Ten Traits Of leadership

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by George Dans - Also by this author

Have you ever broke down the word leadership and really studied it? Why do you think they put the word lead in the front? Where do leaders lead from; the back of the ship or the front of the ship? I’ve been to several dealerships and have never seen the leader. They are like the Wizard of Oz, hiding behind a curtain, office or computer. They are like the invisible man. Only time you see them, is when there is a problem. That’s not a leader, that’s more like the principal. Let me break down the word leadership - Lead – Er – Ship. Leaders lead from the front of the ship. They are visible when times are good and when times aren’t so good. That’s when leadership shows its true colors. They don’t bleed or run. They stand up in the face of adversaries and face their people with courage, which in French means “strength of heart.”
Leaders are not born; they are made. They don’t have a nursery at the hospital where the nurses say shhh, all the leaders are sleeping. Leaders can’t lead unless they feel good about themselves. Leaders take time out everyday for self improvement. Leaders don’t hide behind computers or curtains. Leaders are visible and our passionate with their vision. I have never met a leader who says, “I want to be number two this year. I have a hard time even typing that statement! Sit back today and think of all the people you are responsible for. These people work at your dealership because of the people and you. Nobody really quits dealerships; they quit the people and the lack of leadership. Why? Because their managers and dealer quit on them. What a shame! It’s sad because I’ll bet they were good people. It’s hard to go to job bank and find good people. Those people are at your dealership right now. You thought so in the beginning. I would like to share 10 traits of being a great dealer and leader:
  1. Learn how to communicate effectively
  2. Develop patience by listening and responding consistently
  3. Handle pressure by learning how to take swift and effective action
  4. Schedule time out for self improvement daily – self esteem, self image, self confidence, self awareness
  5. Understand the road to productivity is paved with measured activity
  6. Use measured activity for coaching not punishment
  7. Deliver feedback in a positive manner
  8. Respond to failure with optimism
  9. Have compassion for their people
  10. Lead by example

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