Shawn Rhodes Delivers Keynote Presentation on Leading Through Crisis and Change

This morning, Shawn Rhodes, AED’s Keynote Speaker for the virtual Leadership Conference, kicked off the event with advice on how to lead during a crisis and change. Sentry Insurance, a company that offers commercial and personal insurance and is proud to work with policyholders and help them succeed, sponsored this session.

Over 270 participants tuned in to hear Rhodes discuss key topics that he described as “pivot points” in his session. Rhodes tailored his presentation based on the audience’s responses, getting to know the participants and asking for input with questions like:

Where in the equipment distributor industry do you work? 
Top answers: Executive Team, Product Support

If I could describe COVID-19’s effect on distributors in one-word, what would it be? 
Top answer: Challenging

If there was one area in the equipment distribution industry that we could achieve more than we currently are, that would be…? 
Top answer: Training

Rhodes continued to engage the audience with critical factors involved in running a successful business. He advised against sidestepping problems within your organization, as it typically only causes a company to face the same issue multiple times. He suggested to solve problems so they won’t arise again, even when a temporary fix may seem more convenient.

Seeking improvement is something Rhodes takes seriously in his own business. He recommended utilizing the “Rule of 5” where employees each bring five problems they have to a meeting and collaborate with others to find a solution. He mentioned this could be especially important to reflect on improvements that could have been made and whether a situation turned positive or negative. By allowing reflection from leadership positions all the way to entry-level employees, this technique opens up the conversation for positive change in your business.

Rhodes further discussed a point he learned from Bert Jacobs, CEO of Life is Good, from when he started his business: not keeping solutions a secret. By taking the time to share valuable knowledge and tips with others in your organization, the overall team can be high performing. Rhodes noted the difference between teams that are high performing versus simply having high performers: “teams that share everything see their dealerships rise above the others.”

Rhodes ended his presentation with a reflective statement that is certainly relevant to the times we face: “We have to make sure we manage change, instead of the changes of COVID-19 managing us.”

Rhodes provided access to his free 6-week course by texting “PIVOTING” to 44222.


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