Leadership is More than Good Results


Before we begin to discuss, let’s look at the definition of helpful.

Reading this, your first reaction would be, “Glenn of course being helpful is a good trait. It says right there, ready to give help!!”

Yes, I agree, being helpful is a great trait BUT I am concerned many dealership employees and managers may be misunderstanding where the line is where helpful begins to become enabling poor performance.

Let me explain. I am seeing a current trend of managers/people who fall into two categories. Demonstrative/Dictatorial or Overworked/Martyrs. Let’s look at each.


This manager’s main skill is to stay out of the fray. They tell others what to do, observe results and then adjust from afar. It is below them to roll up their sleeves to dive in and work with their team. They have risen to this position and now feel their desk or office is there domain. Employees come to them not the other way around.

These managers in my opinion are not capable of long term success. They feel their title removes them from the actual work of running a team.


This manager is very well liked by their team. The constantly smile their forced smile and work till the job is done. They willingly take on extra tasks or take back tasks from others because “the work has to get done”.

This manager will come in early to get their new workload completed and when questioned, they will say things like, “It is ok” or “The other person seemed to be having a hard time so it is easier if I do this.”

The problem with this style of management is they are not holding the team accountable for their job duties. This can be the failure of many potentially great teams because no one person can carry this load for all time.

I understand this person because at one time I was this person. I only thought of the team and would pick up the slack of other team members. It wasn’t until one of my bosses called me into their office to discuss this.

Creating a False Sense of Success

“Glenn, I am glad you are here and love your effort. Unfortunately, you are failing to lead this team correctly.”

This struck me as odd, we were performing well and results were there.

He went on, “I have been watching you and I would love to be on your team. You do a part of everyone else’s job. Either you do the job yourself or you are running around reminding everyone what they need to do.”

I was confused and told him so. “But our results are there.”

“Not for long”, he said. “There will be a time when you are not here and then the team will not know what to do. You are creating a false sense of success. You are creating dependent team members.”

He went on to explain I needed to hold everyone accountable to their jobs. It may cause a little friction but hold tight, train them and them monitor progress. Find the team members who want to handle their part to deliver success. Long term this was the best advice and I have reminded myself of this anytime I work with new teams.

It is easy for people to fall into either of these styles of management. I believe there is a better approach which will be more successful.

Training Employees Like Children

IF you think about how we were trained as young children, by parents and teachers, it is different than how we teach employees. As a parent, we demonstrated many things we wanted our children to learn. From walking to riding a bike to throwing a ball we took the time to show them, watch what they did and then gave them feedback.

As we moved into school, this happened as well. We were shown how to hold a pencil and write. We were given addition problems and then as we stood at the blackboard the teacher showed us where we made a mistake or applauded as we did well.

As we grew there came a time where parents and teachers had to stop being “Helpful” so we could fail in a protective environment. I am not saying they lacked caring but they realized they could not do everything for the children anymore. They had to learn how to do these things on their own, but great parents and educators were not far away, watching the progress.

Spoken to, Not Coached

The problem I see is many leaders now think their employees need to be spoken to instead of coached. Or on the other side, pampered to make sure everything get done.  Neither of these lead to long time success

I contend the best leaders act more as coaches. If we look back we may have encountered coaches who also helped us, pushed us to improve performance. They demonstrated, watched progress and demanded excellence. For many of us, we all have a coach who had an impact.

Recently while training a group of dealership employees, the topic of coaches came up. One employee shared a story of their high school volleyball coach and the most striking thing was how her face lit up with the memory. That is the impact of a great coach who was helpful in the right way.

If you feel you are one of the manager styles listed above then it may be time for you to put on the coaching hat. Think of what your coach did for you and begin to emulate this behavior. It will put you on the right path. Long term success comes from living with a coaching mentality style of leadership.

If you found value in this, please share. It would mean the world to me. If I can help you with any management training or advice please reach out.

I appreciate it.