Lisa Rafter is the CEO and Founder of STRIPES Leadership Program. She is the publisher of the Monitor magazine, the leading publication in the equipment finance industry. Lisa is also the owner and president of Molloy Associates, the executive search firm dedicated to serving the equipment finance and leasing industry. Lisa has been publishing in the financial services industries for over 25 years and also publishes ABF Journal, DealMaker Magazine, and Commercial Factor.
The COVID-19 pandemic, along with the subsequent shift to a hybrid workplace model has accelerated the demand for new leaders paired with new skill sets. The equipment finance industry is not spared from this trend. Lessons learned during this volatile era carried into the new normal include the need to embrace change and to be eager to learn.
Traditionally, the timeless test of true leadership has been the ability to anticipate uncertainty. Although uncertainty was increasing prior to the onset of the pandemic, leaders were tested and challenged all the same amidst the initial global shutdown and government lockdowns.
Now, as we embark on the new normal expedition, we look to our astute leaders for direction. So it’s more important than ever for our current and future leaders to be prepared to successfully navigate the tumultuous landscape and to anticipate and lead effectively through the uncertain.
Our industry, equipment finance, is at a crossroad that we all knew was coming! The leaders who got us to where we are today are still at the helm, but many are close to retirement. Thus, it’s time to get the next generation of leaders prepared to take equipment finance into the future. The future is upon us, it’s approaching with a vengeance, and it’s not going to wait until we’re ready. Our leaders need to be ready to embrace the future, confront innovation and disruption, and be change-makers.
“Our legacy as leaders is to ensure that we build strong foundations upon which our successors and next generation can learn, improve upon, and thrive to further evolve our organizations to the next level,” Vince Belcastro, Group Head of Syndication and Capital Markets at Element Fleet Management, said. “To this degree it is important that we develop and evolve the next generation of leadership to further succession planning.”
One June 28th, Monitor launched the Monitor Live+ 2-part livestream “Equipment Finance: Our People ARE Our Future”. This livestream discussed the development of the industry’s next generation of leaders and explored the unprecedented opportunities for innovation in our evolving world. During the livestream, livestream sponsor STRIPES Leadership Program polled the audience to get a pulse check on the current state of industry leadership. When asked if the industry is doing enough to develop its leaders, an overwhelming 98% of surveyed equipment finance professionals said this: “the industry can do more to develop its future leaders”.
Other key findings include:
When asked to rank how prepared the industry is for the future of equipment finance on a scale from one to five, one being very unprepared and five very prepared:
41% of respondents selected three.
When asked to rank the industry’s resistance to change on a scale from one to five, one being not resistant to change and five being very resistant to change,
41% of respondents selected three.
68% of respondents reported that their company does not have a formal leadership development program.
51% of respondents reported that they do not have a professional mentor at their company or within the equipment finance industry.
The survey results quantify industry chatter over the past decade as more and more leaders have begun their retirement journey. Succession is not designed to be a reactive process that takes place only after turnover occurs. Succession planning should be designed to future proof a business. The STRIPES Leadership Program is designed to future-proof an industry. STRIPES will launch in the fall of 2021 to cultivate enduring value for the future of the equipment finance industry. The 10-month, certificate granting program provides immersive training delivered by recognized industry leaders and best-in-class leadership experts, including a partnership with global management consultancy firm, Gap International, Inc.
STRIPES Leadership has set out on a mission to transform the equipment finance industry by attracting, challenging, and developing the best and brightest talent within the equipment finance industry. This mission prioritizes the goal to proactively groom successors for critical leadership roles and prepare their organizations and our industry for the future of equipment finance.
The pressure to change and adapt has been building for years. It’s time for the equipment finance industry to come together and grow our leaders to take our industry to places we could not otherwise go alone.
About the Author: Lisa Rafter is the CEO and Founder of STRIPES Leadership Program. She is the publisher of the Monitor magazine, the leading publication in the equipment finance industry. Lisa is also the owner and president of Molloy Associates, the executive search firm dedicated to serving the equipment finance and leasing industry. Lisa has been publishing in the financial services industries for over 25 years and also publishes ABF Journal, DealMaker Magazine, and Commercial Factor.
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