Updated:
June 13, 2023

Positive Approach Helps Bay Area GM Lead Successful Branch

EquipmentShare general manager Austin Nadeau
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INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

When Austin Nadeau describes his approach as general manager of EquipmentShare’s branch in Newark, California, his internal autocorrect function replaces the word “failures” with “opportunities.” 

For the relentlessly positive Nadeau, failure is not an option worth discussing.

“A typical day involves walking the yard, talking to everyone, asking what successes they’ve had or if there are opportunities where I can help them,” Nadeau said. “Then I look at all our numbers, at our successes and opportunities. That’s something I do day to day, looking for opportunities that we can repair, fix or figure out.”

One of the factors that drew him to EquipmentShare from another equipment rental company was the positive culture that encourages its GMs to create their own winning formula for their markets.

“The biggest difference at EquipmentShare is freedom,” Nadeau said. “When I say that, I mean freedom to make minor mistakes and grow. That’s how I and a lot of people learn — you make mistakes and don’t do it that way again. Very rarely is there any micromanaging from above. That’s huge. I’ve talked to people who have worked at other places where even if you haven’t done anything wrong, you’re paralyzed with fear that you’re making a mistake.”

Nadeau has never been afraid to try something new. A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, he took a major leap in geography and lifestyle when he went to New York University to earn a business degree. Then, in search of a more affordable city, he chose to move in with an old friend in — wait for it — San Francisco. Nadeau laughingly chalks up that decision as a classic learning opportunity. He has no regrets, though, because he put down roots in the Bay Area and started a family that now includes two children.

After 12 years managing clothing stores, Nadeau wanted a job with a more traditional weekday work schedule, so he got into the equipment rental business. In 2019, he joined EquipmentShare as a rental coordinator before working his way up to assistant manager and then general manager in 2021. 

In Newark, which is located about 38 miles southeast of San Francisco, Nadeau supervises a team of 36 employees. The branch has some inherent challenges. Finding skilled labor is tough because the steep cost of living has priced a lot of blue collar workers out of the Bay Area, and the area’s congested roads force delivery drivers and field technicians to spend a lot of time stuck in traffic. Regardless, in October 2022 — 11 months after Nadeau took over as GM — the Newark branch hit the coveted $1 million monthly revenue milestone. 

That was a sign that Nadeau’s positive approach is working.

“He’s a smart guy, he’s articulate and he has the quality that he can connect with people,” EquipmentShare Regional Operations Director Derrick Torres said. “He will definitely take a negative and understand that it’s not necessarily a bad thing — it’s an opportunity, whether it’s an opportunity to be coached or just to be better.”

EquipmentShare is growing nationwide, and we’re looking for talented team members in all departments. Check out our job openings

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