Challenge Your Leadership Skills
SHOP STATS: Leith Volkswagen Cars Location: Raleigh, N.C. Operator: Linda Leith Average Monthly Car Count: 1200 Staff Size: 27 Shop Size: 4,500 sq ft; Years at the company;12 years
When a person with hearing loss joined Anthony Capps’ small service team of four, Capps used his downtime from work and learned American Sign Language (ASL). Capps did this so he and his team could communicate as effectively and efficiently as possible with his team. When the new team member joined, Capps worried that a dangerous situation might arise where he would have trouble communicating. So, he decided to learn ASL.
Three months later and Capps was able to communicate in small sentences with his coworker.
On most days, Capps spends his time as a technician and small team leader, trying to nonchalantly step in if problems arise with his team. Capps’ experience learning another language made him realize it takes the extra step to achieve your goals in the workplace.
"He has a steady work ethic,” Rusty Carter, Leith Volkswagen service manager says. “He’s not someone who ever seeks any limelight but he does his work quietly and is a person everyone goes to, to get help.”
Capps shares a few small steps that have helped him as a team leader.
1. Find Your Learning Style.
Learning new information is easier when Capps watches people work. He’s a visual learner. To work towards his master technician status, Capps would spend time watching his coworkers fix a car with new tools that came into the shop.
"Reading isn’t my strong suit but, when I watch it, I grasp it really well,” Capps says.
2. Sharpen Your Skills.
Throughout his 12 years in the industry, Capps frequently travels to a Volkswagen training center in Maryland.
Now, Capps will be awarded a ring from the Volkswagen Academy, which was confirmed in November. Capps’ manager will present the ring in honor of Capps’ work in quality control management and leadership.
In addition to finishing Volkswagen training, Capps has achieved master technician status. He was promoted to team leader of three other coworkers and thus gained not only more knowledge through his technician training, but learned to quickly relay his directions. Capps also makes sure to keep on top of changes to autonomous vehicle technology, as he feels this is where the industry is heading in the not too distant future.
3. Challenge Yourself.
Outside the workplace, Capps spends his time taking on new hobbies. He likes to gain more experience in the industry when he has free time and learn new skills. He taught himself how to weld. He spent two months after work converting a 1999 Volkswagen Jetta into a pickup truck.
In addition, Capps has spent time training in the art of pinstripes, a practice of painting thin, detailed stripes on a car that developed in the 1950s and 1960s. Capps follows the style of Von Dutch, an American artist and pinstriper, who added flourishes to his pinstripes. Capps’ latest project was decorating a toolbox with blue and white stripes, modeled after his boss’ refurbished car.