencing. This is all about leadership impact.
Q: Why does leadership need to transform within the manufacturing industry?
A: There are a couple of reasons. One, the customer population is changing and will be changing over the course of the next five years. When your customers evolve and their expectations shift, that creates a real need for leadership to step up and evolve accordingly.
Additionally, it is not just leadership expectations, but also our employee expectations are changing, too. I know that manufacturing is very healthy in Wisconsin and competing for talent is a very mission-critical priority. By 2020, millennials are going to be half of the U.S. workforce, and they have different needs and expectations, which will create a real paradigm shift in the way we need to approach leadership and managing people in the business. Those are just some of the key priorities we will focus on.
A: Some of the principals I will talk about are pretty universal: you are involved in business, you are leading teams, you are building relationships and taking care of customers, so it’s applicable among everyone. I tell some really engaging and relevant stories which provide very specific actionable content. People will walk out of there and hopefully have the ability to bridge the gap between what happens at the conference and immediately be able to take action in their business.
Q: How would you motivate people to join the manufacturing industry?
A: I think the idea about trying to attract people in manufacturing is to be able to have a clear and compelling employee value proposition. You have to answer that call, ‘what’s in it for me?’ because that’s what most potential candidates want to know.
Q: Since manufacturing is becoming more automated, How can someone be a more effective leader in manufacturing?
A: Automation and technology can accelerate leadership, so we need to embrace the role technology plays in evolving and driving our business forward. But at the same time, we need to maintain quality relationships and look for opportunities that have a significant impact on people. People want to have confidence in the future, so leadership should articulate a game plan for how the organization will handle this as we get closer to 2020. People also want to feel like they are contributing to something special and that they are a part of something larger than themselves. They want to be developed and work for an organization that continued to invest in involving their own skills and competencies. It’s a challenging time to be a leader, because the expectations and needs are changing, but there its also a time where leadership can have a significant impact on both the performance of the business and the lives of the employees of the organization.
Q: Is there anything you are looking forward to with this conference?
A: I’m looking forward to making an impact and absolutely looking forward to spending time with students and the next generation of leaders and employees in the manufacturing sector. I love talking to young people and providing them some insight and some impact as they navigate choices about the next phase of their lives. I’m also looking forward to this presentation to being the start of connections and relationships.
The Manufacturing First Expo & Conference is October 21-22 at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay. Estis will take the stage on October 22, at 8:00 a.m.