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You know for last few months I have been hearing a lot about leadership in our industry, about education and how there needs to be more of both, I ABSOLUTELY AGREE!

I met up with Bill Playford at SWSXi (South By Southwest Interactive) for those not familiar with the acronym. We talked about this very thing. I found myself getting very excited at some of the ideas we were discussing, so much so I was writing curriculum in my head as I was driving back to Houston Friday afternoon.


On the way home I made several calls that to be frank…were a total buzz kill on the subject. I was quickly reminded of the agendas of some of the broadcasters, large vendors with money, resources and a voice and the influencers in our industry and the task of bringing true leadership and honest education seemed to be almost too daunting a task for anyone to take on.


This morning I wake up still thinking about this subject and as I going through my normal morning reading ritual and I ran across this post by Seth Godin. Seth has a way in of summing up a topic in very few words I hope to someday master that for now I am not doing very well.


7 Questions For Leaders


1. Do you let the facts get in the way of a good story? Think about that for a second beyond the obvious. What is a good story? It’s a vision right? Are you letting the fact that something isn’t that way right now or that something is hard get in the way of a good story / vision being told? If you are you are killing creativity and innovation in our business…Stop It!


2. What do you do with people who disagree with you…do you call them names in order to shut them down? THIS ONE YOU REALLY NEED TO PAY ATTENTINON TO! Who do you know that is doing this regularly? Get away from that person, this is happening all too often and on some blogs more than others. Bottom line we should be welcome disagreement and healthy debate, when that debate is constructive. People are allowed to have opinions and you are allowed to have yours. In today’s world we are all allowed to express them and there is nothing wrong with this process. It goes wrong when you start the name calling and the personal attacks in an attempt to belittle that person. You have an opinion express it…don't be offended if someone else has a different one, don't expect someone else just to roll over if you disagree. STOP BELIVEING AND READING YOUR OWN PRESS. Cars are gonna get sold with or with our any of us.


3. Are you open to multiple points of view or do your demand compliance and uniformity? Too many of us are not we go beyond constructive debate and defending our position to the point of my way is the only way.


4. Is it ok if someone else get the credit? – Think about that… is it really?


5. How often are you able to change your position? – None of us knows it all is it possible that someone has a piece to the puzzle you don't is it possible that you could be wrong? This doesn't mean you don't have conviction or believe in your position, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t defend it. Just make room for the possibility and keep your mind open.


6. Do you have a goal that can be reached in multiple ways? – Fact is every goal can be reached in multiple ways. There is no one best way to anything anymore. Just because your goal has to change to include others doesn’t mean it can’t be reached it’s just another path to get there.


7. If someone else can get us there faster, are you willing to let them? Are you? How often do you stand in the way of someone because you don't like them or think you don't? Do you even know them?


There is no doubt that we need more leadership that can take these 7 questions above to heart and really work to improve the industry and thereby improving their business along with it. We all need to ask ourselves these questions and honestly answer them.


Larry Bruce @pcmguy

Views: 62

Tags: CRM, Post-click-marketing, automotive, bruce, click, dealership, internet, larry, marketing, post, More…sales, sem, seo, site, web


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Comment by Larry Bruce on March 19, 2011 at 6:13am



I think every industry has this problem to a degree. However in our business particularly when it comes to Digital Marketing we seem to have a lot of providers that believe in better products through marketing & spin rather than innovation and actual improvement.

Comment by Larry Bruce on March 19, 2011 at 6:09am
Thx Jae, you're right we all need to do a lot more listening and a lot less talking.
Comment by Jae Chang on March 16, 2011 at 6:31am

Great post Larry, this reminds me of the days in Communications class and the Process of Active Listening.


Communication, listening is hard work and is a dynamic, interactive process involving both speakers and listeners.  Active listening, therefore, is a series of interrelated processes that includes attending, perceiving, interpreting, assessing, and responding.  For most successful communication to occur, listeners and speakers must take mutual responsibility.  In active listening, the role of listeners is to plan strategies to help others listen more effectively.  This five step process is commonly referred to as the steps in the ‘listening ladder’.  As noted in the text, the ladder represents the five steps listeners go through when communicating with others.  At the top of the ladder is our goal:  successful communication.  Active listening can also be defined as empathetic listening, a method of listening that involves understanding the context of the message as well as the intent of the sender and the circumstances under which the message is given.  One may also liken it to a more focused or enhanced listening.  The basic idea is that the listener listens to somebody and pays special attention to what the person is saying.


I have found that if you can engage someone in Active Listening, it is easier to insight an Active Response.  How often are we involved in a conversation or lecture when our minds wander to another place? Doesn't always work for all but it is a step in the right direction.

Comment by Heath Emerson on March 15, 2011 at 8:30pm

I was actually thinking about what you have discussed here earlier today, especially after a couple of meetings and a few phone calls with some vendors. I think everyone on here wishes that egos, money, and corporate control was pushed aside so that our industry was more productive and open instead of narrow minded and controlling.



Comment by Larry Bruce on March 14, 2011 at 6:21am
@Tom - You said it! And I cant agree with you more Tom for too long has this gone on. If we want to change it and move forward we are going to have to stand up as a dealer body and demand it, it wont just be given to us.

Comment by Larry Bruce on March 14, 2011 at 6:17am

@Ralph - Purple Cow is one of the best business books written on marketing. It certainly sums up the new shopper mentality Ralph. I find myself reading it All Marketers Are Liers, and Linchpin a lot. 


Anyone in business and marketing should read these books links are above.

Comment by Larry Bruce on March 14, 2011 at 6:10am
@Keith - Seth is the man, I can only aspire to write a succinctly as he does. This post is especially important and timely, I hope it helps to move us forward from here. I feel as if the industry has hit a glass ceiling and there are forces seeking to hold dealers back. We need to bust through this thinking with anyone you meet who feels this way.

Comment by Larry Bruce on March 14, 2011 at 6:02am

@Brian, I don't think there are any of us that can claim perfection. With that said there is nothing wrong with healthy debate on the issues and topics. When degrades to name calling, personal attacks and just down right slander we all lose credibility and eventually the blog or publication starts to lose readership and that hurts everyone.


We should all look at these questions and take them to heart. Try to improve to on them everyday I know I am.


Lastly to all who are doing business in our industry if an educated dealer isn't your best customer then you need to rethink your business model.

Comment by Thomas A. Kelly on March 14, 2011 at 4:38am
Keep fighting the good fight Larry. Your title says it all... Leadership in Our Industry, correcting course with open minds allows leaders to lead. Protecting your profit model with little or no regard to the changes in our industry gets old fast. Credibility is strengthened with flexibility. Without credibility we have nothing. Thanks for another good post Larry.
Comment by Ralph Paglia on March 13, 2011 at 5:09pm
Had to do it... Create a discussion around Seth Godin's Purple Cow book... Thanks to Larry Bruce for inspiring me to go back and take another look at the high value book which i read almost 4 years ago... Now, I am reading it again!

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