Leadership in Crisis: Navigating the UAW Strike

Leadership in Crisis: Navigating the UAW Strike

Watch the full video on YouTube - click here

In this solo episode, Jan Griffiths shifts her podcast's focus to address the ongoing UAW strike's impact on the automotive industry. She spotlights Shawn Fain, the UAW President, highlighting his transparent communication while critiquing certain negotiating tactics. Jan explores the importance of leadership traits displayed during the strike, such as transparency, clear communication, and personal connection. While she appreciates these qualities in Fain, she advocates for a more collaborative approach between the OEMs and the UAW. 

Jan emphasizes the critical need for Tier One leaders to adopt a coaching and nurturing approach with Tier Two suppliers, fostering trust and transparency amid industry challenges. Jan believes in the resilience of the automotive industry and its ability to weather this storm through authentic leadership. She commits to keeping listeners updated on the strike's progress and the complexities of restarting operations, encouraging all to step up as leaders and remain authentic in facing the uncertainties ahead.

Themes discussed in this episode:

  • UAW Strike and Automotive Industry Impact
  • Leadership Traits of Shawn Fain
  • Tier Two Supplier Relationships
  • Resilience and Authentic Leadership

Featured Guest: Jan Griffiths (Host)

What she does: Jan is the founder and CEO of Gravitas Detroit, an organization dedicated to cultivating authentic leadership in the automotive industry by providing courses, workshops, speaking events, and more. She is also the host of The Automotive Leaders Podcast.

On leadership: “We're resilient and tough, and we will survive. We know how to survive. This is a real test for us right now. It's a real test for our leadership. This is a time for authentic leadership to shine.”

Mentioned in this episode:

Episode Highlights:

[00:00:01] Shift in focus: The episode marks a departure from the podcast's usual content to address the UAW strike and its implications for the automotive industry.

[00:02:22] Shawn Fain's leadership: Jan Griffiths discusses the leadership qualities displayed by Shawn Fain, the President of the UAW, during the strike. She acknowledges his transparent communication but criticizes certain bullying tactics.

[00:08:13] Tier two supplier vulnerability: The fragility of the tier two supply base is emphasized, particularly in the face of plant shutdowns caused by the strike. Jan stresses the importance of Tier One leaders adopting a coaching and nurturing approach with their Tier Two suppliers.

[00:09:53] Need for collaboration: The episode advocates for a more collaborative relationship between the OEMs and the supply based, encouraging open dialogue and human-to-human conversations.

[00:11:17] Resilience and authentic leadership: The episode underscores an enduring theme—the remarkable resilience of the automotive industry. It emphasizes the critical role of authentic leadership, especially in times of crisis, as a driving force behind the industry's ability to navigate challenges and persevere. 

[00:11:50] Future updates: Jan commits to providing ongoing updates on the strike's progress and the challenges of restarting operations. She invites her audience to contribute ideas and insights for future episodes.

Top Quotes:

[00:07:45] Jan: “I would love to see a much more collaborative relationship between the OEMs and the UAW.”

[00:10:26] Jan: “If we don't open up these communications and get a greater level of honesty and transparency, and trust with our suppliers, we're never going to get through this.”

[00:11:09] Jan: “The only way that we're going to get through this is by making human connections and building on trust and transparency”

[00:11:16] Jan: “We know as an industry, we are strong, we are tough, we are resilient. And we have gotten through everything in over 100 years to get us where we are today.”