If you’re in a leadership position or hope to be so one day and you don’t have a sense of humor, then I’d say you are out of luck.

I realize there are people in top leadership positions who don’t have a sense of humor, but I have to believe by and large they are totally miserable people and not nearly as successful as they and their organizations could be.

I believe part of a leader’s responsibility is to create a workplace that’s well-disciplined, functional, effective and a fun place to work. Just because you display a sense of humor doesn’t mean you’re not serious about your work or have lost your discipline.

It means at any given moment you know how to inject humor to lighten up the joint.
Working in a place of business without a sense of humor is like working in a room with the lights off. Humor turns the lights on and adds an un-measurable element to the organization.

Back when I was running my dealerships, I personally conducted cultural training to make sure every team player knew the mission and what was expected of them.

I was quick to point out to our new hires, as well as existing staff, that if they didn’t have a sense of humor then it was the wrong place for them to be working.

“If you can’t laugh at yourself, then you’re going be miserable here. So, it might be best if you make some plans to meet some new people at your next workplace.”

So go ahead, laugh at yourself. It’s ok, it really is and those around you will be better off for it and so will you.
That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs.

What Are You Guarding?

1. Guard Against The “Peter Principle”-Don’t promote people based strictly on how they have performed in their current role. Promote them to their ability to perform in their new role. People are often promoted to their level of incompetence.

2. Guard The Processes-The team with the best and most consistent processes wins the most often.

3. Guard The Team-It really is about the team. You need team players. If they aren’t on the same team you cannot afford to keep them on the team. They will destroy morale and production.

4. Guard The Customers-When you protect your customers, you build your business and set the bar for the team to do the same. The team is watching and emulating how you deal with customer issues.

5. Guard The Vendors-You must demand the same high quality and standards from your vendors as you demand from your team. Don’t lower your standards because you’re saving a few bucks.

6. Guard The Culture-There’s nothing more important that you can do than guard your culture. You cannot afford to hire people who aren’t of the same mindset. If you make that mistake you will wake up one day and there is no culture.

7. Guard Against Legacy Thinking-Just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean it’s the best way. Stop looking back. Look forward.

8. Guard Against Making The Same Mistakes-Mistakes are a part of growing, but what you cannot allow is the same mistakes happening over and over again.

9. Guard The Training-You cannot train too much. It’s not “redundant training” until the team is perfect. The team isn’t perfect. Don’t be talked out of training.

10. Guard The Passion-Don’t let anyone steal or drain your passion and don’t be afraid to show your passion for all the above.

That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs.

Speed of the Boss, Speed of the Crew

One of the things you often hear leaders talking about is getting their team operating at a higher standard.

What some leaders fail to realize is that in order for the team to operate at a higher standard, the leader has to operate at a higher standard. As the leader’s standards improve or erode, so goes the team.

The standard setting by the leader is often the missing piece when it comes to growing and developing the team’s culture, progress and esprit de corps.

The standards you are setting are a culmination of the decisions you make each day. From the simplest decisions of just being nice, to the more difficult ones like resolving a conflict with customers and/or team members.

Holding yourself to a higher standard means ensuring that you are productive and making things happen today.

Never forget the “speed of the boss, speed of the crew.”

If you’re the sort of leader that goes around telling others to make something happen, all you’re doing is creating hate and discontent. If you’re going to talk-the-talk, then you better walk-the-walk.

97% of people and organizations operated at average or below standards. To be part of the 3% of the elite who are operating at a higher standard, then you need to demand excellence of yourself. Only when you demand a higher standard of excellence of yourself will the organization begin to move toward the top 3%.

If you were writing a book on higher standards and each chapter was a day-by-day account of the standards you set, would you want to include today as a chapter in your book? That’s all I’m gonna ask, Tommy Gibbs.

Has It Gotten Too Easy?

Everything I see and hear tells me the automobile business has gotten too easy.

Oh, I realize it’s never easy, but the unique set of circumstances over the last few years has either made a lot of dealers lazy, complacent and a few may have gone brain dead and have become incompetent.

Some may have developed amnesia and forgot how quickly this business can turn in another direction.


It’s easy to do easy.
It’s easy to ignore.
It’s easy to look the other way.
Easy to let slide.
We all like easy.
Anybody can do easy.
Being easy causes you to say yes, when you should say no.
Being easy causes you to take your eye off the big picture.
When you take your eye off the big picture, everything around you becomes a little fuzzier.
The fuzzier things get, the more confused you and your staff get.
The more confused you and the staff get, the more little things begin to slide.
Easy now becomes habit.
Habit becomes the norm.
The norm becomes easy.
That’s when rinse and repeat occurs. The problem is that the water you’re rinsing with is murky and dirty.
Expectations begin to drop. Lower expectations become the norm.
The little things can be hard to measure, so they are ignored.
When you focus on the little things, the performance of the team improves.
Why would you want to do easy?

Don’t do easy. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs.