Leadership Lessons from a Wolf Pack

Aug 16, 2018

Leadership Lessons from a Wolf Pack

A wolf pack: the first three are the old or sick...I can’t remember a week going by where I haven’t seen this posted on LinkedIn. Basically stated, the first three of the pack, the elderly and wounded, lead to set the pace and prepare to be sacrificed in case of attack, while the alpha controls the pack from the rear. While an interesting interpretation and analogy, it is completely inaccurate.

The photo was taken by Chadden Hunter and featured in the BBC Frozen Planet documentary. According to Hunter, the alpha female leads the pack and the rest of the wolves follow in her tracks to save energy. Someone originally looked at the image for a leadership lesson without doing his or her due diligence before starting a viral, yet inaccurate, leadership analogy on social media.

The success of a parking operation is heavily contingent upon exercising due diligence. It’s important to ensure the information we are presenting is both factual and relevant. Do you blindly choose a product because it appears to be the least expensive option, or do you investigate the pros and cons thoroughly? Do you choose a company simply because they are the largest or have the flashiest website, or do you call their references to try and communicate with clients not on their reference list? As a service-centric company, we have an obligation to present the best service offerings to our clients in terms of technology, human resources, general operating procedures, and beyond. In that vein, due diligence is a necessity—it’s vital that we are experts in our field.

Due Diligence in Public-Sector On-Street Parking

Today’s public-sector parking environment demands total accountability and due diligence. We embrace this, not only in our operations, but to our clients’ stakeholders and parking populations; visitors, residents, and employees. Our methodical internal processes for the municipal parking environment have been designed using applicable “industry standards and best practices” derived from customer service‐focused programs that require revenue‐driven results. Key components of our due diligence processes include:

Community Engagement – Authentic stakeholder engagement improves our operational planning, as we are better able to evaluate parking and access considerations impacting supply and demand.

Custom Technology Recommendations – We provide recommendations to our clients based on extensive research and the needs of each specific operation. We want our clients to have access to the most recent parking solutions and proven technology options available, regardless of vendor or manufacturer.

Professional Development – Ongoing investment in our people not only promotes upward mobility within our organization, it enables our team members to elevate themselves and their reputations in the public sector parking profession.

In governance, as with public parking contracts, accountability has expanded beyond the basic definition of the term. It is the acknowledgment and assumption of responsibility for policies, actions, decisions, products and services, including the implementation of, and administration encompassing: reporting, explaining, and being answerable for all outcomes and consequences. This ever-increasing level of public scrutiny and stakeholder involvement requires more than just tactics of Parking Management 101.

In a society dominated by instantaneous services and offerings, it’s okay to slow down once in a while and do some research, even if cursory, before making an important decision on behalf of the company or a client. The stakes are high and, unlike the viral leadership analogy, there isn’t an alpha wolf at the back of the pack preventing us from making a mistake.

Isaiah Mouw

Vice President

Municipal Operations

An industry Ambassador, frequent public speaker and author, Isaiah Mouw, CAPP, CPP, serves on the International Parking Institute’s (“IPI”) Advisory Council as a member of the Technology Committee, and also serves on the Board of Directors for the IPI CAPP Board. In 2014 Isaiah was awarded the Chairman’s Award from IPI, and in 2015 he was recognized by the National Parking Association as a “40 Under 40” recipient; recognizing the best and brightest young parking professionals in the industry.

In his role as Vice President of Municipal Operations at Citizens Lanier Holdings (Lanier Parking, AmeriPark, and Pk1), Isaiah works in the Municipal Division to apply industry best practices in the field while advancing the parking profession and supporting his firm’s diverse public-sector operations and clientele.