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We all have our favorite idioms about leadership and managing. The image attached to this story works along the theme that establishes most forms of the debate. A leader can help his or her company have greater success than a "boss".
This is all great and I totally feel like this is an important concept that needs to be followed in the automotive industry, but today I want to discuss the trenches. Company culture doesn't always flow from top to bottom. In fact, the car business is one where the personality of the people who perform the day-to-day duties at the dealership or at the vendor's office can have a humongous impact on how the company performs and how the customers perceive them.
After all, it's the sales team, the service advisers, and the customer service representatives who are actually hands-on with customers and clients. They're also the ones who are interacting with each other more often than when the company "leaders" are on the floor barking orders, lifting morale, checking quality, or establishing directives.
In other words, the real leaders in the car business are, well, everyone. Unlike the hierarchy that permeates through most industries, ours is one that is much more controlled by individuals at every level of the business. It's for this reason that company culture must be strong across the board.
The keys to establishing a proper customer culture can be broken down into multiple categories, but there are three primary points of success (or failure) that we all must remember:
The car business is not about best practices. It's not about processes or procedures. It's not even about the cars, really. At the end of the day, the car business is driven by people. Take care of yours and do what you can to empower everyone around you regardless of your position.
Company culture does not just flow down from the top. It flows up, down, sideways, diagonal, and can improve or not based upon the actions of every individual Choose wisely.