June 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive
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One of the cornerstones of what I teach is to BREATHE. BREATHE is the Seven Keys to Prosper in Any Economy. This month I’d like to address just two of the keys.
The best example in today’s world of someone using the Seven Keys is Tiger Woods. Every person in America knows who Tiger Woods is. Almost every person in America will admit that he is good, very good, but without skipping a beat, they will also tell you that Tiger Woods is the exception to the rule. In other words, they’re excusing their own inadequacy by identifying Tiger Woods as having something they don’t, and maybe they’re right. Tiger is willing to do what the average person is not willing to do to improve, every day.
Key #1: Belief – The first key to success is belief. You must have a strong belief in yourself. You need that same belief in your team—a belief that inspires your people to go where they didn’t think they could go. Your belief in yourself and your team must be so strong that the vision of the future is solid. Tiger Woods has had a vision since his childhood of breaking Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major wins. When Tiger began as a pro and voiced his ambition, the entire golfing world scoffed and said it couldn’t be done, least of all by this new kid. Tiger didn’t listen to them. He believed then (and continues to believe) in himself, and he locked onto his vision. Do you believe in yourself as a leader?
If you are not modeling the way of a winner, then maybe you need to get some coaching (even the professionals seek coaching). Once you identify your beliefs, write them down. You must have written belief statements that are positive, forward-thinking and reaffirm confidence in yourself. This alone is a powerful tool. Here’s one more piece of advice: Do not give negative, toxic thoughts any footing in your life. If you allow toxic thinking to creep in about your life and work, it will slowly erode your positive beliefs. God knows we all need positive thoughts; that is why I pray daily and ask God for wisdom. Keep a positive belief about yourself, your company and your leadership.
We all move toward what we think about. It’s like steering a car. You steer the car by turning the steering wheel. You don’t actually see the tires turn; but, turn they do. With your thoughts (and consequential acts), you steer your life. Whatever we are thinking (talking to ourselves) about, we move toward. In fact, you are all carrying on a conversation inside your head right now. Even as you are reading this, you are talking to yourself.
Maybe you’re thinking: What does all this have to do with increasing profits or the dismal economy? Maybe the thought occurred to you that you wish your spouse or kids were here to hear this. Maybe you’re just thinking about lunch. Whatever the thoughts are (and there are usually many at once) going on in your head, you need to focus on what is most important. Be positive; don’t let doubts, distractions and negative thoughts get in the way. What you think is what you get.
Key #2: Remove the Distractions – The definition of a distraction is anything, anyone or any thought that gets in the way of accomplishment. Recognizing that you’ve been distracted is also easy. You’re not accomplishing your goals, you’re not getting positive results, and you’re probably looking for an excuse. The best way to remove the distraction is by asking yourself the “What” question: What do I need to do differently to get different results? Don’t bother asking the “Why” question; you’ll never come up with a clear and complete answer. It could be any number of reasons, and the most common answer to the “Why” question is “I don’t know.”
Instead, focus on getting results. This is about removing distractions and accomplishing goals. If the distraction is gone, who cares how it got there in the first place? There could be thousands of distractions present in any situation at any given time, but the one that derails you is the only one you need to address.
One of the biggest distractions is the media with its constant news coverage about our economy. Stop watching the TV and reading the newspaper. It is what it is, and the economy will get better or worse whether you watch the television or not. I’m not saying you should ignore the events of the day; just don’t obsess over them. If you are waiting for the economy to go up or waiting for the wind to change, you will miss opportunities today. The market is what it is. You have to decide what your next move is in this market today. How are you going to prosper in today’s business climate, or tomorrow’s for that matter?
Here’s the bottom line: You are either getting the results you want or making excuses why you are not. Remove the distractions and decide that you, your dealership, your team and this economy all provide the perfect opportunity to prosper. Work and get creative with what you have right now. That means thinking about the car business in a whole new way. Get your team excited, have some fun and be a different dealership. You can’t change the economy, but you can change you. In other words, maybe it’s time to simply accept the economy and reinvent yourselves. Have confidence in yourself, your business and your teammates.
If you send me an e-mail (JJackson@AutoDealerMonthly.com) requesting a copy of all Seven Keys, I will forward the booklet to you.
Exclusively Online Vol. 6 Issue 7