Thomas Felbermair is a two-decade veteran of the auto industry who joined MINI in 2015. He currently oversees the MINI business in North and South America as vice president of MINI Region Americas.
We asked Thomas about the advantages of an executive running a company like a summer road trip.
Expect the unexpected: Much like a summer road trip, business leaders must plan in advance and expect the unexpected. Although drivers plan a route ahead of time, they must be flexible in terms of obstacles that come their way (detours, flat tires, etc.). So, too, must business leaders. While they may have a strategic five-year business plan, the reality is that plans constantly change and leaders must anticipate any potential speed bumps.
Delegate responsibilities: One of the most essential parts of a road trip is delegating responsibilities. One person is the natural leader/driver, but there’s also someone typically in charge of navigation, for instance. The best business executives are those who surround themselves with people who are smarter than they are, to give them constant gut-checks and a different perspective.
Crisis plan: Despite the best-laid plans, a summer road trip can also end up in some sort of disaster, like an accident. That’s why it’s so critical to crisis-plan all of the vulnerabilities of your business in advance, so you can respond immediately and in the right way.