Must Reads for Automotive Managers


Experience might be the best teacher but it is also the slowest one. For the sales professional recently promoted into management, time is not a luxury you have to become good at your new role. Results are expected of you almost immediately. Here are five rapid-start books to get your management skills quickly up to speed.

The One-Minute Manager, by Kenneth Blanchard & Spencer Johnson

Small enough to fit in your pocket, this little 106 page classic stays popular because of one reason – it works.

Have you noticed that contemporary management books are typically loaded with many stories about managers facing different situations, along with a healthy dose of popular psychology added in? Not this book. In simple, plain language the author tells you what to do and what results you can expect from it. Forget all the psychology and theory; you won’t find it in this easy reading, straightforward book.

Supervisor’s Survival Kit, by Elwood Chapman & Cliff Goodwin

Are you brand new in management? Here are 24 10-page lessons on topics you might face frequently, from working with problem employees, to time management, team building and many other potential trouble areas. Read one lesson every day and watch your competence as a manager get a boost. Or use it as a reference, and look up the chapter topics as-needed when you face new issues.

Handling the Difficult Employee: Solving Performance Problems, by Marty Brounstein

Let’s admit it. Dealing with staff problems might take only 10% of your time, or perhaps less, but it can use up 90% of your energy. Only 75 pages in length (time is scarce for managers, remember), this little book will give your insight into personnel problems a good jolt in the right direction.

You will learn some handy lessons on how to deal with low performance from staff in ways you might not think of yourself.

How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life, by Alan Lakein

Technically not a management book, this short work takes you quickly through several handy lessons on how to manage the resource that is scarce for all of us – time. That’s especially true for managers who are responsible for their own time and that of their staff.

The author takes you through several amazingly quick exercises on goal setting, specifically how to get clear on goals, then shows you tips on how to carve out a few minutes here and there to work at building towards those goals. A must read for anybody who doesn’t have enough time.

It’s Your Ship (Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy), by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff

Get ready for some serious reading.  So, you think your dealership has staff problems? They most likely include leadership problems too. Learn how those two issues are connected, and what you can do about it. Good advice from a career where excellence from staff can’t be ordered, it must instead be earned. Learn how you can earn it too.