Dave Anderson's Blog (52)

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…

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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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

Four Ways to Measure Managers

Ultimately, we all are measured by results. However, results alone can be a misleading indicator for how effective a manager is in his or her role. For instance, while speaking recently in the UK, I cautioned that the fact they have the fastest growing economy in the western world, and are having their best automotive retail sales year since 2005, is very possibly disguising the stench of mediocre management within aspects of their operations. Hot economies, popular products and favorable…


Added by Dave Anderson on July 28, 2014 at 4:33pm — 5 Comments

Are You a Leader Worth Following?

Leaders err when they believe someone should follow them simply because they’re the boss; because they have a leadership title. Yes, people will comply with this sort of “I’m the boss” leadership to keep their paycheck and job, but they only commit to leaders worth following. If you are a positional leader who is hung up on a title, here is a humbling perspective:

  • A title doesn’t make you a leader; it simply buys you time to become one.
  • It’s a foolish notion to believe…

Added by Dave Anderson on June 25, 2014 at 5:14pm — 3 Comments

You Can’t Make People What They’re Not!

One of the most helpful lessons I’ve learned, applied and taught clients concerning developing others is this: I can help make you more of what you are, but I can’t make you something you’re not. There are key and critical success factors you cannot change about others; nor can you teach them to others. If you have people on your team lacking these traits the time, training, and motivational efforts you…


Added by Dave Anderson on May 27, 2014 at 2:23pm — 7 Comments

Ten Tips to Retain Talent

At a Fortune business conference in 2003 a moderator asked Indra Nooyi, now Chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo: “As a leader, what keeps you awake at night?”

Without a second’s pause Nooyi replied, “Retaining my talent.”

Any leader wishing to measurably grow their organization is wise to list the same concern at the top of their list. Following are ten tips to retain talent;…


Added by Dave Anderson on April 15, 2014 at 1:26pm — No Comments

Why Your Team Can’t Execute & How to Fix It

For twelve years I’ve taught a three-day Strategy Summit in the 4th quarter to help clients prepare for the upcoming year. The format is simple:

  • The first day covers how to create a compelling vision that unites and inspires the team for the upcoming year.

  • Day two covers strategies to reach the vision. I present dozens of sample strategies and teach implementation principles to ensure they succeed.

  • On…


Added by Dave Anderson on March 18, 2014 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

The Truth about Dead Weight

Dead weight is defined by online dictionaries as: “a person who makes no contribution; a useless, usually burdensome factor.” In the workplace dead weight comes in many forms. Here are a few of the most common examples:

1. A team member who may produce the numbers, but doesn’t live your core values.

2. An incompetent team member.

3. An unproductive team member.

4. An overpaid team member, whose compensation far exceeds the worth…


Added by Dave Anderson on February 26, 2014 at 12:46pm — 8 Comments

Strategic Pruning for Profits

In Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, Necessary Endings, he stresses the necessity of pruning to create a healthier business. Pruning is a proactive process that allows an organization to reach its fullest potential.

In the dictionary, pruning is defined as: a function of cutting away to reduce the extent or reach of something by taking away unwanted or superfluous parts. I’ve long liked the concept of pruning as it allows leaders to leverage strengths and narrow focus on the…


Added by Dave Anderson on November 18, 2013 at 7:19pm — 1 Comment

Your Role as a Catalyst

The dictionary defines catalyst as “a person or thing that makes something happen.” Rarely is it that such an economy of words so accurately describes the expected role of any dealership leader on a day-in, day-out basis. The bottom line is this: leaders get paid to make things happen both personally, and through each team member. No high-value leader goes to work each day to wait for something to happen, or to watch it happen, and then wonder…


Added by Dave Anderson on October 28, 2013 at 4:30pm — 2 Comments

Your Culture: Weave in the Strong & Weed out the Weak!

In my Up Your Business 2.0 Super Leadership Workshop I give attendees strong cultural words to weave into their dealership and weak cultural words to weed out. At the end of the two days, everyone leaves with the mindset and vocabulary necessary to build a higher performance culture in their business.

Evaluate your own culture as you read over the partial list of strong vs. weak cultural words I’ve excerpted from the workshop and am presenting below. As you do, keep the…


Added by Dave Anderson on August 8, 2013 at 6:33pm — 6 Comments

How to Find the Great People You’re Looking For!

One of the most persistent questions leaders ask me at seminars is, “How and where do I find great people?” The most obvious, but overlooked, answer to this question is to start with those you have If you haven’t done what is necessary to develop the people already on your team it’s irresponsible to dismiss their potential, discard them, hire new people and then subject them to the same abuse. Following is a ten-point checklist to ensure you’re doing what is necessary…


Added by Dave Anderson on July 2, 2013 at 4:11pm — 9 Comments

Blog Posts

Take the How-To Challenge

Posted by Paul Potratz on May 22, 2015 at 4:24pm 0 Comments

There are over a million instructional videos online, and 70% of them contain "How To..." in the title. This week, Samantha explains why its so important to have instructional "How-To" videos on your website.

Also take the "How-To"…


Good Failure and Bad Failure, Part II

Posted by Robin Cunnigham on May 21, 2015 at 7:28pm 0 Comments

failure and success

I recently wrote a blog for NCM, Up to Speed, titled: There is Good Failure and Bad Failure. That idea had been floating around in my…


Why Technicians and Service Advisors Need Marriage Counseling

Posted by Richard Holland on May 21, 2015 at 8:45am 0 Comments

Life in the retail automotive industry is taxing. Managers and…


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