Wendy Parker over at Overdrive.com has a great story about the driver shortage in a humorous format of a bedtime story.
The main point of her story however is anything but a laughing matter. She points out that while the industry is claiming to have a driver shortage, what is really happening is the big boys in the industry are churning through drivers so fast because they hire inexperienced drivers at low wages, neglect training, and don’t treat them well. Then they use their 100% driver-turnover as evidence of a driver shortage rather than taking an honest look at their own practices and their own contributions to their turnover rate.
There is a leadership cliché/quote that says, basically, that one cannot improve unless one accepts responsibility. Entrepreneur Gary Vanynerchuk says, “…You need to audit yourself.” And he’s right. But no one wants to accept responsibility. It’s much easier on the ego to shift blame and operate under the assumption that my actions are right and true and good.
What am I doing well? What is my company doing well? Where am I failing; where are we failing? What do we need to do to improve? These questions need to be asked by the big boys in the industry. These questions need to be asked by all of us no matter what industry we’re in.
Instead, and in the tradition of John D. Rockefeller (“Competition is a sin.”), the big boys cry out to their political allies and their media allies and exclaim that there is a driver shortage. And their friends help by writing bills that lower the driver age for CDLs. These actions don’t promote better service for Americans…or safer roads, they just help the big boys stay big and get bigger without addressing their shortcomings.
Thanks for reading.