Article

Don't Let Software Make You Soft Lessons from "Babe"

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Maxwell D. Skynard - Also by this author

In this age of automated this and that, we have all the information we need to be metal moving All-Stars. Yet, in spite of our Stepford wife convenience, the clamor of constant complaining manages drown the gentle hum of our newly acquired “Autopilot Everythings.”

It seems that “method madness” has replaced our thirst for results and made us forget that customers don’t buy cars just because Billy Bluetooth managed to get his entire theater system working from a single remote control (although that is impressive).

Do not be deceived. Technology is a powerful and wonderful thing. However, it is not a substitute for hard work and we must not let the woo of bells and whistles make us forget how much can be accomplished by simply rolling up our sleeves.
With that in mind, I would like to illustrate my point by using a few facts about the late, great George Herman “Babe” Ruth.

Background:

Name: George Herman Ruth
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 215 Pounds
Career: 22 Seasons
Games Played: 2503
Times At Bat: 8399
Hits: 2873
Strike Outs: 1330
Home Runs: 714
Runs Created: 2756
Times on Base: 4978
Bases On Balls (walked): 2063
Hit By Pitch: 6

Be Consistent

In his 22 year career, the “Sultan of Swat” led the league 12 times and developed a reputation as one of the best home run hitters of all time. He played 2503 games and walked away with an overall batting average of .342.

In addition to hitting 714 home runs, he also led the league 10 times for most times on base.

In the end, even without a Blackberry, he managed to put on his uniform, put his bat on the ball and consistently produce results.

Next time you get bumped out of your office so your GM’s daughter can do her homework, try to remember that it is you that sells cars – not the computer.

As I researched this article I did not find one word about the shoes Ruth wore or what flavor tic-tac he used to wow the ladies. What I did find was a talented athlete with a history of results.

Think Team

G. Herman Ruth hit 714 home runs but crossed the plate 2174 times. That means 67 percent of his success required the help of his team mates.

To put this into “Dealer-ese” – next time you have to spend two hours on hold with your IT guy, let your teammate take your calls instead of sending them to voicemail. Nobody scores if that customer buys somewhere else.

Stay Focused

Babe Ruth touched a total of 5793 bases in his career but 47.5 percent of them were walked. That means that over 47 percent of the time, someone was denied the opportunity to perform.

No matter how good your technology is you will experience things that are beyond your control. When this happens, try to stay focused and look for creative ways to plow ahead.

When the printer breaks, e-mail files to another office. When the Internet goes down, walk the lot or catch up on your filing. There are always productive things to do.

In closing, I want to remind you that all of us have the potential to be a “Babe” – with or without the latest and greatest widgets.

Of course, technology makes our jobs easier – and, of course, as alpha males (and females) we want the coolest toys. But when the game is over, it is you (and only you) that is responsible for your success or failure. So the next time one of your employees tries to blame technology for having a bad month remind them that it was “The Babe” who made the history books not “The Bat.”

Vol 2, Issue 8

Your Comment

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
Your Name:  
Your Email:  

Blog

On-the-Point

Jim Ziegler
Objects in the Rearview Mirror

By Jim Ziegler
The past is right behind us and the future is coming fast. The Alpha Dawg plots a course for your store’s success and shares advice for Elon Musk, Johan de Nysschen, and pre-owned managers.

The Big Talent Drain

By Jim Ziegler
The Alpha Dawg tackles the shortage of talent in the managerial ranks and reflects on Amazon’s rumored foray into vehicle sales, the imminent used-car correction, Hyundai’s plan for the Genesis brand, and the untimely passing of Tammie LeBleu.

A Faster Horse

By Jim Ziegler

Strangers in the Mall

By Jim Ziegler

Opening Observations

Over the Curb