Years ago I came up with a saying, “You’re never as smart as you think you are and you are never as dumb as you appear.” Some of you are feeling really dumb right now. Trust me, you aren’t dumb. Odds are you are doing all you can to hang in there. Trust me on this one too, in years gone by you weren’t as smart as you thought you were either. We are all victims of good circumstances and bad circumstances. Some of you have had great franchises in great locations. Yes, maybe you were smarter than the average bear and maximized your potential, but had you had a really bad franchise in a really bad location then you wouldn’t have looked quite as smart.
Here are a couple of examples.
Who knows who Mike Jackson is? He’s the CEO of AutoNation. I cannot tell you the number of times he’s been quoted in various publications like Automotive News. When he speaks the auto world listens. If I didn’t know better I would have thought he was the most brilliant auto guy in the world. I don’t know Mike Jackson, and I don’t doubt that he’s very smart. But, given the same set of circumstances he was in, many of you could have excelled. So, where is he today? I’ve not seen many brilliant statements coming from him in Automotive News lately. Have you? What I have seen is that AutoNation is closing a number of stores; flat just shutting down because they are losing money. Is he any dumber today than he was three years ago? I doubt it. The circumstances have changed.
Here’s another one. Who knows Jim Press? He’s now the President and Vice Chairman of Chrysler. Press, as you may well know, spent 37 years with Toyota. He seemed to be one of the smartest guys in the world while with Toyota. Have you heard or seen anything much that he’s done since he went with Chrysler? I don’t personally know Jim Press, but I’ve attended many meetings where he spoke and I was always very impressed with him. In all those years with Toyota he was at the right place at the right time. He looked brilliant. He doesn’t look so brilliant today, does he? What’s he done to turn Chrysler around? I’d say not too much.
I don’t mean to beat these two guys up. I’m sure they are very smart, but I want to hammer the point home that none of us are ever “as smart as we think we are or as dumb as we appear.” Right now some of you are feeling pretty dumb even though you aren’t. The deck is stacked against you right now. I get phone call after phone call from dealers questioning “What are we doing wrong?” In some cases it’s simply that they have woken up a little too late and they are in an absolute scramble. This business continues to be all about basics. All about fundamentals. All about disciplines. All about processes. All about focus. There has never been a more important time than right now to evaluate yourself in all these areas. That’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs
10 Tips For Dealing With Today’s Market
1. EMBRACE ANXIETY– It’s motivation to take action.
2. GET AFTER IT-Focus your energy on making positive change. Crank up the intensity and aggravate the competition!
3. PUT FEAR IN PERSPECTIVE-What’s the worst that can happen?
4. BE READY-Preparation breeds Confidence.
5. DON’T DWELL-Forget minor setbacks; learn and move on. (Don’t let the setback become the standard!)
6. HEALTHY DISCONTENT– for people or things blocking your progress. (Continue to surround yourself with losers and you will continue to lose.)
7. INSPIRATIONALLY DISSATISFIED– with yourself…YOU have to step it up! (YOU must set the example!)
8. DAILY DOSE– of paranoia…fix yourself… (We’re back to you again. You must set the example!)
9. CONTINUE to look for answers. (Continuous Improvement-You never get it right!)
10. NEVER– ever give up. Other people want to see you fail! Don’t let others control your thinking!