As a girl, Linda Allen dreamed of becoming the next Diana Ross. As a teen, she attended a performing arts school and sang in choirs and competitions. As a woman, she is the general manager of EquipmentShare’s Southwest Houston branch — now that’s a career left turn — and the last word you would use to describe her is “diva.”
She is right at home helping her team do the dirty work.
“I try to lead by example,” she said. “If my people are in the yard, I’ll be in the yard, washing equipment, loading and unloading trucks, moving equipment.”
Allen got into the equipment rental business in 2007 with “no knowledge of this industry whatsoever.” She was just ready for something new after working as a waitress and in retail customer service. Once she got the job, though, Allen was determined to prove she belonged.
“My boss handed me a booklet where I could write down the different terminology used for the construction equipment,” she said. “It was like a little Bible that I curated.”
After stops at a few different equipment rental companies, Allen joined EquipmentShare as a rental coordinator at its first Houston location in 2018. Three years later, she was tabbed as the assistant general manager of the new Southwest Houston branch. She was promoted to general manager in 2022.
Allen has tried to create a family atmosphere at the branch. She’s the only woman among the 29 employees but doesn’t have any trouble relating to her team.
“When I first started in the industry, I felt like I had to learn every aspect of it to prove myself, because it is a male-dominated field,” Allen said. “Now, I’ve been in it so long, I’m one of the guys. They treat me with respect, and I can talk about whatever they talk about. They talk about sports, music, their relationships, and whatever they’re interested in, I’m open to it.”
The family atmosphere she’s encouraged has proven to be productive. In October 2022, the branch hit the $1 million monthly revenue milestone for the first time.
“That meant the world to me,” Allen said. “From day one, that’s what we strived for. Everyone’s hard work came to fruition when we did it. We had been teetering around that mark but weren’t able to surpass it. To surpass that goal, everyone was ecstatic.”
Allen still loves listening to all kinds of music — from classical to opera to country to R&B — but she hasn’t sung in front of an audience for more than five years. Her dream of becoming a solo star has transformed into a passion for building teams. Her quick rise to a management position shows there is a path to career advancement at EquipmentShare for those with talent and a strong work ethic.
“When I started in this business, I didn’t have a lick of experience with construction equipment,” she said. “As long as you’re teachable and willing to work hard, there’s a future for you.”
EquipmentShare is growing nationwide, and we’re on the lookout for talented team members in all positions, including general managers. Check out our job openings.