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Jason Unrau

Jason Unrau Freelance Contributor

Exclusive Blog Posts

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Be a Healthy Service Team Leader

Service managers and fixed ops directors, this one is for you.

Anyone who has had a role in service management knows how lonely it often is. You’re responsible for keeping service advisors, technicians, and support staff of all types happy and productive. There are vendors to call and fires to put out. Often, it falls on the service manager to keep facility maintenance and repairs under control too.

And that’s all to maintain the status quo.

Since we all know that just keeping your head above water isn’t going to cut the mustard for the general manager and dealer principal, you need to find a way to do all the daily tasks AND accomplish the task of moving the needle forward. It can feel like an insurmountable challenge that’s all on your shoulders.

It’s where burnout begins. When you feel like it’s all on you, day after week after month, the dread of going into work creeps in. No one wants to be there. You want to feel challenged but thrive under the pressure, not just survive.

Learn to Delegate

I’ll be the first to acknowledge that I want things done my way. For that reason, I have a difficult time handing tasks off to someone else. However, your plate is full. Give up some of the tasks that aren’t important for your hand to be in.

Work within the Eisenhower Matrix pictured above. Break tasks down into four categories:

  • Tasks that are important and urgent, do immediately. These should be your personal priorities.
  • Tasks that are important but not urgent should be scheduled in. Get to them when you can.
  • Tasks that are urgent but of lesser importance, delegate to someone you can trust.
  • Tasks that aren’t urgent nor important, consider dropping from the to-do list.

Seek Support

It might feel like you’re alone…but you aren’t. Believe it or not, thousands of people have been in or currently are in your shoes. One of the healthiest things you can do to prevent burnout is to get together with likeminded people, and others in your same career position.

One of the best ways to do this with automotive seminars and industry functions like the DrivingSales Executive Summit. There are others too, often smaller and in your locale. Take in sessions on best practices and hear from thought leaders in your specific area – fixed ops.

If your store is part of a dealer group or you know other service managers and fixed ops directors locally, meet together. Even though you might be competition, you can learn from each other to improve not just your own dealership but the industry as a whole. You’ll leave feeling refreshed and supported.  

Find Inspiration

Fuel your passion daily. It’s impossible to keep up the same level of intensity, or vigor, or passion – whatever drives you to succeed – without feeding it. You’ve seen automotive podcasts, webinars, books, and blogs everywhere. Participate in at least one inspiring media daily, first thing in the morning if you can. When you start your day focused on a topic or interest, positive or negative, your actions throughout the day are destined to be influenced by it.


Maintaining a healthy perspective on the workplace as a manager is tough. But if you want your service team to be positive, productive, and healthy, you must start with yourself. Be the example for others to follow.


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