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Week of 4/24/2023

Morning Minute 4/25/23

Morning Minute 4/25/23:

“How Will You Rock the Boat?”

My parents grew up during the Depression. As a result of their struggles, they taught me to…

“Not rock the boat!”  “Keep a low profile!” “Go along to get along!” “Let others decide, so you won’t be criticized” “Stay silent and just do your work!”  

Being obedient, their instruction led me to not excel anywhere other than in my schoolwork where I was in control of my actions. In high school, recognizing that continuing the same course of action would lead to being average, with no path to achieving excellence, I began to “rock the boat.”

Our high school band director shared that for me to advance to the “A” band I would need to play more than one instrument. I excelled in trumpet and French horn and learned to play the guitar. My commitment led me to teach others to play those instruments. I also volunteered to teach others how to march properly while playing music. Others learned to “rock the boat” in order to advance.

Working in various restaurants, plus helping other band students, I learned the value of teamwork…how each person’s part, plays a valuable role in the success of the team. When asked to lead, it was my destiny to help each organization achieve their goals. This carried through into my college experience and my upward mobility in business.

After college, as a leader and coach, I continued to “rock the boat!” They sent me to the worst performing restaurants to get them back on track by upgrading their people, processes, products, and promotion. By installing standards for these 4 “Ps” wherever I was assigned, our company grew rapidly.  

Not wanting to stand still very long, the opportunity to change careers appeared so that I could gain control of my own income. Selling cars and trucks was fun, but not as satisfying as helping others achieve their goals through their own sales success. Leading 19 different auto franchises, we achieved success in both profit, team member and customer satisfaction.

Rocking the boat” was not always popular with owners and led to several separations when I rocked too far or too fast. However, leading while teaching others, how to be operationally sound by managing the 4 “Ps” was very rewarding.

I continue to challenge students by sharing sound personal and business principles.

Are you prepared to step outside of your comfort zone?

How will you “Rock the Boat?”

That is today’s Morning Minute.

Morning Minute 4.28.23 "Are You Accountable or Anonymous?"

Morning Minute 4/28/23:

“Are You Accountable or Anonymous?”

The “A” in the T.A.S.T.E. module stands for Accountability.

Along with Truth, Support, Trust, and Empowerment, these fundamental traits guide the decisions of servant leaders.

Growing up in Alabama in the 1960-70’s, I marveled at how both Paul Bryant of Alabama, and Ralph Jordan of Auburn, described the results of each game in their weekly TV broadcasts. If they won, they gave the credit to the players and the assistant coaches. If they lost, they always took the blame themselves for bad decisions or an ineffective game plan. They congratulated others after wins, and took the blame themselves after losses. By assuming accountability for failures, they both were respected and effective leaders.

As a beginning car salesman, in my haste to sell a car, I misrepresented a vehicle to a client. The client caught this and terminated the sale. It was my responsibility to both apologize to the client and to my manager. Getting chewed out by both taught me to be more careful in my presentations. I learned and became better because I was accountable.

My first auto leadership role was Sales Manager. During my first sales team meeting, I shared that I was responsible for vehicle reconditioning. If there was a problem with a vehicle, either one in our display, or one that had been recently purchased, they were to get me involved immediately. The previous manager would always shift the blame to someone else, attempting to remain anonymous. I shared that I would address any issue myself. In short, I held myself accountable. Employing that policy, we more than doubled our used vehicle sales with massive increases in repeat and referral business.

Leaders have to choose between accountability or anonymity.

Being accountable for our mistakes and/or the performance of our teams, may bring us short term pain. That is how we learn and grow as effective leaders. Staying anonymous and/or deflecting responsibility to others, will not help us learn from our mistakes. Plus, our teams will not improve, either as individuals or as a group.

Have you had a learning situation such as the ones I described above? It would be helpful for both yourself and our readers if you would share the situation, and how you addressed it.

Usually, it is not the mistake we make, but the actions we take, that create a positive or negative outcome.

Are you accountable or anonymous?

That is today’s Morning Minute.