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Jared Hamilton

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WOW! The video below is a sad but somewhat familiar occurrence in the auto industry.  It's video of a real sales meeting where the manager is insulting his people into motivation.  He tells his people they suck, failure is their fault and that he, the manager, refuses to be part of the problem. Unknown to the manager, one of the sales people whips out his phone and records the incident, then posts it to YouTube for all to see. No doubt we will write about the social media implications to the dealership's brand, but for now I want to talk about the huge gap in management skills that are demonstrated in the video. What do you expect? We have all been in meetings similar to this.  Most of us promised that when we became managers we would do a better job.  Sadly, without being taught the skills of proper management many in the industry become a product of the environment and poor management perpetuates itself. I will be the first to say a manager's job is to hold his/her team accountable.  However, there is a right and a wrong way to do it. By chewing the team in such a fashion without offering any solutions the manager becomes a problem creator, not a problem solver.  This is simply bad form that produces bad results.  Would you work harder for your managers if they treated you like this? Understanding Managements Power: There are three types of power a manager can have: (adapted from Steven R Covey) Coercive Power- This power comes as a result of fear in the subordinate. Because the employee has fear of a consequence, he or she will acts in a certain way to avoid the punishment.  Managers often fall back to Coercive power because it is easy to exercise and requires no skill.  All one needs to exercise Coercive Power is authority from a title.  Sadly, this management style often reveals character flaws in the leader, causing the team to lose more respect, starting a downward spiral.  Think of some of the great dictators in history and you will find extreme examples of coercive power. Greatness is never achieved through Coercive Power because the subordinates never strive to do great things; they simply try to stay out of trouble. Coercive power is not the way to build a lasting team of greatness. Utility Power- This power stems from the exchange of goods. The followers have what the leaders want, like a sales person's time and talent. The leader has something the follower wants, like commissions. A deal is reached and the parties exchange goods in defined roles.  "You sell cars for me, follow my rules, and Ill give you commissions" as an example.  The relationship is mechanical but usually fair.  Regardless, it lacks heart. Motivation based on utility power is better than coercive power because at least both parties are willing to participate.  However, Utility Power is still not the optimal form of motivation. Legitimate Power-this comes when the follower believes in the cause of the leader and trusts the leader can take the follower in the right direction.  Legitimate power will not come from a title, but is earned through service and performance by a leader who honors his or her team, works to serve the greater good and produces results.  When your team believes in your cause, and your managers have legitimate power, your team will be transformed to a whole new level. Sadly the manager in the video displayed no vision, had no connection with his team and only relied only on coercive power to try and destroy his team into motivation.  I sincerely hope he is a better manager than the video showed.  There was no building of greatness in this sales meeting, only destruction of the team. What could this manager have done different? 1.     First, he should have separated out those who did perform from those who didn't.  There is no need to rip your best performers for something they are not a part of. 2.     This was nothing more than an emotional rant.  Managers need to stay composed and in control so to avoid mistakes, especially during serious discussions around poor performance.  If you can't control your emotions don't try and lead your team when you are angry, you are likely to do more damage than good. 3.     The manager 100% separated himself from his team, blaming them for everything while washing his hands of any wrongdoing.  He showed no loyalty to the team and they have no reason to return any loyalty.  This manager should have diagnosed the problems, said we've got our work to do and together we are going to get items A, B &C done!  You are more likely to dig yourself out of a ditch if you are working together. 4.     He offered no evidence of his claims.  When you are trying to win the team over always offer evidence, especially when you are being negative people are going to be slow to take what you say at face value. 5.     He should have acknowledged management's failures and outlined the solutions to fix them.  If the team sucks, they didn't get the training they needed.  If the sales people are not capable of success they should have been let them go.  Ultimately managers need to manage, there was no management taking place in the meeting. 6.     The biggest task in being a successful manager is to be a problem solver.  The manager offered only complaints, no corrective direction or advice.  This manager should have had solutions prepared to offer the team a path to success and to lead them out of trouble. What else can we learn from this post?  What would you have done differently?
Arnold Tijerina
That's so much BS. Managers like that make me sick. I've had dealerships and managers, that I worked for, like that. In my first car sales job, one of my sales managers told me to watch the movie "Suckers" and told me it was a good training video. This is so de-motivating. It's hard to believe the GM (if thats who he was) was trying to motivate his sales staff. That's a recipe for turnover and failure. It's also abusive. It makes people NOT want to succeed for you. Managing by fear is not an effective management style. If a salesperson (or people) on your staff are not doing their job, you have a one-on-one with them and offer them training. If that doesn't work, then you terminate their employment. You DON'T crap your entire sales team out on a Friday.
Arnold Tijerina
Oh, and to add a little more re: the social networking aspect/consequences of this video... the GM (and store) in this video are identified in the video's comments section on YouTube. (Yikes) and it "looks" like the corporation "also" responded. Here is the GM's response to this video (as posted on YouTube): I am the GM in this meeting. Many of us have had moments of extreme frustration where we dont handle ourselves well; this was clearly one of mine. In a meeting, I expressed frustration over certain conduct at the dealership that is not acceptable, but neither is losing ones temper. This is not how we do business at my company and I recognize that I handled the situation in the wrong way. I have apologized to my staff in person, and also apologize to everyone connected to the Honda brand.
Joe Webb
Can I be the first to say that this is HILARIOUS ! This dude's got to be from here in Chicago. I've been a part of Meeting like that. I've gotten mad at the staff (not to that point), but when on the floor, that type of management style was the norm here in Chicago. (Oh crap, I just looked at the location of the video and it IS Chicago. I knew it! Even better.) I love this. I loved it then and I love it now. Don't get offended, get even. Kiss it until you can kick it. Or walk out. I had a GM once that believed in bringing each individual green pea into his office a couple of weeks after they start and berate them until they cried. No matter what, the goal was they had to cry because it felt it gave him control. That stuff is FUNNY to me. Not because I admire it, but because I understand how to read people enough to look past it as a severe character flaw on his part. And YES, this dude should be launched, but only because he said his job was NOT to motivate. "Motivate ME" he said. That one killed me. Brilliantly funny. I laughed out loud. Maybe it is because I have a belief that nothing like this (nothing that is said or done against me) means anything of importance to me. It doesn't affect your life unless you let it. Sit back and take it for what it is worth --- the last words from a sad, untalented, overwhelmed little man. Pity him. Don't hate him. Being surrounded by exactly these types when I started in the industry allowed me to know I SHOULDN'T grow into their types as I progressed. You need to witness the worst to understand what it takes to be the best.
Mark Tewart
I don't agree with this meeting or the managers approach. It is extremely old school. However, let me be fair to him in saying that his underlining message of taking personal responsibility for everything is correct. Because of that message I am confused about why he did not take responsibility himself. He preached one thing and then did another. Also, if he has a bunch of idiots who do suck, wasn't he the manager in charge who hired them?
Arnold Tijerina
This video certainly got the attention of the dealer group. The GM and the dealer group respond within the YouTube comments. It's a dealership in Southern California. The comments are a hoot.

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