I want to speak to those of you that are in charge of the hiring and struggle to find that superstar used car manager. The used car manager you need may very well be right under your own roof, and you’re walking right by him or her a dozen times a day.

For whatever misconceived reason, when you need a used car manager, the first thing you want to do is find a used car guru that works someplace else and lure them away.

I don’t have to tell you the challenges of hiring from the outside. I don’t have to, but I will.

1. The person you hire isn’t going to have the same culture that you’ve been working so hard to develop.

2. Their thinking about the used car business isn’t going to necessarily align with yours. That doesn’t mean either of you has it right or wrong. It just means it’s going to be frustrating and more than likely expensive.

3. If you’re running an ad in Automotive News, most of the respondents are going to be from outside your area. I’m not even going to attempt to list all the issues tied to bringing someone in from afar. If you don’t understand those issues then you’ve got a lot more problems than I can help you with.

4. When you hire from the outside you are looking for a miracle worker to fix the mess left from the last miracle worker. Most likely the mess will get bigger. All you’re doing is rinse and repeat.

5. You’re doing nothing to encourage people to want to grow and develop within your organization when you keep going to the outside. You need to promote from within.

The real answer is that you don’t need someone from the outside with a bunch of experience. What you need is to commit to giving someone from within a chance and a whole bunch of your personal time and energy.

What you need is:

1. Someone that’s a young “thinker.”

2. Someone that has high energy.

3. Someone that believes in your culture and store.

4. Someone that’s coachable

.5. Someone that has common sense.

6. Someone that understands technology.

7. Someone that has integrity.

8. Someone that has a strong work ethic.

9. Someone that has good communication skills.

10. Someone that’s hungry.

If you don’t have someone or multiple someones like this in your organization then you need to rethink your organization. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Courage & Leadership

We often read and hear about courage as it applies to heroic acts during war, when people are dealing with pain or dangerous circumstances.

The term is also loosely tossed around in the world of sports. Depending on one’s point of view, those may all very well be true.

I like to think of courage in business and politics in several simple ways:

1. Courage is doing the right thing when it’s easy to do the wrong thing. Courage means taking a stand even when sometimes taking a stand is not the most popular thing. Never forget it’s not about who is right, but what is right.

2. Courage is about changing direction when your decisions are less than perfect. That means saying, “I got it wrong, let’s go in another direction.” You’re not always going to get it right.

3. Courage is having enough sense to listen to those around you and be able to separate bull shit/self-interest that some people have toward self-serving goals. Courage is standing up to such nonsense and doing the right thing.

4. Courage is the willingness to stick your head above the fence once in a while knowing full well someone’s going to throw a rotten tomato in your face. It’s a willingness to try something different. It’s a willingness to get out of your comfort zone. It’s a willingness to accept harsh criticism.

Sometimes I tell you stuff that I know you’re not going to like. Sometimes I poke my head above the fence and sometimes you throw a rotten tomato at me.

If nothing else, I’ll help you improve your aim.

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

The Green New Deal

For years now many of you have been in denial about what the new green deal is all about. Some of us have been cheering it on loud and clear, but still, many just don’t “get it.” You have fought it and fought it, and told those of us who cheered it on that we were stupid, we’re idiots, and it will never fly.

Then the pandemic hit and you were like, “Hey, charging full window sticker and being a one-price dealer ain’t so bad.”

You have finally come around and said, “All this green cash going in my pocket is pretty cool.” Some of you have even become a little humble and said, “Man, I wish we had done this long ago,” or “I hope we never go back to the old way again.

Have you ever made this much money on new cars? No

Have you ever made this much money on used cars? No

Have you ever made this much money in F&I? No

Have your CSI scores ever been better? No

Have your sales and management staff ever been happier? No

You’re riding the fat green wave wagon. A few of you are hitting a little bump in the road occasionally and slipping back into your old ways. Fortunately for you, the law of supply and demand pushes your butt back up into the buckboard and you chug along, smile, and keep counting the greens.

My fear is that you will bump your head, amnesia will kick in, and you’ll think the good old days are the good old days.

For the good of our children and grandchildren, we know we need to stay with this new green deal.

Enjoy the new green deal and remember I told you one price was the way to go long before the pandemic told you so.  That’s all I’m gonna say.

Does One Minute Matter?

Recently I got my normal early morning start…up early, some computer work, wrote a couple of articles, and headed to the gym. After the gym, I had a couple of errands to run but felt a little hungry after lifting all those heavy weights.

Because I’m conscious of eating healthy, I decide to zip through Taco Bell and grab something with some nourishing protein in it.

I pull up to the menu board and can’t find any of their breakfast food on the menu. About that time a little voice says, “Welcome to Taco Bell, order when ready.”

I’m still trying to find breakfast on the menu. Finally, I speak back into the little box and say, “Hey, I can’t find the breakfast menu.” Crickets.

I’m thinking, ok they must be busy, so I’ll just pull around to the window and order. I pull up to the window and the worker opened the window. I say, “Hey, what’s for breakfast?” She says, “We’re not open.”

I say, “What time do you open?” She says, “8:00.” Oh, ok…I pull up to the exit driveway and look at the clock on my phone. It’s 7:59.

I wonder, would she have been fired if she had said, we don’t open until 8, but it’s only one minute early so I’ll take your order. Or, I guess she could have said, drive around the building and you will be on time.

This reminds me of when I was a new car dealer. Back in those days, we opened the service department at 7:30 am. There would be customers lined up outside the service doors waiting for the doors to open. The service writers would be inside standing at their podium getting ready for the day and staring back at the customers.

“It’s 7:25, hey we’ve got customers, let’s open the door and get them on their way,” said no one ever.

Of course, you can imagine when Tommy hit the building, he’s screaming, “Open the door and take care of our customers.”

Now, what do you think the pushback was when I chatted with the service director later in the day about this hot topic?

“Boss, if we do that, we are training the customers to show up earlier and earlier.”

OMG, what a horrible thing that we train the customers that they can count on us to exceed their expectations and get them on their way lickety-split.

Does one-minute matter?

Maybe not to you and the Taco Bell bunch, but it matters to me and your customers. That’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs.

Are You Inspiring Your Team?

Being able to inspire people can be complex and tricky. There are times when people in leadership positions actually un-inspire their team more than they inspire.

Even with good intentions, we often overthink whatever it is we’re trying to improve. Keeping it simple and real is always the best approach.

“A mediocre person tells. A good person explains. A superior person demonstrates. A great person inspires others to see for themselves.” Harvey Mackay.

Keeping It Simple:

1. Challenge them with reasonable objectives. Not too easy, not too hard. The key is the objectives have to be achievable. Achieved success will lead to even greater achievements. Success breeds success.

It’s great to be an optimist. It’s even greater to be a “realistic optimist.” Tossing out “pie in the sky” numbers doesn’t challenge people; it defeats them and they eventually just ignore them.

2. Show encouragement by leading from the front and pushing from the rear. Cheer and cheer some more. There’s nothing better than a pat on the back or a double high five to get ’em going and keep ’em going.

Sometimes you have to show them “how” and sometimes you coach them “how.”

3. Watch what you say and how you say it. Saying the right things, in the right way, at the right time can do wonders. Choose your words carefully. Remember the whole world is watching and listening to everything you say and do.

4. Show them that you care in a sincere way. It has to be real. People can spot BS from a mile away. You can’t fake it.

There’s nothing more powerful than a leader that truly cares. You either care or you don’t.

I’m pulling for you, that’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs.