Our MAC members regularly publish articles in various capital goods industry publications. Here are the most recent articles from these publications, including Farm Equipment in the People & Profits column. You can find more of our dealership improvement publications grouped into high-level topics. Many of these articles are available on the Farm Equipment Magazine website. If you are unable to find them at their site, especially ones from 2010 and before, please contact us and we will provide you with a copy.
Leadership Lessons — My Three Basic Rules for Leading
In recent years, I’ve worked with hundreds of dealership managers; although we spend most of our time discussing KPIs, processes and growing sales, we invariably end up on the subject of people’s challenges and opportunities.
Formerly, the question was typically, “Where can I find good people?” But that has shifted recently.
Leadership Lessons — Is Servant Leadership the Right Style for Your Dealership?
Servant leadership is an approach that is quite different from some of today’s other popular styles, such as autocratic, participatory and democratic. Robert Greenleaf and the Greenleaf Foundation is credited with coining the term Servant-Leadership — that true leadership must be executed in the form of true service. His title says is all: The Power of Servant-Leadership.
Leadership Lessons — ‘Best is Standard’ & 'All-In' — The Power of Benchmark Models for Your Dealership
Among the many slogans that Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney has coined, these two sum up a critical aspect of his championship culture: Clemson aims for a benchmark, a standard of excellence, that is unchanging. That benchmark does not change. Even with yearly changes in staff, players and competition, the benchmark stays the same. And if you want to play for Clemson, then you need to be "All-In" to live and work toward that standard.
Leadership Lessons — Communicating in the Age of ‘Me Too’
Farm Equipment, March 21, 2019
Leaders and managers are finding themselves wondering what the heck is going on in the workplace with some women and minorities being “so sensitive.” Many male leaders now take inventory of past interactions with women and other minorities to determine if they will be the next to be judged and possibly tossed for something they did in jest many years ago. The past can’t be erased, but the future is a clean sheet of paper upon which you can imprint a new way to communicate.
Let’s take lessons from each of the three communication styles: Passive, Aggressive and Assertive.
Leadership Lessons — Personal Values & 3 Simple Changes to Show Them
Farm Equipment, March 14, 2019
Values in an organization start at the top. As a leader in a dealership, your values and your personal character will be reflected in how your company operates, how it affects people, how its culture is defined and cultivated and ultimately its success.
That is the fundamental Leadership Lesson — your values and character matter.
Leadership Lessons — Growing as a Leader
Farm Equipment, January 19, 2019
For 2019 the focus of this series will be on the personal development and growth of dealership leaders, especially those who are in new roles that require more leadership skills.
Last year our challenge to readers was making 2018 “The Year of Human Capital Investment” — the hiring, developing and managing people that are essential to a successful farm equipment dealership. For 2019 we shift focus from developing everyone to developing you: the leaders — the CEOs, owners/operators and other executives who are ultimately responsible for the dealership.
Understanding Millennials Using Emotional Intelligence
Farm Equipment, December 11, 2018
Editor’s Note: This article is written from a Baby Boomer’s perspective.
I facilitated a management class recently and the group lamented that they couldn’t find young people to work in their dealerships. In frustration one of the participants exclaimed, “These people just aren’t normal!” His statement resonated strongly around the room and sparked some lively conversation.
The group’s concluded that “They” don’t think like “We” do. They aren’t motivated by the same things that motivate us. And they don’t want to spend time on tasks where they don’t see immediate value. Thus, they question everything.
Of course, we were talking about “They” as Millennials and “We” as Baby Boomers & Gen Xers. While I generally loathe generalizations, this one is hard to avoid, and it raises the point — just what IS normal anyway?
Checking in – What's Your Progress with 2018 'The Year of Human Capital Investment?'
Farm Equipment,August 30, 2018
In January’s article, I challenged you to focus on investing in your Human Capital in 2018 given the importance of finding and developing the people that work for you — “Job One.” The goal is that by the end of the year you’ll look back fulfilled with your progress.
How are you doing? Are your investments in developing your people paying off yet? Would you like some more thought starters?
In January, I provided some thought starters and pointed you to previous articles around three themes:
Developing Managers – ‘Job One’ of a Leader
Transferring Knowledge & Culture – Mentoring & Coaching,
Attracting & Developing the Workforce of the Future – Be the ‘Employer of Choice’
Here are several more relevant articles on a variety of people related topics that you can read (or re-read). All are available on the Farm Equipment website as well as the MAC site.
Manage Your Employees Like a Successful Sports General Manager Leads His Team
Farm Equipment, September 12, 2018
Here is a professional perspective on how to make training work and how to make it pay from one of my Machinery Advisors Consortium colleagues, Daniel Surprenant.
In business, we can learn from sports. What are the elements of winning teams like the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles or World Series Champion Huston Astros? Even better, what did the newly established Las Vegas Golden Knights do to get to the Stanley Cup finals in their first year?
In leading a dealership to success, use the recipe of successful sport general managers which is: Good Players + Good Tools + Good Coaching + Good Attitudes = Winning Results
Empower Employees with Critical Thinking
Farm Equipment, July 12, 2018
Under our 2018 theme of ‘Developing Human Capital,’ this article focuses on how to teach your employees to think critically and with a purpose. It's written by one of George Russell's MAC colleagues, Bill Mayes.
How much of what we “know” is really true? How much is based on facts? Or is it just what we have always thought? Take the simple task of crossing the street.
It’s common sense to always look both ways before you cross, right? But what if you live on a dirt road in the country. Is it still common sense?
The ‘Value’ of Relationships
Farm Equipment, June 9, 2018
Under our 2018 theme of ‘Developing Human Capital,’ this article focuses on the right perspectives and practices to develop and engaged employees who create repeat customers profitably. It's written by one of George Russell's MAC colleagues, Bill Hoeg.
Why do car dealers get less parts and service business after the warranty expires? Why are there so many independent repair shops to fix your car?
Our industry is not the car business and we need to avoid some of their practices in order to build value and keep as much parts and service business as possible post-warranty. So what can we learn from the car business?
Small Daily Improvements Key to Long-Term Results
Farm Equipment, April 17, 2018
This headline is based on a sign posted at my gym that made me think about your business, and my challenge to “Make 2018 the Year of Human Capital Development.” I started to think about the small things that you can do with your people to develop them and your dealership. Doing small things that lead to big things is a useful perspective for you to create change with your employees and colleagues. It provides an approach for you to do every day in order to create big improvements.
Make It Work, Make It Pay
Farm Equipment, March 17, 2018
I challenged readers of this column to “Make 2018 the Year of Human Capital Investment.” Training is likely a key part of your human capital investment. Below is a professional perspective on how to make training work and how to make it pay from one of my Machinery Advisors Consortium colleagues, Daniel Surprenant. — George Russell
You are a dealer principal or general manager, you believe in training, and you say “I will hire an expert to come to train my team and immediately I will have a return on my investment.” So you invest hundreds of dollars in training, hoping for a fast return, and nothing changes. You then say to yourself, “I just put money down a rat hole!”
How to Create a Culture of Collaboration & Sharing
Farm Equipment, February 10, 2018
Last month, I challenged dealership leaders to make 2018 the year to invest in human capital. I listed three calls to action and some links to recent relevant articles. Here we’ll dig into #2 and explore some ways to create a culture that transfers knowledge and culture — in other words “How To” collaborate and share.
Make 2018 the Year of Human Capital Investment
Farm Equipment, December 23, 2017
In January, we tend to look forward to the New Year and think of what we want to accomplish. I challenge you now to plan to accomplish ‘Job One’ so that at the end of 2018, you’ll look back fulfilled by how you developed the Human Capital in your dealership.