How Long Does It Take?

How long does it take to know if they can do it? Do what?

Do whatever it is you’ve hired someone to do.

Does it take a week?
Does it take a month?
Does it take 90 days?
Does it take 6 months?
Does it take 6 years?

How long does it take you to figure out if you’ve got the right person or the wrong person in the job?

Part of that decision-making process might depend on:

1. How much have you invested in the selection process of putting the right person in the right job?

2. Did you put someone in the job because they were the “next up?”

3. How much have you invested in their training and development?

4. How much have you invested of your own time coaching and teaching the person?

5. Does your organization give people the tools they need in order to be successful?

6. Do you make the effort to get legitimate feedback from those around you that “know” about how this person is performing?

How long does it take for you to figure out if they can or they can’t?

That’s all I’m gonna ask. Tommy Gibbs.

7 Reasons People Fail

1. They can’t manage their personal lives
2. They can’t manage their money (If you are an employer and you have people working for you who can’t manage their money then they sure can’t manage yours.)
3. They can’t manage the truth
4. They can’t manage their time
5. They can’t manage their emotions
6. They can’t manage results
7. They can’t manage their flaws.
(We all have flaws. Successful people know what their flaws are and they manage and control their own flaws.)

Maybe You’re Doing It Wrong

I frequently hear CEOs of dealer groups talk about how hard it is to find GSMs & GMs for their stores. More often than not, the missing skill set for those that have failed them is they just aren’t very good leaders.

The moment they come on board, they have all these amazing things they want to change

and “make it better.” They do have skills, but they don’t have “leadership skills,” so from day one they tend to struggle.

A savvy CEO should be as much interested in how many people they have developed as they are in the number of units over the curb. If you focus on the numbers, you may get a little surge, but it’s not going to be consistent and it’s going to be a little short-term gain and a whole lot of long-term pain.

Far too often the strategy of new leadership is to unload in rapid fire a bunch of new ideas, bring some new rock stars in and drain the swamp.

That strategy will generally create hate and discontent, and put you that much further behind.

Soon you’ll be looking for a new GSM or GM and repeating the process of hoping the new one works out.

The first question that should be asked of your potential rock star is how do they intend to rally the troops?

The most important part of that answer is, “How do they intend to rally the individuals?”

You cannot rally the troops until you capture the hearts and minds of the individual team members.

If I were your new hire, here’s what I would do:

1. I’d meet with every team member one-on-one. During the course of these one-on-ones I would be asking questions, getting opinions, and asking every team member, “If this were your business, what would you do differently?”

The more I can learn about each team member’s family, hobbies, and their life’s journey, all the better. I’d get dialed in on the conversation by taking notes…lots and lots of notes.

2. I’d start every morning spending additional one-on-one time with as many people as I could come into contact with. These are casual conversations done on the fly. Building relationships is what is going to create profound change and a new direction.

3. Throughout the day I would look for opportunities to create “power moments.”

Moments to coach.
Moments that matter.
Moments to encourage.
Moments to pick people up.
Moments to push them forward.
Moments to guard the processes.

It’s a whole lot easier to implement change and solid strategies when you get the team on the same page.
My way is a better way, that’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs.

Change Your Title To Coach

The more I’m involved with the automobile business and the more I observe other businesses, the more I realize we in the business world have got it all wrong when it comes to management.

Specifically the word manager.

In business, people are often given the title of “Manager.” Sometimes it’s truly a gift because they were next “up,” and sometimes they worked hard to get it.

Most people who are managers think of themselves as, well, uhh, managers. They’ve been told they are a manager so they go about their business of managing people, systems, and processes.

I looked the word manager up and here’s what I found: “Somebody who is responsible for directing and controlling the work and staff of a business, or of a department within it.”

I can’t argue that is more or less the definition that most people work from. When working with and leading people I believe we would be much better served by replacing the word “manager” with the word “coach.”

Like many of you reading this, my life has been impacted in one way or another by sports. Whether you played sports or if you are simply a sports fan, the odds are you can relate to the field of sports and the influence it has had on you one way or another.

When I first got out of college I was a head football coach at a private military academy, Frederick Military Academy in Portsmouth, VA. The reality is that all throughout my career I’ve always seen myself as a coach not a manager.

If you think about what we do, at least those who do it well, we are always coaching. It’s just like being a head football coach.

As a head coach, your focus is to coach the players and the assistant coaches. It never ends.

If you have a coach’s meeting then you are reviewing the practice, schedule, game plan, etc. When you’re on the field with the players you are coaching technique, disciplines, conditioning, teamwork, attitudes, and the importance of “getting it right.”
Coaching takes place on and off the field just as it does with you in the dealership. Coaching is nothing but “selling.” If you’re a coach of an athletic team you are selling players and assistant coaches on why they need to buy into whatever it is you’re trying to get across.

This is no different than the business you’re in. You’re constantly selling someone on your team as to how and why to do things a certain way.

So, how much better off would we be if we all really took it to heart that we are no longer managers but “coaches” and that every minute that we are in front of our team our number one focus is to coach, coach and coach some more?

Top coaches are always looking for that competitive edge.

Getting a competitive edge means seeking information, testing the waters, trying a new play, attending a coaching workshop, and pushing yourself harder than you’re pushing the team.

Top coaches communicate with other top coaches. (20 Groups, Clubhouse App, Facebook Groups, etc.)

Top coaches hire other coaches who are smarter than they are with specific skills to help the team win. Top coaches know what they don’t know. Top coaches hire me.
It’s really strange that dealers who are unsuccessful don’t hire me and those who hire me are already successful.

They are already making money. Like any good coach they know they can do better. They know there is more to be had.
They know the team needs to hear it from an outside coach once in a while.
Great coaches are givers of information and they seek information to make themselves and their team better.
Hey “Coach,” thanks for reading my material.
That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

The Enemy

Woody Hayes’ (the legendary coach of Ohio State University) career was cut short because he punched a Clemson University player on the Ohio State sideline.

Coach Hayes once said, “Paralyze resistance with persistence.” Regardless of what you think about Coach Hayes, you have to give him credit for a powerful statement.

Change, continuous improvement, and daily disciplines are often met with resistance.

Resistance is not a generational thing, it’s just a thing. It’s a thing that’s always been present. It’s been around since the caveman.

There are always strange forces of nature at work. Resistance is the force of nature against persistence. We’ve all seen very talented people fall flat on their faces because of a lack of persistence. Talented people will often resist having to be accountable. They like doing their own thing. The lack of discipline is a close cousin of resistance.

Persistence can be a two-edged sword. We’ve all known salespeople who drove us nuts. They bug you to death and work you until your nerves are on edge. But the bottom line is they were persistent. Persistence wins over time and persistence will sell lots of cars.

There is always room for improvement, and you should never be satisfied…and you should never let them be satisfied. Becoming satisfied leads to complacency.

To keep the “boogie man of complacency” away, you as a leader must be persistent in all things that have been deemed to be important to the success of the organization. It is so easy to lose persistence. Being persistent is not something you do occasionally. It is something that has to be done every minute of every day.

Discipline is the twin brother of persistence. Discipline is what carries you through the down moments; those moments when you want to throw your hands in the air and say the heck with it.
I like to think of persistence as always staying after it regardless of your current state of mind. Being highly motivated can come and go. Even when you are not feeling all that motivated you can remain persistent.

Being persistent means have intestinal fortitude and a willingness to grind it out regardless of the obstacles that keep coming your way. Think of obstacles as just bugs on a windshield. Persistence is the windshield wiper. Wipe ’em off and keep digging.

The enemy is resistance. Your sword is persistence.

Fight the good fight. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs.