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Christopher Ferris

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Heads up, dealer principals, general managers, general sales managers, Internet sales managers and sales consultants! Double check your battle rattle. Be sure you are good to go. An operations order will be issued before sunset. Tomorrow morning? Raid time.

Here's the good news: it's not a suicide mission. Here's the bad news: Chuck Norris has sent his regrets and will be unable to participate. That's unfortunate. Mr. Norris would be a great guy to have by one's side when confronting the enemy. All one would have to do is point at Chuck, turn to the approaching enemy, and say, "I'm with him!" It is likely that the enemy would either surrender on the spot or flee in terror. Reputation can indeed be a fearsome weapon.

You will get detailed information on the planning and conduct of the raid during the review of the operations order, but here's the gist of it, and it isn't pretty.

Reliable intelligence assets report that you have various personnel in your organization who are "missing in slacktion" or who are being held as prisoners of war.

I know what you're thinking, "Gee, I didn't know that any members of my team had traveled lately to the forests of Cuba or to the mountains of North Korea." Don't sweat it. During this particular raid mission, if you are captured, you won't be smoking cigars with Fidel Castro or watching adult rated films with Kim Jong Il before you get shipped off to prisons that will not be rated as five star resorts in travel guides.

You see, this particular raid requires you only to penetrate deep into your own brain, to analyze what you find when you reach your objective, and to liberate any imprisoned, forward-thinking, future-focused attitude that has been "missing in slacktion" since last year's Wall Street debacle.

Seriously, during the past six months, have you or your valued team members been "missing in slacktion" psychologically at any time?

Similarly, have you or your valued team members been held as prisoners of war (in your own minds) by your own views of and reactions to the unwinding of the economy around you?

Have either strategic or tactical stressors caused you or your fellow automotive industry professionals to say or think, on a frequent basis, "Hey, just cut me some slack!", because negative external events are not your fault and are well beyond your control?

Have you ever noticed that some of your beaten-down team members' body language has often sent an unintended message: "Chuck Norris, where are you when we need you to rescue us?"

What to do? How to react? Where now?

Go. Go for it. Go in deep. Go in fast. Go in hard. Open up the cages inside your mind. Free the "missing in slacktion" part of your brain. Liberate your positive attitude from its prison cell. Permanently. Ask your peers, colleagues, team members and twenty group participants to do the same. On a daily basis.

Cut yourself zero slack. Defy defeat. Endure stoically the pain of temporary economic wounds. Fight failure. Laugh at adversity. Relish hardship. Seize success. Never surrender. No matter what happens. Be relentless. The worse it gets, the better you must get. Shoot, move and communicate. And do it with courage, precision and speed. Because there's no second place winner.

Consider this. You're proud to be an automotive industry retail "raider", and there's no government-appointed "car czar in a zoot suit" who knows more about running your business than you do. Nobody can take your accomplishments and your unique skill set away from you. Not ever.

So, what about you, then? Missing in slacktion? I am betting that your confident answer will be, "Not a chance!" You will be rocking the house big time after you return from this raid. Enjoy the round trip helicopter ride. But, try to conserve ammo, por favor. Brass is outrageously expensive these days.

Christopher Ferris   c 603.233.8759



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