Are You A Leader Or An Enabler?


Management and leadership are two different things. There is an old saying that “You manage things and you lead people.” Managing and leading are both are essential to the success of a dealership. In both management and leadership you are assisting your team to grow and develop or you are enabling them to produce less than maximum results.

Five measurements of a manager or leader.

#1 – Do you attract, hire and retain the right people?

#2 – Do you educate those people continually so they have the opportunity for success?

#3 – Do you give your people extremely clear expectations for everything? This includes their complete job functions and their expected and potential results?

#4 – Do you motivate and inspire your team for better attitude and results?

#5 – Do you hold everyone accountable?

Breaking down each essential measurement

#1 – Nothing happens without the right people. If you are an enabler, you most likely are ALLOWING less than desirable team members to be on your staff.  STOP IT! Stop making excuses about how you can’t hire good people today. You can hire good people but you must have a belief system and game plan to do so. You need an Ideal Employee Profile for each position. Who are you looking for? If you don’t quantify this you will hire solely on emotion and that usually leads to bad results.

peopleYou must have a plan in place to recruit continually. Recruit when you want and not when you NEED.  Do not run the same ad in the paper you have used for 50 years that everyone else runs. Use unique ads. Utilize some or all of the following: Newspaper inserts, a link on your website homepage with a video and information form, online resources such as,,, and job fairs, Offer continual referral programs for your employees that rewards them if they refer a person who is hired at time of hiring, six months and then one year of employment. Don’t forget college campus recruiting and vocational schools. Consider the Enterprise Rental car model and sell a career dream not a job. Utilize the phrase “Management Trainee”.

Ask yourself, “Do I have really good to great people?” If not, what excuses are you allowing? STOP IT! – NO EXCUSES!

#2 – Every single employee in your dealership deserves and should receive ongoing education. You must have a continual education program based upon job skills, people skills, life skills and marketing skills. Hiring new people and not educating them is a recipe for turnover. Having veteran workers who are not continually educated is a recipe for bad attitudes, self-induced comfort zones and lower performance.  STOP IT! NO EXCUSES!

#3 – Do you have extremely clear written and communicated job descriptions. Do you coach your people daily? Do you religiously perform one-on-one coaching sessions? Do you perform Review-Preview sessions at the beginning of every month? Do you inform and coach clear expectations every single day? STOP IT! NO EXCUSES!

#4 – It is true that successful people are intrinsically motivated. However, every single human on earth needs extrinsic motivation as well. Every single work team has a collective mindset that is fluid and forever shifting. Successful managers and leaders are keenly aware of this and look to keep the attitudes and direction of the team moving in the right direction and correct the direction when it wavers. All people have subconscious elements that can guide them towards negativity from time to time no matter how positive they are. “A ship that sails with every wind never comes in the harbor.”  Every ship needs a captain for direction. STOP IT! NO EXCUSES!

#5 – Do you hold each and every person on your team accountable? If you are afraid to lead and manage by holding people accountable, you are neither a leader nor a manager.  If you do not manage and lead, you are not only ALLOWING less than desirable behavior and results, you are PROMOTING it. STOP IT! NO EXCUSES!

At your dealership as the manager and leader, if you will manage all the processes, numbers and functions while you lead people at the same time utilizing these five elements of success, it is impossible to fail. If you do not utilize the five elements your chances of failure and or under-performance are destined.

Stop enabling yourself and others to low production, results and failure.


“You choose to win or you choose to lose, but the choice is always yours!” – Mark Tewart