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How lessons from the Armed Forces can help develop your leadership skills in the dealership

On the latest episode of Straight Talk, host David Lewis, President of David Lewis & Associates, talks about the number one organization in the world, The United States Armed Forces. As explored in Lewis’s book, “The Leadership Factor,” a big part of becoming a leader in the automotive business is working closely with the sales team and assessing what each salesperson can bring to your dealership.

The Armed Forces have established rules and policies, central to everything they do. Those who are accepted to join must sign on to their rules and policies. They rely on teamwork and a well-defined chain of command that applies to each and every person involved.

Lewis then poses the question, what does this have to do with selling cars? It has everything to do with auto sales, he says. Everything that has made the Armed Forces exceptional including discipline, accountability, and teamwork, applies to car dealership culture. Those who decide to be a part of the dealership must utilizer these same principles. Lewis says, in no way is this segment meant to be an endorsement to run your dealership like a military operation, but rather, a way to show you how to get maximum results from individual employees and the departments they belong to.

Car dealerships are made up of unique people who are usually self-motivated and driven to succeed. The same can be said of the Armed Forces. These organizations accomplish the goals they set through determination and consistency.

Here are few principles from the U.S. Armed Forces that can be applied to any dealership organization and enhance its level of success. First, is the clear chain of command. Second, is the pride and dedication in work. Third, have structure and develop a set of principles or methods, to become a cohesive unit. The better you become as a team, the better your individual success will be as well.


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David Lewis
David Lewis
David’s firm is a national training and consulting business that specializes in the retail automotive industry. He also is the author of four industry-related books, “The Secrets of Inspirational Selling,” “The Leadership Factor,” “Understanding Your Customer” and “The Common Mistakes Automotive Salespeople Make.” Visit his website at www.DavidLewis.com.

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