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Dave Anderson's Blog (62)

The Importance of Mental Toughness

     Mental toughness is a topic widely discussed in athletics, but less often in business. Yet, mental toughness in any job or industry is at least as important to sustainable success as it is in sports. While it’s common in business to discuss strong drive, ample talent, and great attitudes, without mental toughness those traits are marginalized.

     Mental toughness is defined as: a collection of attributes that allow a person to…

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Added by Dave Anderson on March 22, 2016 at 1:13pm — 1 Comment

Face and Fix Weak Leadership

There’s just no warm and fuzzy way to say this: our business is littered with weak leaders. They’re ubiquitous. They come from all generations, genders, and ethnicities; represent every franchise; and are likewise commonly found in variable, fixed, office, and management company positions—including the dealer. What’s more dangerous than being a weak leader, or having a weak leader is:

  1. Failing to realize you are one.
  2. Knowing you are one and thinking it doesn’t…
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Added by Dave Anderson on February 22, 2016 at 12:30pm — No Comments

The "Big Three" When Hiring

When you hire the right person, put them in a strong culture, and provide the structure for them to develop their skills and talents, your life as a leader gets better in a hurry. However, when you hire recklessly and bring on warm-bodied-mirror-foggers so you can claim to have “coverage,” you sentence your dealership to a costly misadventure of misery on the installment plan.

While I don’t have space in this column to share everything of importance to evaluate when assessing a job…

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Added by Dave Anderson on January 22, 2016 at 12:19pm — 5 Comments

How to Positively Apply Pressure to Perform

In today’s hyper-sensitive and politically correct climate, it’s safe to say this article’s title has already offended some—those who believe as long as people show up every day and try hard they should be awarded the business version of a participation trophy: continued employment, benefits, and excessive time and attention to bring their performance up from perpetually miserable to at least occasionally mediocre.

But in strong cultures (or cultures aspiring to become that way) the…

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Added by Dave Anderson on December 11, 2015 at 1:41pm — 6 Comments

Four Steps to Create a Culture of Candor

On a consulting mission years ago a dealer told me, “Our team is very healthy; we never fight.” I replied, “If your team doesn’t fight it’s not healthy, it’s dysfunctional.” Teams with strong personalities, passions, and opinions will clash from time to time about issues, strategies, and over how to best advance the organization. And this is a very good thing. Following are four reasons why conflict is not only necessary, but should be insisted upon.

1. Conflict…

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Added by Dave Anderson on November 17, 2015 at 12:29pm — 4 Comments

How to Lead Well When Bad Things Happen

After the fallout from the G.M. ignition switch debacle—and most recently with VW’s emission issues—clients have contacted me asking for suggestions on how to handle the adverse publicity, for how to keep their team focused, and on how to prepare them for customer’s questions and concerns. Of course, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all remedy; and, while what I’m suggesting in this piece is far from the final word on the topic of crisis management, you may find some ideas to help you deal…

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Added by Dave Anderson on October 23, 2015 at 5:57pm — 2 Comments

Keep Your Commitments

In several of my seminars I cover the importance of building a rock solid character, and go over key traits to develop in that endeavor: remaining teachable, accepting responsibility, honesty in words and deeds, maintaining a strong work ethic and more. However, the section that creates the most squirms and losses of eye contact is when I discuss the non-negotiable leadership requirement to keep one’s commitments. Following are seven principles concerning keeping commitments that give you a…

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Added by Dave Anderson on September 22, 2015 at 7:33pm — No Comments

So, You Want a Raise?

When I was just out of school during the disastrous Carter economy of the late 70’s my short-order cook’s job in a Texas truck stop paid $3.35 an hour. The truth was, I needed around $10.00 per hour to pay my bills; but that didn’t change the reality that frying eggs, making toast and stuffing burgers in buns was worth $3.35 hourly.

To make ends meet I had a few options: work longer hours, find a better or additional jobs, or upgrade my skills so that they were worth $10.00 or…

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Added by Dave Anderson on August 21, 2015 at 3:31pm — 5 Comments

The Danger of Micromanagement

Micromanagement is often misunderstood. On one hand, leaders are wrongly accused of it by followers not wanting to live up to certain standards; in other cases managers strangle the potential and drain the passion from its best people by nitpicking them and becoming overinvolved in their jobs. To accurately assess whether micromanagement is taking place, or not, we should first understand its definition: to control with excessive attention to minor details. Two key words in this…

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Added by Dave Anderson on July 23, 2015 at 11:29am — 4 Comments

Business Lessons from the Dojo

Within our new LearnToLead Elite Training Center adjacent to our Agoura Hills, California offices, I have a “Wall of Influencers”. On the wall are three separate photo displays where I’m posing with a substantial mentor in my life: John Maxwell, Zig Ziglar and Johnny Gyro. Maxwell and Ziglar are renowned writers, speakers, teachers and motivators. Johnny Gyro is not known in business circles, but as a ninth dan seven-time world champion karate master, represented in three separate karate…

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Added by Dave Anderson on June 16, 2015 at 6:24pm — 5 Comments

How to Lead by Personal Example

A quick way to lose credibility is with a leadership style that says “don’t do as I do, do as I say”. If you’ve ever wondered why your people haven’t bought into you like you think they should, or how to earn even greater buy-in I suggest that doing a better job of leading by example is a great place to begin. Following are ten places to focus on in this regard:

  1.        Be truthful. If “integrity” is one of your core values, but you instruct a receptionist to tell a…
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Added by Dave Anderson on May 11, 2015 at 2:06pm — 4 Comments

A Blueprint for Making the Tough Calls

In visiting with thousands of leaders in dozens of industries over the past two decades one thing is clear: the people who are expected to make fast, tough decisions are rarely trained how to do so. As a result, costly “gut” decisions are wrongly made, or indecision prevails in areas that end up costing the company plenty. While there is not a one-size-fits-all mechanism for making tough decisions attendees, to my workshops have found it useful when I present a series of filters to help them…

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Added by Dave Anderson on March 24, 2015 at 3:09pm — No Comments

Seven Ways to Increase Employee Engagement

The past few years have brought a stronger awareness of the importance of engaged employees in the workplace. In fact, “employee engagement” has become a mantra for manufacturers and dealers alike in their quest to attract, develop and retain talent. At the same time, conventional wisdom has long asserted that happy and satisfied employees should be a priority, and many assume that if employees are happy with their work and satisfied with their workplace that…

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Added by Dave Anderson on February 23, 2015 at 2:30pm — 3 Comments

Five Steps to Make Each Day a Masterpiece

Leaders of organizations spend much time giving thought to, creating, and communicating annual visions for their enterprises; then breaking them down into monthly forecasts for their teams to achieve. These “big pictures” provide essential direction, unity, and meaning in the workplace. While longer term planning is vital, the bulk of organizational discussion focuses on the question, “Where do we want to…

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Added by Dave Anderson on January 26, 2015 at 5:54pm — No Comments

The Staggering Cost of Poor Performance

In nearly every workshop I ask the question: How many of you would agree that most organizations tend to keep poor performers too long? Every time, hordes of hands shoot up. While it’s difficult to precisely quantify the cost of just a single poor performer---some researchers have attempted to—I feel safe in asserting that if managers considered the following costs they’d be inclined to more quickly prioritize either getting the person better, or getting a better…

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Added by Dave Anderson on December 17, 2014 at 4:30pm — 6 Comments

Remember: “It’s the Culture, Stupid!”

Many organizations have an unhealthy addiction to silver bullets, contests, quick fixes and an array of flavors of the month in an attempt to improve behaviors. These efforts range from the monthly spiff on demos or write-ups, to weekend “slasher sales”, to “we’re firing the bottom guy on the board this month”, to the latest twenty-group best-idea bandwagon, and the like. While versions of the aforementioned examples can play a role in bringing a short-term burst of adrenaline, or a…

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Added by Dave Anderson on November 19, 2014 at 5:30pm — 10 Comments

The “Loyal” Non-Performer

“I know I should probably get rid of the guy, but he’s been with me twenty-five years; he’s loyal.”

If you’ve ever managed to whine out a lame version of this “he’s loyal” rationalization to justify your defense of mediocrity roll this publication up, hand it to the nearest person and ask them to smack you in the head with it. Frankly, if you dare fathom the perpetual cost and misery that accompanies keeping a “loyal’ non-performer you’d agree a simple whack on the head is…

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Added by Dave Anderson on October 20, 2014 at 3:58pm — 4 Comments

Reality Rebuttal to “Conventional” Nonsense

Our business is filled with common complaints, cop outs, clichés, conventional wisdom, and excuses that will keep you average if you buy into them. As you read over the following list determine how many you have heard, said, or bought into. Then consider the reality rebuttal, offered with the intent to create a healthier perspective on each issue.

 

1.       There’s a shortage of talented people in my area.

 

Reality rebuttal: It’s…

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Added by Dave Anderson on September 17, 2014 at 5:33pm — 7 Comments

How to Pull Away From the Pack!

Successful businesses are so common today in most industries that it’s easy for them to become complacent just because you’re “making money” or doing better than last year. Because of their ubiquity, successful companies have come to bore me. They’re certainly the rule rather than the exception, and most are so content with how they’re doing they spend a lot more time talking about becoming great or getting to the next level than they do taking the action necessary to make it…

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Added by Dave Anderson on September 3, 2014 at 3:24pm — 7 Comments

Four Ways to Keep a Fanatical Focus

After decades of working in, and consulting with, the marketplace I’ve become convinced that the vast majority of people who miss their potential are not lazy; they are unfocused. Many put their hearts and energies into building a great career, business and life, yet never rise above mediocrity. Others become wildly successful, but still fall far short of what they could have accomplished had they focused their time, energy, talents and resources more intensely on a daily…

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Added by Dave Anderson on August 19, 2014 at 8:08pm — 4 Comments

Blog Posts

Great Leaders Must Let Go...Sometimes

Posted by Paul Potratz on May 3, 2016 at 3:19pm 0 Comments

The people who work at Potratz have shaped us into the brand awareness and engagement agency that we are today.

Potratz is comprised of multiple companies that all work…

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The Two Things Every Customer Wants From Us

Posted by Michael Hargrove on May 3, 2016 at 10:22am 0 Comments



What is it that each and every customer wants, actually…

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The $4,000 Tap

Posted by John Fuhrman on May 2, 2016 at 2:35pm 0 Comments

The $4,000 Tap

By John Fuhrman – Director of Training, OptionSoft Technologies

 

     There’s an old story that goes something like this.

 

    …

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Why Service Contract Sales in the Service Dept. Fail - Until Now

Posted by John Fuhrman on May 2, 2016 at 7:23am 0 Comments

As many of you know, I've been involved in this industry since cars took leaded gas.  There have been many changes.  Some good, some not so much.  One thing that has seemed to be a constant is selling extended service contracts in your service…

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