Starnet kicks off fall conference
Austin, Texas – Starnet, the world’s largest network of full-service commercial flooring contractors, kicked off its Fall 2022 conference here earlier this week. The event, the follow-up to the Spring Meeting, welcomed dozens of contractors and suppliers for timely educational and networking opportunities. .
FCNews attended and captured some highlights:
Mark Bischoff, president and CEO of Starnet, welcomed a ballroom packed with attendees on the conference’s opening day. “The theme of our gathering is ‘Keys to Success’, which plays on the imagery of the piano keys and Austin’s rich musical heritage,” he told those in attendance. “We are in the live musical capital of the world. All the content you’ll see here focuses on workplace culture, talent management, maximizing productivity, and how to amplify and scale it all through the use of technology. We’ve all been fighting over the years and now we’re turning the page to a new focus.”
According to Bischoff, the entries for the Starnet fall conference reflect a return to the enthusiasm the group shared during the best market conditions. “We are thrilled with the conference resources and support our network of partners provides to gather, learn and experience everything that is new and important in the contract flooring industry,” he said.
Andrew Oxley, nationally recognized speaker, executive coach and founder of The Oxley Group, delivered the keynote address: “Awkward – becoming the leader your team needs to win.” During his presentation, he spoke about the challenges entrepreneurs face today in recruiting, mentoring and motivating their employees. It’s a critical issue, he noted, at a time when finding good, talented workers is a challenge.
“For many companies, profit is their number one priority these days,” Oxley told attendees. “However, that should not be the goal of your business – otherwise everything you do just becomes a transaction.”
While Oxley agreed that people can be complicated, he said the process of managing them shouldn’t be complicated. In other words, “Don’t complicate the purpose of your business; otherwise you won’t get your employees to buy in,” he said.
Most managers today, Oxley noted, fall into one of three categories: The Villian, The Hero, or The Guide. The first, he said, operates under the premise of, “I don’t need you; I can hire someone else to replace you tomorrow” (which is a misconception at a time when the US is resigning en masse). The second is The Hero, who believes, “I’ll show you and tell you how to do it.” In reality, he noted, no one wants to be a bit of a player in their own success story. Oxley recommends that more leaders take on the role of The Guide, who believes that employees should be able to experience success on their own terms. “Don’t be a leader who always tells someone how to do the job,” he said. At the same time, he advised against saying “Find it out” when employees face challenges.
Oxley also advised business leaders to be more open to the younger generation when looking for job opportunities in their company. “Young people are getting a bad rap these days,” Oxley noted. “Remember, young people will be the biggest part of your business in the near future.”
To prepare for this demographic shift, Oxley advised entrepreneurs to better understand how the young generation thinks and works. “They want to be heard and feel that they have a real interest in the success of your business. That’s why it’s so important to have a meaningful dialogue with your people.”
Networking, social events
During the opening evening reception and the table exhibition, those present were able to mingle, network and make contacts.
For full coverage of the Starnet Fall 2022 Conference, see the November 7/14 edition of FCNews.