Someone told me something recently that makes really good sense and it goes like this, "Anything you say before the word but is a bunch of bull poo poo." I made up the part about bull poo poo, he actually said meaningless. Meaningless or bull poo poo, it’s a bunch of crap.
So let’s chat a bit. You might say something like "I have a great used car manager, but I can’t get him to understand why ROI is important." Everything you said before the word but is bull poo poo.
That’s fun, let’s do some more:
"Sam is a really smart guy, but he just won’t get with the program."
Oh, gosh this is awesome, let’s keep going.
"Ralph has been a loyal and dedicated employee, but he just can’t seem to show up on time."
"I have a great used car manager, he really knows cars, but we have a lot of stuff over 60 days old."
"We have a great website, but we just can’t seem to get our pictures online in a timely manner."
"We have prices posted on our used cars, but they don’t match the prices we have on the Internet."
"My used car manager is a great closer, but he doesn’t understand how to price used cars."
"Curtis is a nice guy, but makes poor buying decisions by buying too many high dollar cars."
"Bob is a hard worker, but he’s an idiot."
"My used car manager is one of the best in the business, but we’re only getting 5 turns a year."
"We have great sales people, but we can’t get them to sell used cars."
"We have a great service department, but we can’t get them to get used cars through the system in a timely manner."
"My general manager is awesome, but his people skills are terrible."
"We spend a ton of money in advertising, but we haven’t figured out what role digital plays in our business."
"My used car manager is really tight with all the wholesalers, but we always lose money when we sell them a car."
"Joe is a great manager, but his paper work is a disaster."
"Steve is one of our best managers, but he doesn’t want to change from old school thinking."
Ok, I’m having way too much fun. How many of these can you come up with yourself about things in your organization? This whole "but thing" is simply an excuse and/or a weakness as to why you are not willing to deal with the problem or issue at hand.
I recently was reading a book review in the Wall Street Journal titled "Marshall and His Generals." It’s a biography of General George C. Marshall and how he shaped the U.S. Army Generals during World War II.
To quote from the article and book: Marshall could be pitiless in relieving generals, especially those who were too old or too slow to adapt to the war’s brutal pace. His ruthlessness spawned enemies at the Officers’ Club, in Congress and in the hierarchy conscious world of military wives, but Marshall prided himself on remaining objective. As he told a gathering of governors in 1943: "The man has to have it or he doesn’t stay. And we listen to no excuses of any kind."
There comes a point in your life or business career when you need to show some real spine. You need to jump up on your desk, rear up on your hind legs and be counted.
You’re running a business. You’re not running a democracy. You can keep on "but"-ing all you want. At some point your "buts" are gonna bite you in the butt.
Remember I said at the beginning everything before the word but is meaningless.
Ok, one last but…"Tommy Gibbs is really expensive, but he’s made me so much money I feel brilliant that I hired him." That’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs