Does Leadership Matter?

Does good leadership matter? That’s one of those rhetorical questions. Of course it does.
Having said that, I think that there are times when we ignore and forget just how important leadership is to the success of an organization.

If you’ve ever doubted how important leadership is, you need to look no further than True Car. Approximately 18 months ago, True Car named Chip Perry as their CEO, replacing Scott Painter.

A couple of years ago I had the privilege of speaking at a state convention that Mr. Painter was also speaking at. The tension in the room was as if a war would break out any minute.

There wasn’t a love-hate relationship with the True Car organization. There was a 99.9% we hate you. You’re destroying the car business. You are the enemy, and you for sure aren’t our friend.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I’m sitting in the audience waiting my turn to speak at that same state convention and the speaker before me was Chip Perry. No tension, no stress, but a relaxed group of dealers looking forward to hearing what Mr. Perry had to say.

Do the dealers love True Car? Heck no! Do they hate True Car? Not so much as they once did.

Without a doubt, the atmosphere and the feelings toward True Car have dramatically changed over the last 18 months. Mr. Perry and his team have done a wonderful job of changing the perception of True Car and the role they play in the retailing of vehicles.

As a former dealer, I’ve never liked 3rd party lead providers. I’ve always thought of them as parasites, but they are here to stay and the smart dealers will figure a way to make it work and hopefully at some point figure out how to reduce their advertising cost per car.

Leadership does matter. If there’s a leadership problem on your team, you’re either part of the problem or you know where the problem is.

Technology won’t solve your leadership problems. Someone making a decision will. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs