•   Leadership Lessons - Catch & Release or Catch & Keep (April 2021 by George Russell & Daniel Suprenant) - Can fishing help you appreciate the value of customer retention? If you’re “just fishin’,” catch and release is OK. But if you want to eat or sell the fish you catch, you want to do the things that hook the biggest fish. That’s the way to think about changing from conquest sales to a focus on keeping the customers you have. Retained customers are the most profitable.



  • Leadership Lessons - Good to Great Dealership Flywheel – SPOKE #5, Robust Marketing Process Drives Segment Sales (October 2020) - The fifth spoke in the upper right completes the Good to Great Flywheel — “Building your dealership brand with all segments” by employing a robust marketing process. Done right the process grows sales with all types/segments of buyers and generates momentum for the new to used cascade described in spoke 1. We’ll define the 5 steps of marketing and then the 3 critical elements of a robust process in a “great” marketing dealership. We’ll focus on element 1 in this article and will tackle elements 2 and 3 next time. 



  • Leadership Lessons - Good to Great Dealership Flywheel Spoke 3 — Part 2, Build a Performance Culture: Be the Employer of Choice (June 2020) - The best dealerships attract and keep the best people. To move from good to great, you must strive to be the employer of choice. Do you want good people to work for you or your competitor? This spoke of the Good to Great Dealership Flywheel is building a performance culture, and it involves processes and people. Processes was part 1 of this spoke and here we’ll expand to people or being the employer of choice. In both, performance means discipline, rigor, consistency and willpower to succeed.


  • Leadership Lessons - Coping with COVID-19 – Be Scared & Be Calm (April 2020) - The COVID-19 pandemic has been called a “black swan,” a metaphor for an extremely rare event that is unforeseen, but which can have enormous impacts. Examples of black swans were the 9/11 attacks which had bad impacts, and the development of the internet which has had a generally good impact.

  • Leadership Lessons - Good to Great Dealership Flywheel Spoke #3 Build a Strong Culture & Leverage Vital Processes (March 2020) - “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” — a quote attributed to management guru Peter Drucker defines the core idea of this spoke. The best plans fail without a strong culture to support them. On the flip side a strong culture means your dealership is more likely to overcome setbacks and changes even without a strong strategy. To grow from good to great requires more than a strong culture — being great requires a culture of performance. 


  • Leadership Lessons - Good to Great Dealership Flywheel Spoke #2 Invest to Grow: High Absorption (February 2020) - Absorption is simple to calculate, but to understand its “Good to Great” power in a dealership is complicated. Absorption is both a defensive and offensive strategy, and, although it is a financial metric that contributes to a high return on assets (one of two goals of a dealership), better absorption also contributes to creating repeat customers (the second main goal).


  • Leadership Lessons - From Good to Great – The Sustainable Dealership Flywheel  (December 2019) - What makes a dealership good? And what does it take to move a dealership from good to great? These questions are our subject for this column in 2020. Over the year, we’ll discuss each element of the Sustainable Dealership Flywheel, and how they link to build the momentum that distinguishes a “Good to Great” dealership.

  • Leadership Lessons - A Boss Who Wants You to be Successful  (November 2019) - An early leadership lesson for me was the need to develop my replacement. My advancement in a company was determined by my ability to develop management and leadership behaviors in others. Jon Tanner’s quote above highlights how that fulfills those who do it well.

  • Leadership Lessons - My Three Basic Rules for Leading  (July 2019 by Bill Mayes) - 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 - Communicating in the Age of "Me Too" (March 2019 by Michelle Currie) - 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.


  • Leadership Lessons - Personal Values & 3 Simple Changes to Show Them  (March 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  (January 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.

  • Empower Employees with Critical Thinking (July 2018 by 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?


  • Make 2018 the Year of Human Capital Investment (December 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.

  • 3 Insights Into ‘Job One’ (October 2017) - What is Job One for your dealership? Is it:

    1. Selling and supporting labor saving machines and technology

    2. Making money

    3. Creating and keeping a customer

    4. Managing and leading people

  • Successful Partnerships Take Dreamers & Doers (February 2017) – I am reading -- for the second time in a year -- Simon Sinek's book Start with Shy, How Great Leader Inspire Everyone to Take Action.  As I finished a chapter today, Sinek's words reminded me of the many partnerships between dealership leaders that create great businesses, those who over a long time react well to change and execute well to keep customers, employees, manufacturers, and investors happy.


  • How Do You Turn a Crisis into Opportunity? (October/November 2016) – I’m a life-long Red Sox fan who can’t manage to hate a great Yankee, Derek Jeter. My admiration was sealed during one play in the 2001 playoffs against the moneyball Oakland A’s. With the game tied, a runner on second and the series on the line, the A’s slashed a base hit to right field. As the runner rounded third, the Yankee right fielder scooped the ball and made a weak, off-line throw to the plate.

  • How to be a Dynamically Neutral Leader (September 2016) – Joe Founder, who is 68 years old, has two daughters working for him. Jane is 5 years older than Julie. They’ve respected each other’s contributions for many years, and Joe thinks the dealership is stronger with both of them. Both have the option to work elsewhere.

  • Leading Relationship Transitions in a Team (January 2016) – Many managers in dealerships move from working as a part of a team to managing that same team. You may have done this yourself or need to coach someone in that situation who has been promoted.

  • Overcoming High Stakes Family Challenges (October 2015) – We’ve noticed a theme in the past few years in our work with successful equipment dealership leaders.  One said this: “50% of our business challenges are internal relationship challenges.”

  • Assessing Leadership Talent for Growth (September 2015) – It’s all about people.  We hear this phrase more and more as the scale of farming and farm equipment dealerships grow. We also hear it from successful dealers who must drive change in their businesses to keep pace with changes in technology, demographics and competition