The All-Star baseball game was played on Tuesday night with the National League defeating the American League 8-0. For baseball it’s referred to as their mid-season break and it determines the home team advantage for the World Series.
It’s sort of the same way for you. You’ve just passed the half way mark in the business year and I’m wondering how many of you and your team members have made the All-Star team? To determine if you’re an All-Star you have to certainly look at some numbers. So how are they? Parts and Service up? New Car sales up? How about total new gross?
And of course you know I’m going to ask you about your used car numbers. Are volume and gross up in used? Has your team jelled over the last 6 months? Are your key players showing good leadership and performing like All-Stars?
Here are 6 elements necessary to be an All-Star:
1. Hustle, Hustle Hustle-When I think of baseball and hustle I can’t help but think of Pete Rose. His nickname was "Charlie Hustle." As a player Pete was the epitome of the word hustle. That is the mindset you need to be successful and move your business to the next level.
You have to be determined to out-hustle the other guy, gal or business. The great thing about hustle is that it requires no God-given talent. It just requires that you want to do it. So maybe you’ve not been hustling as hard as you should. Let’s hustle a little harder. Let’s dive for some line drives. Get with it.
2. Have a Game Plan-Nothing happens without a strategic game plan. The plan has to be well thought out. A solid plan requires research, time and talking to others. Those around you see and know things you cannot possibly know. It will surprise you what you can learn from people you would normally discount as not being important or having much to offer.
Your plan should be constantly developing, growing, expanding. Adjustments are a part of the game. Those who can adjust to the changing conditions increase their chances of winning. Put the plan in place and be ready to make adjustments. Every one of those players in the All-Star Game took batting practice before the game. Part of your batting practice needs to be to look for ways to tweak your game plan.
3. Think Fast-Think fast and move fast should be your motto. Decisions and changes need to be well thought out. If you’re "up early and stay up late" you can make fast decisions that will bury your competition. In baseball, even if your team has weak areas, speed can overcome a lot. Think fast, be fast.
4. Increase Your Communication-Communication starts by listening and responding. It takes a combination of meetings, memos, emails, and phone calls to distribute information. The keys are updates and progress reports. The more information you share with your team the more progress you will see and the more your team will develop.
The more the team develops the more wins you get. There’s a lot of communication going on in a baseball game; signs, signals and meetings on the mound. You can never communicate the game plan too much or too often.
5. Get Back to Empowerment– Years ago, automobile dealers took a page out of the airline book of customer satisfaction by allowing staff members to make on the spot decisions to satisfy customers. Our policy for years was if the customer asks then the answer is "Yes."
That’s not to say that you don’t need to have limits, but you must empower your people to "just handle it." Nine times out of ten you’re going to do it anyway, so let them handle it in the trenches. If you have talented players sometimes you have to turn them loose.
Talented base runners are often allowed to steal on their own. The coach lets them use their God-given talent. Yes, they get thrown out once in a while, but people have to make some mistakes in order to learn and get better.
6. Pick Up The Intensity-When you combine Intensity with Hustle it’s almost impossible not to become an All-Star. There’s nothing magical here. Intensity separates the winners from the losers. It gets down to the teams who are moving ahead vs. the ones who are stagnant. How much are you willing to separate yourself and your business from the competition? Show me a laid back baseball player and I will show you a player who didn’t make the All-Star Team.
Hope you made the All-Star Team. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs