Killer Bees!

Managing clutter is one of your biggest challenges as you go through your day. There are things coming at you from left and right all of which are designed to knock you off your game.

At times, you feel like you are being attacked by a swarm of bees.
Your ability to swat those bees one by one will often determine your progress and results on any given day. Always remember to swat the biggest bee first.

That thought process aligns with Mark Twain’s “If you have to eat a live frog, do it first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.” And eat the biggest frog first.

You cannot let the clutter get you off your progressive track. The more you can do to control clutter the better. Clutter is just a bunch of little stuff that slows you down, moves you off your center, gets you off track, discombobulates you and messes up your entire day. You cannot let clutter control your production and performance.

Clutter is best dealt with by making sure you take a few minutes at the end of the day or first thing in the morning to map out your major tasks for that day. Swatting those little bees one by one and having an attitude of “next” will keep you on task and moving forward.

Staying on task and swatting the “clutter bees” at the same time is what separates the bee killers from the killer bees. Kill the clutter. That’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs

Do You Serve Up and Under-Allowance?

When I ask dealers and managers if they under-allow on trades, some will say yes. Some will say occasionally and, some will even say no we don’t do that.

Let me suggest that if you’re going to under-allow, go all in and do it with all your customers, not just those you think are stupid or drunk. That may be a little harsh, but I want you to get the point. Stop picking and choosing.

My under-allowance grid goes like this:

ACV of $30,000 and up $3,000
ACV of $20,000 and up $2,500
ACV of $15,000 and up $2,000
ACV of $10,000 and up $1,500
ACV of $5,000 and up $1,000
ACV of $5,000 and below $500

You may not like my grid and that’s fine. Come up with your own. Then come up with the discipline to serve it up to everyone that has a trade.

If you do so, one of three things will happen:

1. Some will say yes, and you make some extra gross.
2. The customer will quickly adjust their thinking as to the value of their vehicle.
3. If you are a store that still negotiates, then you just put yourself in a much better bargaining position.

There are a few customers you might have to peel off the ceiling. That’s ok. That’s why you’re paid the big bucks.

Utilizing an under-allowance isn’t “old school.”

It’s common sense. That’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs

Not Self, But Others

Back in the fall of 2013 I had the honor of being inducted into the Ferrum College Football Hall of Fame. It was the entire team from the 1965 National Championship team. Ferrum is now a four-year school, but at the time we won the Championship it was a Junior College. I wasn’t exactly a model student.

I was a defensive safety on a team that went 10-0, had 7 shutouts and only gave up 18 points the entire year.

I’m not writing this to tell you about my accomplishments, as much as to tell you about a couple of observations.

First, I hadn’t seen my teammates for 47 years. Though most sounded the same, none even came close to looking the same. Many are overweight and dealing with health problems. And, sadly at this point a number of them have passed away.

In a sense it seems just like yesterday we were beating and banging on each other and in a flash we’re all as old as dirt. What happened to all the time? Where did it go? How did this all happen so fast?

The message here, whether it’s business or your personal lives and regardless of where you are in the cycle of life, enjoy it, try to understand that if things are good or bad that where you are today will not last forever. Enjoy where you are.

I had another major take-away from the ceremonies I want to share with you.

One of the other items on the agenda was the presentation of the “Distinguished Alumni Award.”

As the master of ceremonies was going over a former tennis player’s list of accomplishments, he mentioned she had won an annual “sportsmanship award” presented by the NCAA.

When she got up to speak, she told the story behind the award. She stated that her coach had always warned her to make sure she took two tennis rackets with her to every match just in case one broke. The way she put it is, “he had beat it into her head.”

In the middle of a regional NCAA tournament match her opponent broke her racket. And guess what? Her opponent didn’t have a spare. Apparently, there is an amount of time they give you to come up with another racket.

The other player’s coach was not present to help her find one and time was running out. She was going to have to forfeit the match. The young lady who won the award gave her opponent her spare. And guess what? You guessed it didn’t you? Her opponent beat her with her own racket.

The school’s motto is, “Not self, but others.”

When you put others first, you always win. The game of life (and the game of business) is short. Putting others first always makes you and the team winners. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

What Drives You?

As Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz reminds us, “Seek to renew yourself, even when you’re hitting home runs.” How appropriate is that in today’s market?

Let me caution you; you cannot be satisfied. You can never be satisfied. Those sounds you hear from behind you are the competition coming to gobble you up. If you take just one little break, one little hiccup, it could be the very thing that puts you into a downward spiral.

People are successful for a variety of reasons, one of them being “fear.”

The fear of failure.
The fear of falling back.
The fear of giving up all they have worked so hard for.

It’s that fear that causes the successful ones to keep pushing and to keep looking for new and better ways of doing things.

Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, once said: “You either eat someone for lunch, or you can be lunch.” No truer statement has ever been made.

Being a hard-charging competitor can be craziness at its best. Competing is fun. Trying to get better is the lifeblood of competing, leading and winning.

Study it. Embrace it. Love it. Use it as success fuel. Use it to take you to the top of your mental game.

Develop an unstoppable competitive mindset, and it will push you so far ahead of the competition that you won’t have to worry about looking over your shoulder.

What you have to realize is that a lot of people are just lazy and because they are lazy they can become complacent very easily. Ultimately their lazy streak will show its head; that’s when you can “own” them.

There are times when you can have a good month in spite of yourself because the market lets you win.

Betting on easy wins is a bad bet. Betting on the things you can control is a solid bet and will keep you winning when others are “crying” about the market.

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

Why Leadership Sucks

I’ve spent most of my life observing and studying leadership skills. It started with my first little league coach, my college coaches, my experience as an athlete and as an NCAA college basketball referee.

Then into the business world, observing some of the best and some of the worst. Reading, studying, and attending workshops have all been a part of my journey on why leadership is stinky and the reverse, why it excels.

1. They aren’t flexible. You can tie this thought to any sport you want. The best teams are lead by people who make the right adjustments at the right time. Leaders are like boxers. They are bobbing and weaving. Far too often leaders get locked into whatever and their whatever drives the team nuts.

2. They don’t pay attention. What a simple concept. Real leaders have their eyes and ears open 24/7. They don’t lock themselves in their office and issue orders. They walk around. They talk. They listen.

3. They think they know it all. Nobody knows it all. You don’t, I don’t. Even CNN & Fox don’t. Leaders know what they don’t know.

4. They want you to rely on them to tell you everything
to do. That’s not what real leaders do. Leaders say, “I trust your good judgment, you decide.” When you stumble, they coach you up, not put you down.

5. They walk like a turtle. Show me a slow walker and I’ll show you, someone, nobody wants to follow. Get some pep in your step and get your butt in gear.

6. They are a stick in the mud. What a miserable life if you can’t laugh at yourself. If you don’t have a sense of humor you need to get a sense of humor.

7. They are arrogant and egotistical. There’s a big difference in being confident and being a jerk. Don’t be a jerk.

8. They aren’t likable. Ties into being a jerk. If you’re not likable the odds of being a great leader are about slim and none.

9. They hide the details. Leaders want to give you more than you need to know. They know that the more you know, the faster you learn. The faster you learn, the faster you buy-in. The faster you buy in, the faster the team grows.

10. They put the wrong people in the wrong seats on the bus. Leaders know that just because you have skill A doesn’t mean it’s a fit for seat B. Getting the right people in the right seats is critical for success.

11. They have lapses in integrity. You either have integrity or you don’t. It’s not a part-time thing to be used when you see fit. Leaders have integrity 24/7/365.

12. They say stupid things. Leaders use common sense before they open their mouths. The problem in today’s world is common sense isn’t so common.

13. They run around like a nut. Leaders know when to be calm and when to get excited. Too much of either makes people suspicious of you.

14. They have boss tattooed on their chest. Leaders aren’t the least bit concerned about tattoos or titles.

15. They say, “Look at me, look what I did.” Leaders say you guys did an awesome job. Way to go. I’m proud of you.

16. They blame others. Leaders say, “I let you down.” I need your help so I can do a better job. Let’s all work harder and smarter to do better.

17. They say do this, do that. Leaders say, “I need your help.”

18. They got promoted over their head. They know it. Everyone knows it. Not their fault. Somebody screwed up. Leaders don’t have to live with it. When all else fails, leaders hit the eject button, reset and move on.

19. They never read the bible. Leaders follow the golden rule. It simple. It’s easy. Preach it. Talk it. Walk it.

20. They don’t do what they say they are going to do. Leaders are true to their word.

21. They lack discipline. Leaders understand the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.

22. They confuse friendship and loyalty. Leaders are loyal, but they are smart enough to know when their loyalty to certain individuals is hurting the team. Leaders make hard decisions. You can be loyal without being stupid. Don’t be stupid.

23. They don’t own a mirror. Leaders find most of the solutions to their problems in the bathroom mirror.

24. They live in the past. Leaders say, just because we’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean we’re going to keep doing it that way.

25. They stop learning and growing. Leaders invest time and money on self and team development.

26. They resist change. Leaders knock down the walls of resistance. They know resistance is enemy #1.

27. They let people be mean to others. Leaders have a motto, “If you aren’t nice to your teammates and our customers you can’t work here.” Another simple concept for you.

28. They micro-manage. Leaders are good checkers, but they give people a job and let them do their job. They coach when necessary and stay out of the way the rest of the time. Leaders don’t “number” people to death.

29. They don’t look like a leader. I understand you want to dress casually. I do too, but I don’t. Ok, I’ll give you one day a week and that’s painful for me to say. The rest of the time you need to set the example and look the part.

30. This one’s for you. You pick. I’m sure you’ve got one that I left out.

I’ve said enough so that’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs