Article

Change

September 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Jim Jackson - Also by this author

When asked to contribute, I was excited to have the opportunity to share what I have learned over the last 20 years about change, growth and high performance thinking. How could I do this in such a way that you could quickly take advantage of and evaluate your current situation with all that is going on in this ever-changing market place and world?

Then I remembered a letter I sent out to my clients exactly a year ago after Sept. 11. I began to observe how companies were pulling back with the development of their most valuable asset: their people.

There are many similarities to our current market today. This letter made reference to the Yankees, a 2001 comeback story. But the fact still remains, they know how to win. Whether it’s the New York Yankees, Tiger Woods or Olympic gold medalists, they all played the game differently than their competition and won.

INCREDIBLE! Has there ever been a year this full of change? The presidential election, the stock market shift, and most significantly, the tragedy of Sept. 11 among other events that contributed to such drastic changes that year. As I visit with various business sectors throughout this great country, I am observing behaviors that are dramatically impacting the economy and how you and I make decisions.

Here is what I have observed: a pervasive level of fear mixed with anxiousness, which has everyone asking the question “What do I do next?” Individuals and businesses are asking serious questions like “What will happen tomorrow?” and “How will all these changes have an effect on me, my business and the welfare of my family, my people and my friends?”

NEXT QUESTION: How can you and I help? What can you and I do?

First and foremost, recognize God has blessed us with a wonderful gift called “choice.” Then recognize there has never—and I mean never—been a more appropriate time to choose your future.

There are typically three ways people respond to change and to the ever-changing world around them. How you choose to respond and react will determine the future of your company.

Option One: DO NOTHING. The thought process for a person or company taking this stand is they are invincible and change does not affect them.

Option Two: BE REACTIVE or “follow-the-leader.” The thought process for these types is to let everyone else make the first move, then react. These people or organizations are always in the middle of the line, wondering who is leading the line, asking the questions like “Why doesn’t somebody do something?” Their business is built on “not my fault—it’s the market” behaviors and attitudes.

Option Three: CREATE or initiate a passion to create; be proactive. These individuals or organizations see change as an opportunity. They see their competitors as fearing the unknown. However, those choosing option three see the unknown as a challenge to succeed, lined with golden opportunities. To them, adversity is another chance to win.

What choices are you going to make? Recently the New York Yankees came back from being down two games to none in a “best of five series…. one game away from elimination.” As you are probably aware, they responded like the champions they are and went on to win three games in a row, which is the first time this has ever been accomplished. But this was no surprise to me or anyone who knows baseball; after all, the New York Yankees have won more than half of the American League Championships over the last 70 years. They know and believe they are winners no matter what the situation.

What about you and your company? In this most unique time in history, are your people thinking and playing to win or are they playing not to lose?

If you choose option number one, then I would say “Good luck, but don’t get upset when your competitor outperforms and outthinks you.” If you choose option two, you will still be waiting and wondering why you missed this ripe opportunity or saying to yourself, “If only I had been proactive.” Those who are already making option three are already working on a vision for 2003, which will be innovative and creative setting new standards just like Tiger Woods and the Yankees.
For you who chose option three, here is how Temecula Creek Learning Center may be an incredibly valuable resource to you and your people during a time such as this.

We recommend:

    1. Conduct a “Winning through Accountability” workshop. This workshop will be designed to get you and your people focusing on your vision with the excitement and belief they will accomplish the goals for the next 12 months. The need will beto align the team members towards one common vision – “Play to Win 2003.”
    2. Follow the “Winning through Accountability” workshop with a “2003 Action Plan.” Here team members will define and quantify the goals and objectives in a powerful positive proactive process. This process takes two hours to four hours per department.
    3. Initiate and develop accountability teams. These are teams consist of up to four members. The purpose is to enable team members to build relationships within an environment small enough for them to know and be known by each other. They will hold each other accountable and work to develop skills to accomplish the goals.
    4. Network with proactive thinkers. Join a “Mastermind Alliance” or a “20 Group” that meets your needs and challenges you to grow, not just a social event. Stay focused and speak with people who push your thinking in a positive way. Don’t let people sap your energy and drain your motivation.

For you, the return on investment has never been so tremendous for these types of activities. People across this nation are looking for a new and higher purpose, desiring a new vision and eager to take advantage of change. There has never been a better time to give them the tools and attitudes necessary to achieve so much more of their potential.

Fear is easy to hold onto, courage is when you go beyond the fears to create new standards of winning. As this letter stimulates your thought process, recognize that change is a choice. For some it will require extra courage and risk. Remember, as leaders your people are watching you and will follow your lead.

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