I've been priveledged in my life to co-exist with some extrordinarly leaders. In the suburb of Cleveland where I grew up, I was fortunate enough to spend time with an Abbot in my parish who upheld the word vividly.
He drilled, “Be a Leader” into my head, and I have always strived to hold true to that phrase.
I really hope the current circumstances we are in economically allow us to see how great we can all work as a team. Don’t get me wrong, competition is necessary. However, dealerships need to be inspired internally to work with each other more instead of pointing the finger. Tough time expose weakness, but they also allow others to rise to the challenge and emerge as leaders.
Leaders don’t always have to be the one’s with their name on the building. They often aren’t the ones who get all the recognition. Leading is lonely. To be a true leader means you have to be able to look within yourself for motivation, and for the drive to continue onwards and upwards.
I'm a distance runner, and had trouble pacing myself in races (those of you who know me are shocked by that, I'm sure...). My college coach, another formidable leader in my life, told me "When you reach the last lap, just put your head down and #*@#!-ing run. If you collapse at the end I'll pick you up. Don't leave anything on the track."
Most of us think that to be a leader means to be out in front of the pack, on the front of a magazine, receiving big awards. Sometimes that’s the case. I think that good leaders get the recognition they have earned when the time is right for them. But the true growth and formation of a leader begins in the background, creating and inspiring, researching and developing, collaborating and refining processes, forging through uncharted waters. How many future leaders do we all have at our dealerships that we fail to inspire and encourage every day, by way of teaching good processes and holding them accountable for them? We all know there are no pats on the back – but a good opportunity to succeed reaches far beyond a good pep talk.
"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." -Steve Prefontaine