July 7, 2021
In an industry stacked with exemplary role models, Shannon Worthington stands among the very best. As president of Dixie Construction Products based in Atlanta, GA, his stewardship extends beyond the company and his era at the helm. Jason chats with Shannon about his commitment to fostering reciprocal relationships and setting the stage for seamless leadership transitions.
Shannon began his career in distribution with a simple pledge to himself: “If I ever get in a position where I could make a difference, I would never send someone out without any training, without any knowledge to go call on people.”
Forty years later, that pledge still stands. He remains committed to leadership built on mutual respect and a desire for the entire team to succeed, even those not directly assigned to his payroll. Take Dixie’s relationship with its suppliers. While many organizations make the mistake of expecting hand-outs, Shannon and his team look for ways to strengthen those partnerships. ”The only thing I've ever asked, or we've ever asked is, help us be better, help sell more product,” he says.
The strategy has served Dixie well. It’s also a hallmark of Shannon’s management style, creating networks from the ground up and nurturing those contacts with integrity - doing the right thing, especially when no one’s watching. Shannon admits the right thing isn’t always the easiest path to take. However, his commitment to everyone’s success remains unflappable no matter the pinch to his personal comfort.
“I learned early on that if you make sure that you've done everything you can, to help [employees] grow and support them [ ] and then they still can't… Then you've got to move on because it's not fair to everyone working around that person or anyone else in the building.”
Speaking of moving on, while he has no intention of stepping down anytime soon, Shannon’s keenly aware that he’ll have to pass the baton eventually. To that end, he takes his responsibility to the next generation of Dixie leadership seriously, owing a seamless transition to those who came before him and made his evolution from salesperson to president a success.
“There's no substitute for time and experience,” Shannon says. “You can't make it happen faster; you just got to experience it.” He’s happy to lend his support to Dixie’s younger talent as they fortify theirnetworks and prepare for a successful future in distribution.
Like what you hear? Check out the conversations mentioned in this episode:
DT028: Kevin Higginbotham on cooperatives, manufacturer partnerships, and Planning for Profit
DT072: Kathryne Newton on generational differences in the distribution workforce
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Distribution Talk is produced by The Distribution Team, a consulting services firm dedicated to helping wholesale distribution clients remove barriers to profitability, generate wealth and achieve personal goals.
This episode was edited & mixed by The Creative Impostor Studios.
Special thanks to our sponsor for this episode: HMI Performance Incentives, providing innovative, data-driven B2B incentive solutions.