Things I wish I knew: Howard Puterman, GM/VP

Howard Puterman“If only I knew then what I know now…”

Hindsight is 20/20. But one of the benefits of Enterprise’s promote-from-within culture is knowing company leaders all started from the same place as branch employees just beginning their careers. They’ve seen the same things, dealt with the same issues and faced the same fears.

So who better to impart some words of wisdom than people who have been in those shoes?

Here is advice from someone who has been there.

A 31-year veteran of the company, Howard Puterman has worked as the Nevada operating group’s GM/Vice President for the last 15 years. His first Branch Manager role was in Fort Pierce, Florida with a satellite branch in Vero Beach, Florida. Here’s what Howard wishes he knew when he first became a Branch Manager:

On building a career:

Be a good leader amongst your peers and do the right thing. Your brand is very important, not only to upper management, but to your peers and your employees. Make a good first impression and build on it.

On being a leader:

Howard Puterman on his first day in South Florida.
Howard Puterman on his first day in South Florida.

Work hard. Lead by example – do the things you would ask your people to do. Show your employees you will do whatever it takes to complete the job. Being a good leader means doing the right (ethical) things.

Also, I wish I knew not everyone likes to be managed the same way. Each person has a different personality and disposition. When you’re a new manager, you must find what motivates that individual instead of managing one way and one way only. It all starts with being patient and listening to your team.  Your employees can help you become a better manager.

On operations:

Organization matters. An organized branch – with cars clean and ready to go – makes both customers and employees happy. Usually when the manager and branch are organized, everything runs smoother.