In 2011 there won’t be a lot of time to stand around because everything is faster.

If you are waiting around waiting for someone to tell you “Hey…you…yes you…get some new skills!” then you are about to get run over like an empty paper cup on a New York city street there pal.

This is part 5 in a series on Leadership for 2011.

2011 will be exciting and challenging, no doubt about it.

Car sales are up, RV sales are up…and people are starting to recover from the past few years. All of this means is that not only will Sales be busy, so will Fixed Operations.

This means finding new skills for 2011 or polishing up your learned skill sets.

I mentioned in the other posts in this series how I conducted a seminar for a leading Transportation company and that there were posters on the walls in the lobby and training room and that I spend time reading those posters and awards to get a feel for the organization. On one of those posters happened to be these Leadership concepts.

I wrote them down and have been presenting them in a Leadership series these past few posts. This is the last of 5 in that series.

The concept is one that until a few years ago, I personally approached as important for my staff and not as important for me. Let me explain.

I found that scheduling regular training for personnel I was responsible for an important part of my yearly planning. However, I didn’t always have that same view for myself. I was the boss. I was supposed “to know it all.” Right?

Then Life happens and you find out very quickly how your current set of skills stack up with what is needed and what other people are doing in the rest of the world. Probably not the best time to find out, wouldn’t you agree?

What I am really saying is this…

Make Self Development A Priority!

Especially Self Development! This is the last concept of that Leadership model.

Self Development is one of the most basic processes in Leadership and one of the most neglected. Why? We begin to let circumstances dictate knowledge.

Think about that.

Everyday there are things happening…all of the events we call Life.

And that is just the start. Not only is Life happening… Customers are happening, Service is happening, Sales are happening.

These daily events are going on all the time! The fact of the matter is that you have every bit of knowledge you need to run your day-to-day Life and operations as is. Get it?

And, such as Life is, you get a curve ball instead of the regular old fastball. Something new happens. Could be anything. New regulations, industry changes, personnel changes, policy changes…heck…the Water and Air Quality Board could come by and tell you that it is illegal to wash the cars on the front lot and now you have take all of your new car inventory one by one into the wash bay to clean them for the front line. Change happens.

And you find out that the Knowledge and Skills you had before will not work in this situation. Circumstances dictate Knowledge.

Now you have to go get new knowledge or a new set of skills to deal with the new circumstances…and the wheel goes round and round.

Herein lies the problem. True Self Development does not occur because once you get the new knowledgeyou need to deal with whatever crisis there is…the learning stops. Right? What more do you need to learn? Nothing. “Got everything I need right here boss.”

And everything will remain the same…until a new set of circumstances comes along and the wheel goes round and round…

Make Self Development A Priority.

Get ahead of the curve and stay there. Below is a scoring summary and plan to make 2011 a year for your own Self Development. You can also grade your Staff and make a determination of who needs what.

■Do a self-examination on the most important skills sets you feel you need in your particular Leadership position. Try to think of at least 10, but even 5 will do. Some areas to consider are Communications, Leadership, Strategic Planning, Information Analysis, Generational Differences, Social Media, Marketing etc… Now grade yourself on how well you think you know these subjects. Now ask someone you trust to grade you and see if those match. Use a scale of 1-10. Make a commitment to attend a seminar or class if scored less than a 7, read a book or study the subject if scored an 8 or 9 and if you scored yourself a 10, teach someone else or lead a Lunch and Learn at your Dealership. You’ll find out right away if you are truly a 10.
■Become a Mentor to someone at your Dealership. There are at least 10 authors I can think of I consider Mentors and every one of those have said at one time or another that if you want to truly improve yourself, Mentor someone else.
■Schedule Training RIGHT NOW! Don’t wait for the perfect time! There is no perfect time. There will always be 20 different reasons not to and all of them added together don’t equal the one reason you need to! When you schedule Training you demonstrate Commitment! Get Committed!
You are going to need all of your skill sets and knowledge to make it through 2011. You are going to need additional skills and knowledge to make 2011 a PHENOMENAL year. Which sounds better to you?

Make Self Development A Priority.

In case you missed any of the previous Leadership concepts here they are in order.

Create A Compelling Vision.

Model The Way.

Lead More, Manage Less.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.

Make Self Development A Priority.

To Your Leadership Success In 2011. Cheers.

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