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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Larry Bruce

Larry Bruce Founder / President / CEO

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Leadership In Our Industry

You know for last few months I have been hearing a lot about leadership in our industry, about education and how there needs to be more of both, I ABSOLUTELY AGREE!

I met up with Bill Playford at SWSXi (South By Southwest Interactive) for those not familiar with the acronym. We talked about this very thing. I found myself getting very excited at some of the ideas we were discussing, so much so I was writing curriculum in my head as I was driving back to Houston Friday afternoon.


On the way home I made several calls that to be frank…were a total buzz kill on the subject. I was quickly reminded of the agendas of some of the broadcasters, large vendors with money, resources and a voice and the influencers in our industry and the task of bringing true leadership and honest education seemed to be almost too daunting a task for anyone to take on.


This morning I wake up still thinking about this subject and as I going through my normal morning reading ritual and I ran across this post by Seth Godin. Seth has a way in of summing up a topic in very few words I hope to someday master that for now I am not doing very well.


7 Questions For Leaders


1. Do you let the facts get in the way of a good story? Think about that for a second beyond the obvious. What is a good story? It’s a vision right? Are you letting the fact that something isn’t that way right now or that something is hard get in the way of a good story / vision being told? If you are you are killing creativity and innovation in our business…Stop It!


2. What do you do with people who disagree with you…do you call them names in order to shut them down? THIS ONE YOU REALLY NEED TO PAY ATTENTINON TO! Who do you know that is doing this regularly? Get away from that person, this is happening all too often and on some blogs more than others. Bottom line we should be welcome disagreement and healthy debate, when that debate is constructive. People are allowed to have opinions and you are allowed to have yours. In today’s world we are all allowed to express them and there is nothing wrong with this process. It goes wrong when you start the name calling and the personal attacks in an attempt to belittle that person. You have an opinion express it…don't be offended if someone else has a different one, don't expect someone else just to roll over if you disagree. STOP BELIVEING AND READING YOUR OWN PRESS. Cars are gonna get sold with or with our any of us.


3. Are you open to multiple points of view or do your demand compliance and uniformity? Too many of us are not we go beyond constructive debate and defending our position to the point of my way is the only way.


4. Is it ok if someone else get the credit? – Think about that… is it really?


5. How often are you able to change your position? – None of us knows it all is it possible that someone has a piece to the puzzle you don't is it possible that you could be wrong? This doesn't mean you don't have conviction or believe in your position, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t defend it. Just make room for the possibility and keep your mind open.


6. Do you have a goal that can be reached in multiple ways? – Fact is every goal can be reached in multiple ways. There is no one best way to anything anymore. Just because your goal has to change to include others doesn’t mean it can’t be reached it’s just another path to get there.


7. If someone else can get us there faster, are you willing to let them? Are you? How often do you stand in the way of someone because you don't like them or think you don't? Do you even know them?


There is no doubt that we need more leadership that can take these 7 questions above to heart and really work to improve the industry and thereby improving their business along with it. We all need to ask ourselves these questions and honestly answer them.


Larry Bruce @pcmguy

Brian Pasch
Larry You bring up many good points and leaders in the automotive community need to work together on the common goal of helping dealers with education, technology, or strategies. Industry leaders need to do a better job of recognizing different styles, approaches, and methodologies. There are many paths, not one path, to the common goal of helping dealers. I'll be first to state that I have not always taken the higher ground, but I'll commit to being a better leader and to encourage the diversity in our industry.
Larry Bruce
@Brian, I don't think there are any of us that can claim perfection. That said there is nothing wrong with and we should be having healthy debate on the issues and topics. When degrades to name calling, personal attacks and just down right slander we all lose credibility and eventually the blog or publication starts to lose readership and that hurts everyone. We should all look at these questions and take them to heart. Try to improve to on them everyday I know I am. Lastly to all who are doing business in our industry if an educated dealer isn't your best customer then you need to rethink your business model.
Joe Webb
I think we should just put Bill Playford in charge of this. Larry, you spent some time with him. He's likely the only one of us unbiased enough (and smart enough) to put this together without creating enemies. I liked the entire blog, but you said one thing that I loved: "Cars are gonna get sold with or with our any of us." It is time that we start living outside of our own little bubbles and recognize that to make a cultural impact, as to how the world operates, EVERYONE must be a driving force and no one person/company can control the dissemination of information.
David Metter
Interesting that you would post this and Brian would be the first to respond. I was thinking of you two when I read the blog post yesterday. The questions are good ones to really test yourselves with, as long as you can be honest with yourself, especially the last one. This is a big industry with lots of opportunities but very few leaders.
Bill Playford
Glad to be nominated (although, Joe might be just a little biased). I'm also glad this is being discussed in a semi-public forum. I'm not one for quotes, but a Japanese proverb sums it up best: “None of us are as smart as all of us.” As Larry mentioned, I'm at SXSW Interactive. Just minutes ago I heard Dennis Crowley (Co-Founder of Foursquare, and Google alum) discuss the fact he is not opposed to working with Google, Twitter, or even Gowalla. In fact he was flattered that they'd want use Foursquare's platform. If these guys can do it, why can't we? A new session is just getting under way, so I need to pay attention. I look forward to checking back on this discussion later. Let's push things forward!

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