March 12, 2024

Dana Bowen Empowers Team Success in Seattle

Dana Bowen Hero Image

Dana Bowen loves fishing, which tends to be a solitary activity, and requires him to slow down, reflect and be patient — traits that don’t come naturally to him. Joining the team at EquipmentShare Seattle as General Manager tested those skills and allowed him to help build a team and empower them to create a highly successful environment and the best place to work in Seattle.

Why Is Company Culture So Important?

So how did Bowen help make the Seattle branch run smoothly? He sat quietly and observed like any good fisherman, patiently waiting.

“At first everyone was reluctant when I came in. Change is hard — even good change is hard but necessary,” Bowen said. “I had to be patient and earn their trust. I can’t just go in and rip off the band-aid and make them do everything my way, which was my first instinct. I manage through trust and buy-in, and I explain rather than dictate.”

One of the first things Bowen did to foster a good company culture was create an open floor plan in the branch. No more office doors, because there were no more offices — everyone is on a level playing field.

“Service manager, parts manager, dispatcher and rental coordinator — we are all visible to each other. We are no more than 30 feet away from each other,” Bowen said. “That took some getting used to, but now I’ve seen other branches adopt our floor plan. It keeps the lines of communication open for everyone and helps make a great rental experience for the customer.”

What Makes EquipmentShare Seattle the Best Place to Work?

“My team is what makes EquipmentShare Seattle successful. My team has adapted so well, and they like the structure I’ve created,” Bowen said. “We hold each other accountable.”

Bowen also believes in cross-training his team to make sure the customer rental experience is seamless, even if one team member is missing. 

“My parts and service coordinator can dispatch and write orders, my dispatcher can do it all and the rental coordinator can write orders and dispatch. If anyone is out, we can all pitch in to cover. It gives the employees a sense of pride that we can all make this team successful,” Bowen said.

Opening the door for advancement and role changes also helps everyone understand the reasons behind the changes he has implemented.

“It allows them to try out other areas of the business,” Bowen said. ”Also, if they know how to do each other’s jobs, they know how each person prefers to get their information most efficiently and ultimately make the customer happy. I want to see who in my team will be the next GM — and I know one of them will.”

Empowering the Team Leads to Success 

The EquipmentShare Seattle Team
The EquipmentShare Seattle Team

When Bowen first joined the Seattle branch, he ran it like his own small business and rarely took time off. Now the branch can operate on the WWDD mantra — What Would Dana Do? Bowen has made it a point to empower his staff to make decisions without him, and he makes sure to use more of his vacation time.

Bowen also encourages his team members to make decisions together and collaborate to make sure everyone is on board.

“I’ll tell the team about changes I want to make and ask them to poke holes in the ideas,” Bowen said. “We make changes and decisions as a team. I encourage them to ask questions; however, I encourage them to come to me with three solutions to that problem or question. When they come to me now with their solutions it encourages them and empowers them to make decisions.”

How Does EquipmentShare Seattle Set the Standard?

“We want to be the go-to branch in the Pacific Northwest,” Bowen said. “We truly are a team. Everyone has everyone else's back, and it’s all hands on deck. You have to be willing to do work and do your part and if you do, you’ll have a whole team of people behind you. If you want to make a difference and have your opinion valued, come join our team.”

Are you looking for a better way to work? Discover your opportunities to work with a People First company. 

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