How a Tire Leadership 21 course can change your life

Northwood University Tire Leadership 21 students. | Image Credit: Northwood University

How a Tire Leadership 21 course can change your life

Northwood University’s intensive two-week Tire Leadership 21 course is transforming the careers of its alumni all over the U.S. So what is it all about and how can this course help you move up in the tire industry?

What is Tire Leadership 21?

Now in its third year, the Tire Leadership 21 course is a program run over two weeks (one each in Michigan and North Carolina) that teaches graduates better business, management and leadership skills. It was designed to develop the next generation of professionals who work in tire retail, commercial and retread environments and was created by a group of leading tire dealers (the Center for Tire and Service Education) and Northwood University.

The program covers a range of topics that are crucial to success in the tire industry, including business strategy, marketing and social media, industry trends, leadership, team and corporate culture, and problem resolution. Students are taught by lecturers from Northwood’s DeVos Graduate School of Management and subject-matter experts from within the tire industry. The program also includes top-level guest speakers, such as Continental Vice President Bill Caldwell, who spoke at the course last year.

What do graduates get out of a Tire Leadership 21 program?

“The big idea of this program is that tire dealer owners take the leaders of their business — in whatever capacity — and put them on the program so they develop a bigger world view of not only the tire industry, but also running a business,” said Brian Cruickshank, director of University of the Aftermarket at Northwood University.

“That’s been the overall benefit of this program: taking people who haven’t really been exposed to university-level business education and talking to them about things like strategy, finance and accounting.

“Seeing the big picture is one of the outcomes that we really want to reinforce. Attendees leave the program with a greater understanding of the industry and how their business fits into it. They’ll be able to understand some of the opportunities that are out there.

“We also study things like managing teams, developing culture — all of those things that are really important to running a business. We expose these folks to these concepts and they can take those back and immediately use them in their business.”

Cruickshank said one of the most important elements of the program — which is usually split over two separate one-week blocks in April and September — was that each student creates a unique business plan that delivers $25,000 in additional annual revenue or savings to their employers and is immediately put it into action.

Alumni Patrick Smith, of Matthews Tire, graduated top of his class last year and agreed Tire Leadership 21 had had a huge impact on his future career.

“Both the material presented and the faculty exceeded expectations,” he said. “I feel that I am better prepared for future responsibilities because of my Tire 21 experience. It’s a first-class program that focuses on the skills that are important to current and future business leaders.”

How do I get on board?

The Tire Leadership 21 program takes on about 18 students every year, from all around the U.S. as well as from Canada and some from overseas. It operates in much the same way as MBA classes, where lecturers act as facilitators and classes are a collaborative effort.

The next program runs over two compulsory sessions — November 9 to 16 at Northwood’s University of the Aftermarket in Midland, Michigan, and March 20 to 25, 2017, in Raleigh, North Carolina. It costs just shy of $6,000 (which includes everything apart from travel and lodging) but the program does have tire industry sponsors who donate scholarship funding to reduce each attendees’ tuition payment.

For more information and to register, please visit the university’s website or call 1-800-551-2882.

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