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Christopher Ferris

Christopher Ferris CEO

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As Santa Anna’s disciplined, well trained Mexican Army prepared to conduct a final assault on the Alamo on the morning of March 6, 1836, one can only surmise what Colonel Travis might have said to Davy Crockett, “Yes, Davy, we’re in big trouble, but look on the bright side, things could be much worse, we could be the CEOs of Chrysler and GM in Spring of 2009!”

The rest is history. Santa Anna’s forces overran the Alamo in short order and took no prisoners. Travis, Crockett and their comrades went down fighting before they could declare Chapter 11 or be tossed out of their offices by the President of the United States or a Horse Czar. In the process, they became part of a Texas legend.

After the Alamo fell, Texans rallying to avenge the defeat took up the battle cry, “Remember the Alamo”, a slogan which remains famous to this day. Many embattled auto business professionals may suffer from occasional bouts of “Colonel Travis Syndrome” as they struggle to keep their companies and dealerships from being overwhelmed by current challenging economic conditions. It can be awfully tempting to compare one’s own situation to the crisis faced by the Alamo’s defenders in 1836.

What to do? Tweak the historical slogan slightly and say, “Remember the PALamo!”




These are three key, simple attributes / elements that merit your attention on a daily basis if you wish to move with certainty and confidence through the current rough seas.

Persistence in the form of dogged determination is definitely an underrated quality. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was a zealous advocate and practitioner of persistence. For that reason, today’s Britons do not drive on autobahns, celebrate Oktoberfest, wear lederhosen or speak German as a first language.

Attitude. One’s view of the present moment and of tomorrow frames one’s destiny. The most fantastic plan in the business world can be derailed if its implementer has a jaded attitude. Attitude is 100% controllable. Take control of it. 24 x 7.

Language. Words are gifts that lie dormant in a dictionary and in our brains until we choose to use them. Words can also be “improvised explosive devices” if we select them imprudently and then use them carelessly. Unleash the power of language every day in verbal and written communication to send your customers a clear message that your organization is balanced, centered, focused, reliable, upbeat and ready to exceed their expectations.

Best news of all? The “Remember the PALamo” slogan is 100% free. No invoice. No hit on your monthly statement. No vendor calling your controller weekly to whine that he has not gotten your check as payment for services rendered.

Does your organization practice persistence at all levels?

Do your employees (every last one of them) understand how attitude affects the stability of the business and their paychecks?

Do your employees comprehend how language (word choice) gives them an opportunity to impress and retain or depress and repel your customers during each and every email, telephone and face to face contact?

“Remember the PALamo” at your next management meeting. Tell your managers to come as they are. No boots, muskets or Stetsons are required.

 Christopher Ferris   c 603.233.8759



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