Being a former Marine, part of my core values as an individual comes from my Marine Corps training. And no doubt a large part of my success in life comes from being well disciplined.

Many of my disciplines have come from being an athlete where you cannot achieve any level of success without discipline. Without question people with a military and/or a sports background make better employees/team members because they are well disciplined.

Discipline shows up in many forms in the workplace including being on time, achieving assignments, how you dress, how you talk, what you say, how you say it and who you say it to.

I cannot fathom someone achieving a key leadership position unless they are highly disciplined. If you do not have a sports background, military background or if you didn’t grow up in an environment where there was a focus on discipline then you are at a total disadvantage as you attempt to climb the ladder of success. It is virtually impossible to achieve success in sports or the military without discipline, and business and life are the same.

It’s pretty much a sure bet that if you are un-disciplined in your work life that your personal life is no different and chaos has become your best friend.
Discipline is about controlling willpower/self-control over one’s desires to do the wrong or easy thing. It’s about doing the right thing when the wrong thing keeps screaming “why bother.”

Focus on improving your discipline regardless of where you have come from and where you might be today. Observe others around you who you deem to be well disciplined and start to emulate them. Pretty soon others will start to emulate you and now the tribe becomes very powerful.

Only the well-disciplined ever get to be the chief of the tribe. “The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” You get to pick. That’s all I’m gonna say.

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

You Know Where The Problem Is

“Some people will not change until the pain is so great
that they have to.”

One of the more interesting things I see in my line of work is dealers and managers often know they have a problem, but don’t do what’s necessary to fix it.

These are smart people with years of experience and plenty of data and information to conclude that something isn’t working as well as it should or could.

They know there’s a better way, but stay on a road named “frustration.” When your staff becomes frustrated, the growth of your organization is stymied, and your bottom line impacted.

The two examples I see most often are:

1. The relationship between the parts and service departments and the used car department. Sometimes it’s the cost of parts and repairs and sometimes it’s workflow.

Never forget that you can’t sell them and make the most money if you can’t get them to the front line in a timely manner. Nothing drives sales management crazier than seeing units sitting out back waiting to go through recon.

A large percentage of the dealers don’t know where the bottleneck is or how long it takes to get units through the system and ready for retail. They know they have a problem, they just don’t know how big it is and how much it’s hurting their bottom line.

Each department is a separate business and there’s pressure on each department/business to make a profit. Therefore, it often feels like our business model, by design, is set up for the departments to work against each other. Watch this 3 minute VIDEO on my recon tool.

2. Overaged used cars. Dealers know it’s not profitable to keep used cars past 60 days. Most know the profit starts to take a serious dip on day 30. Profit and ROI are going south, and the dealer looks the other way. How such intelligent people allow this to go on and on is extremely hard to understand.

Ignoring the problem creates a culture that lacks discipline, which over the course of time will vibrate throughout the store. You cannot win on a consistent basis when there’s a breakdown of discipline.

More often than not we know how to fix the problem. And, more often than not we don’t fix it. We don’t address the problem due to fear. Fear can be real or imaginary. We often fear that if we attack the problem that someone will quit because they can’t live with the new approach.

If you fear asking people to change to something that’s going to make you, them, and your organization better, then there may be an even bigger problem that needs fixing.

Maybe you need to fix your thinking.

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

990 Newsletters Oct. 2022

I’ve written at least 990 used car newsletters since 2003. That’s not an exact count because for several years I wrote a second newsletter each week focused on leadership, so the count is well north of 1000.

To put it in perspective, that’s 52 newsletters each year for 19 years sharing information that either gives you a different way of thinking about the business or reminding you of stuff you already know.

Those newsletters come out each Wednesday, and on Fridays I write another that promotes my training, consulting, and recon software tool. Both newsletters go out to the same group of over 10,0000 potential readers.

What’s funny is I get very few unsubscribes when the Wednesday informational newsletter goes out. On the other hand, the newsletter promoting my business always gets a handful of unsubscribes.

I’m left to believe that if it’s free and giving readers good information all is well.

But, if I ask for business, be ready to say goodbye to a few folks who become offended that I would have the nerve to do so.

I give, you get. I ask, you go.

Of course, in the big picture it’s a very small percentage of people that push the unsubscribe button and I’m extremely grateful for all of you that have hung with me for so many years.

And, I always appreciate your comments even when they take issue with something brilliant I’ve written.

Just remember the most fundamental discipline in sales is to ask for the order.

I’m always going to ask you for the order and you should too.

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

You’re Not Running a Democracy

I’m a big fan of making the team inclusive of what’s going on.

I’m a big fan of educating the team.

I’m a big fan of getting insight from those who are in the trenches.

I’m a big fan of listening to the troops.

But, I’m not a big fan of rule by committee.

Ruling by committee is an easy way to avoid accountability.

Ruling by committee allows us to blame no one when it fails.

Ruling by committee is a sickness designed to allow those in charge to accept responsibility for nothing.

Ruling by committee is a way to hide in the back room. Ruling by committee is peeking through the closet door.

Step out of the closet, come into the room and be counted. If you’re ruling by committee, stop it! You’re not running a democracy, you’re running a business.

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