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NOTE: I am enrolled in the NADA Executive Education program at Babson University. I have so many people asking me what its like (esentially attending an MBA style program studying entrepreunership in the auto industry with a bunch of other dealers... its cool stuff!) So I figured id publish excerps from my journal to give everyone a glimps into the program.
This was a great lesson, from Day one, week one of the Nada Exec Ed program. This is a great story, get this:
Tom Watson, the top dog at IBM (a while back), told a sales person he wanted to see him in his office. This particular sales person had just lost a 5 Million Dollar deal, completly blew it. The sales person just knew he was done for, so he said his good byes and prepped himself to get fired. The sales person went into the office of Mr Watson and a few minutes into the conversation the sales person said to Mr. Watson, "Well, lets not drag this on any longer than we need to, if you're going to fire me lets get it over with."
Mr Watson sat back with a startled look on his face and replied, "Fire you? We just spent 5 million on your education, why would we let go of you now?"
... If only more people thought like that in the car business. Too many managers are quick to yell, demoralize and even fire people in our industry for items that should make for great coaching opportunities. Coaching isnt easy, but its coaching that builds a team. I thought this story was a great example of a superb leader who saw the education his employee just received and not just the mistakes made.
We teach sales people not to be afraid of objections, since overcoming objections are the key to a sale. We as managers must not blow up at mistakes, since they are the key to our teams continued growth.
Week one of the Exec program is all about leadership... this was just one example of 5 min of class on day one. Its going to be a good week. :-)