CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
Leadership, whether good or bad, has a trickle-down effect. When there is proper leadership evolved everyone "wants" to preform at a higher level of success. When there is poor leadership in place, no one really "cares" how preform.
People are the single most important asset you have as a manager in your dealership or company, so your leadership has a direct effect on the communication and performance produced by the employees you are trying to nurture and grow into a strong team and eventual leaders.
When you handle your team the right way and they’ll be more effective in their roles. Neglect them or fail to support them properly, and their performance — and that of their trust — will be gone.
Here are six things leaders can do to help build a team that will work together and maximize performance:
1. Show your passion
"Passion Persuades" when you think about it there is a lot of truth in those two words, how can you lead a team if you are not passionate about the service you provide, the company you work for and the goals that you set. Passion has to flow from the top down. If you don’t display passion, you can’t expect those working for you to do so either.
Displays of passion can take many forms — e.g., always appearing positive and energetic at all times, leading appreciation, keeping them in the loop about exciting company developments, etc.
Whatever you do, don’t check your emotions at the door. People need to feed off of your passion.
2. Know your team
Getting to know your team will create trust and confidence in you and your abilities as the leader.When you establish rapport with your team life is easier for everyone. They'll feel more comfortable approaching you with issues and concerns.
Trust is a hard thing to earn yet so easy to lose, engage with them in the break room or in the hallway. Just the act of knowing someones birthday or their kids names and ages will build a stronger team and will create a more positive work atmosphere.
3. Trust them
If you believe you’ve hired the right people and you have trained them properly, give them the freedom to make and implement their own decisions. And if you do disagree with something they do, don’t fight them in front of the other staffers. That tells employees they're not supported or trusted and the team will lose.
If you don’t believe in members of your team, they’re in the wrong position. You need to be their No. 1 fan, and let them know it. That doesn’t mean you have to constantly make remarks that inflate their egos. Instead, bestow upon the team members responsibilities that show how much you believe in them and want them to grow.
4. Have their backs
Your team members need to know that you’re willing to go to the bat for them. This may mean taking a hit from the CEO when one of them makes a mistake or pushing back on work requests from the top brass when you know they’re overworked.
Remember there is no "I" in team, you are one and when one fails you all fail. It is your job as the leader is never to point or push blame; you should discuss what went wrong, why it went wrong how to fix it and how to prevent it from happening again. Doing this in front of everyone on the team so everyone is evolved in the learning process.
5. Get your hands dirty
A leader should never ask their team to preform task that they can't do, haven't done or will not do themselves. When you are trying to train your team it is always good to roll up the sleeves and teach them how to do the job. Anybody can point and direct people and talk about how to do something, but it takes a true leader to show the team that what is being asked of them is possible.
When you get down and work side by side with them, you are reinforcing the fact that you want to see them grow and get better. You will show your team that their success is as important to you as it is to them.
6. Keep an open mind
Some leaders think tat they know it all and the way they have decided things to run is the only way, that my friends is the quickest way to lose the faith of a team.
Be confident in your knowledge and abilities, just never stop learning and improving yourself and your process. Keep an open mind. promote creativity and listen to your team members, remember they are the ones performing the job everyday. The next best idea could be from them and you could help them grow that idea from a thought to reality.
Bottom line: To be a great leader you cannot adopt an acceptance of average from yourself or your team — at least not if you want your team to be effective. To drive a team's performance to be its very best, the people you bring on board need to see and feel that they are part of a team that has support and purpose the leaders or the company.