There isn’t a single trait that epitomizes a great global fleet manager; rather, it is a multitude of traits interacting with one another. Below are 10 of them:

1. Strategic vision. A great global fleet manager is a strategic thinker and visionary who has the ability to develop and communicate this vision. When advocating innovation, they must be able to clearly “see” future results and verbalize what the end state will look like. A great global fleet manager is long-term driven.

2. Goal-Oriented Fleet Management. Great global fleet managers are goal setters. They are goal-oriented in all aspects of fleet management and employ metrics to continually benchmark all initiatives. Great global fleet managers are committed to achieving specific results and manage with these results in mind. It is this results-orientation that pushes a great global fleet manager to be creative in addressing daunting challenges.

3. Leadership. A great global fleet manager is able to lead and coach not only the fleet team, but also multiple management levels. Being a fleet leader is more about serving than being served. A leader does not fear change. A great global fleet manager is committed to leadership by example and is able to inspire a team toward a common purpose or vision. In addition, they must possess a passion for success and understand they are a role model. A great global fleet manager values ideas, respects team member contributions, and creates a learning atmosphere within their organization that rewards individual accomplishment.

4. Collaborative. Great global fleet managers have the ability to collaborate with stakeholders and develop an internal value proposition that promotes continuous improvement. This includes the ability to elicit commitment from diverse business stakeholders, business partners, and personalities.

5. Diplomatic Skills. A great global fleet manager is a “diplomat.” Being a diplomat involves having tact and sensitivity when dealing with different cultural perspectives and business practices.

6. Innovative. Great global fleet managers are innovative and use out-of-the-box thinking to develop new ideas. Global fleet managers need to think beyond today into the future. They must be able to anticipate both challenges and opportunities, and be prepared to react to them accordingly. This requires a unique combination of analytical and conceptual abilities. Great global fleet managers implement innovative initiatives to drive cost out of fleet operations and establish metrics to monitor performance. These exemplary fleet managers rise above the level of simply managing day-to-day work. They are proactive and anticipate change.

7. Accountability. Great fleet managers must be accountable for the programs and policies put in place. They view their responsiblity as ensuring the success of the corporation. Great global fleet managers take their responsibilities very seriously. They create a culture that stresses accountability and lead by example.

8. Problem Solver. Great global fleet managers are resourceful. They take the initiative. They have superlative problem-solving skills, including the ability to find the root cause and solution.

9. Open-Minded. A great global fleet manager has strong industry knowledge, an open mind, and insightful analytical skills. They are open to new ideas from anywhere, which includes peers, suppliers, etc. It is critical to be open-minded because fleet is an ever-changing industry. You need to be willing to explore all service channels available in the industry. You must be open to new possibilities. This leads to innovative approaches in fleet management. However, open-minded doesn’t mean being open-headed. You must listen and entertain new ideas, but also temper such a practice and attitude with pragmatism, wisdom, and sensibility.

10. Agent of Change. This is the ability to challenge tradition when there is clear evidence that changing the way something has always been done will result in a positive results. A great global fleet manager must become an agent of change, always supporting their position with empirical data. They take the emotion out of the discussion and decision making and know their data backwards and forwards. Be prepared to speak and rationalize the change that you encourage. Be prepared to defend your position, and, most importantly, be prepared to show objectors the direct benefits to them and/or their organizations in making this change. Great global fleet managers who are agents of change continually strive to do better.

Let me know what you think.

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About the author
Mike Antich

Mike Antich

Former Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike Antich covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Global Fleet of Hal in 2022. He also won the Industry Icon Award, presented jointly by the IARA and NAAA industry associations.

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