Exeleon Magazine

In Conversation with Tyler Bray: A Value-Driven Leader

Tyler Bray Exeleon Magazine

How would you describe your leadership style? Who is your inspiration in terms of leadership?

I have a value-driven style. One of my core values as a leader is empathy. That extends to my team, and my customers. I believe setting that example brings out that side of my teammates, which is how it reaches my customers. As for leadership inspiration, that comes from an ideal, an imaginary leader in my mind’s eye. I’ve assembled traits and values like empathy, decisiveness, passion, and I try to step more fully into those traits with every decision I make.

Talk to us about your growing up years. What is your earliest memory as a leader/entrepreneur that you can remember?

One of my earliest memories as a leader has a strong personal component. I was 13 years old, and my mother got divorced. I had three younger siblings, one of whom was just a baby. I basically had to step up and be a man at that moment. And there you have relevant childhood and early entrepreneurial thinking in one.

What prompted your interest in trailers? What was the pain point you wanted to address through your business?

Can I be perfectly honest? I had no interest in trailers. I had a passionate fascination and powerful interest in opportunity. My step-dad owned a trailer parts company, and I jumped on the opportunity I saw. The market gap I perceived was a lack of digital options for consumers throughout the industry. The trailer business was still mostly brick and mortar at that point. I focused on merging the best of the old ways with the new options modern consumers expect.

What is the approach followed by the organization to ensure optimal results?

To sum it up: believe it in your team, believe in your people. Know that you can’t do anything by yourself, and nobody can. Give your team creative freedom. Remember, work is 50% of life on average! Good leaders create an enjoyable work situation. They focus on alignment, which is where you take personal goals people on your team have, and you align them with the goals of the business. You harness that positive energy to sail farther together.

Being the Owner, what role do you play in the day-to-day proceedings of the company?

I point, they shoot. I make big picture decisions, then I support every single person on my team. That’s why I work so hard to understand their internal goals. We have a concept called saucing here. A teammate proposes an idea. I always encourage that, and avoid a flat out no as much as possible. Instead, I’ll “sauce” the idea. Like adding a spice, garnish, or new ingredient so that it fits neatly into the overall mission.

What does a day in the life of Tyler Bray look like? How do you ensure work-life balance?

What is work life balance? Work is my life, but here’s the thing: I love every minute of it. I follow the flow of what demands my attention. Getting a call? I take it. There’s a problem to solve? I solve it. I have too many ventures to follow any sort of rigid schedule, so I trust my instincts when prioritizing.

In the current changing business landscape, what would be your advice to young entrepreneurs?

My first piece of advice is simple: business never changes. The tools and accouterments of business change (digital versus analogue, tech developments) but business is about people skills. What do the human beings on your team need? What do the human beings who are your customers need? Sure, maybe in 200 years we will all be working with robots instead of people, but that’s still a little sci-fi. Even then, that fundamental reality of clear, empathetic communication and honest problem solving will always be the key to successful business.

What does the future look like for TK Trailers Parts?

The future is disruptive. It’s unknown in details, but think agility, adaptability, and above all, a commitment to those values of empathy and trusting people. Think disruptive, but positive.

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Connect Tyler Bray on LinkedIn.

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