John Yarroll: The most pertinent lessons I’ve learned in 40 years

John Yarroll FleetEurope

John Yarroll: The most pertinent lessons I’ve learned in 40 years

FleetEurope’s Chairman and Chief Executive, John Yarroll, has spent more than 40 years in the rental and leasing industry. Formally of large, often multi-national corporations, John has been at the helm of FleetEurope for more than two decades.

John outlines the four most prominent things he’s learnt from four decades of experience in rental and leasing:

“When making a decision, it’s important to take a long term view,” opens John. “Within a large, publicly owned corporation, shareholder pressure, or the anticipation of such pressure, can have an adverse influence on decision making. This results in decisions being based on the here and now; short term views soon follow. This isn’t the best way to make decisions and plan ahead, plus it can have a detrimental impact on outcomes and overall company morale. Owner-managed businesses can avoid this, but basing decisions and results over a long period is always the best approach.

“It is also important to give your attention and a consistent effort. In a service industry such as this, success is entirely dependent upon relationships with your staff, suppliers and customers. Each needs an equal share of your attention and focus. It is near-impossible to deliver great customer service without committed staff and suppliers, and building that commitment needs your consistent effort.

“However, even with your full attention and a consistent effort, things can and do go wrong. When they do, don’t delay. Act quickly, make those involved and affected by the situation aware, and propose a course of action to rectify the situation. Previously, I have been touched by the objectivity and generosity of people whom I have approached to explain a serious problem. Quick action, with open and honest communication and a successful conclusion has led to many strengthened relationships.

“Finally, it’s worth remembering industries are like ecosystems. The BVRLA member fleet has reached a staggering 4.5 million vehicles, but our industry remains remarkably village-like. A good reputation for honesty and probity for an individual or business entity takes years to build, but can be damaged beyond belief with a single ill-thought action.

“Personally, taking a long term view, giving your full attention and consistent effort, acting quickly when things do go wrong and remembering industries are close knit just like a village are four pieces of advice I would give to anyone at any stage in their career. I can’t promise they will lead to fame and fortune, but they have stood me in very good stead for almost half a century.”


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