Don’t blame your staff (they're just mimicking you)

Publish Date: 
Jun 24, 2013
By Tory Hornsby

THE SILVER BULLET. Touted for its ability to rid all threats in life and transform businesses into worry-free places of incredible sales and great profits ... and it’ll do it all overnight.

Surely it exists — somewhere out there is a silver bullet that will make all of your hairy dealership problems go away, right? 


And too much time is wasted by people looking around and/or waiting for silver-bullet solutions and special secrets in business that supposedly will set you up for a lifetime of success. Silver bullets might make for interesting movie plots, but they’ve yet to unfold in real life. They’re a scam.

For the Memorial Day holiday weekend, my family and I went to Pigeon Forge, Tenn., for some much-needed rest, relaxation and quality together time. On the way there, my kids watched a movie titled “Kung Fu Panda.” It’s a clever DreamWorks Animation film in which actor Jack Black is the main voiceover. (Hang in there; I’m going somewhere with this, I promise.)

In the movie, a panda named Po must earn the right to read an ancient scroll that holds The Secret to Becoming the Dragon Warrior — in turn, making him the best Kung Fu master in all the land. Spoiler alert: He finally gets the scroll and eagerly opens it, ready to read and achieve enlightenment. But instead of text and instructions, Po finds his own reflection staring back at him. The mystic ancient scroll was simply a mirror.

If there is ever a box claiming to hold The Secret to Success, it should contain the same exact thing: a mirror. In other words, the secret to your success is ... wait for it ... YOU.  You’re it. You are your own silver bullet. There are no real secrets to success. It’s the result of your own hard work, your own preparation and your own ability to improve and learn from your past mistakes. Just like the old saying goes, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”  

What makes successful people different than non-successful people? It’s their ability to adapt, change and then make things happen on their own accord. When you sit back and wait for change to occur, that inaction creates its own set of problems. It encourages an “it’s not my job” mentality and creates apathy in the dealership. Employees who are indifferent will avoid accountability like the plague and point fingers instead. The act of waiting, in its very nature, means that you’re waiting to be reactive instead of being proactive and driving change.

The culture of the dealership will always follow its leaders. If you’re trying to sit back and let things stay as they are, your dealership will join your daily mantra, and nothing will change.
Unsuccessful people are affected by their physical environment. These people find external sources to blame for their own behavior. If the weather is good, they themselves feel good. If it isn’t, it affects their attitude and performance, and then they blame the weather.

It’s time to get out of the “business as usual” rut. It’s time to be proactive, drive change and learn to improve.

Take out a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil. On it, write, “What is one thing my dealership can do better in the sales department?” Then answer the question — in writing. Is the answer getting your team to greet 100 percent of showroom visitors, or is the answer increasing selling skills in a specific area (like asking for the sale)? Or, is it something else entirely? (Continued)