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The Most Successful Auto Repair Shops Leaders Have Teams Who Follow Them


The Most Successful Leaders Have Teams Who Follow Them

by Rick White, President 180BIZ                                                             (Estimated Read Time 6 minutes)

I’ve been talking about building a superstar team and one of the things that people forget about is it isn’t talent that creates a great team. But should I have capable people? Yes. Should I have competent people? Absolutely. Should I have focused people? Definitely. I can remember a basketball team in the Olympics made up of amazing talent but was such a disappointment. They never jelled as a team. If you read the book, Extreme Ownership, they were doing hell week. One team was in first place all the time and one was in last place all the time. The last place blamed it on the team.  So they switched the two leaders and the team that was in last place immediately rose to second place after the first time together, and then they were consistently in first place. The team that was in first place before dropped to second place.

Teams need a leader who will have their back.

We need someone that the team can follow. That is ultimately what it's all about. They need someone who will have their back. Before your team will ever have your back, you must have theirs first. They need someone who will show them the way and is passionate about what they're doing, where they're going, and why they're going there. You want people who want to be with you. People who are excited because you are excited. It's contagious. John Maxwell says, if you are a leader and there's no one following you, then you're not a leader; you're going for a walk. You must lead the way.

Teams need a leader who is hungry and determined.

A team needs someone they can follow who's hungry and determined. What does that mean? It means you know where you want to go and you have a hunger for it. That doesn't mean getting to the end of the day without killing someone or getting to the end of the week or month and being able to make payroll or pay your bills. That is not hunger. That's survival.

Hunger is where you see the potential and you want it no matter what's going to happen. I love those three words, “No matter what.” That's the determination. “I will achieve this no matter what.” “We will achieve this no matter what.” That hunger and that determination is rocket fuel for your team. When they see your level of commitment, that is when they will say, “Wow, this means something.”

Teams need a leader who is humble and confident.

The leader must be humble and confident. That is not a dichotomy. Humble is thinking not less of yourself but thinking of yourself less. It's being willing to hear what others have to say. It could be guidance, it could be direction, it could be correction. In other words, if you're not doing something that you should be, your team feels safe to call you out on it. They feel safe to call you out when you are not following through. Isn't that what we all need? We all need to hold each other accountable, not to our intentions, but to our results.

And then there’s confidence, not arrogance. I know that at one time I was unable to walk and now I'm walking. I know that at one time I couldn't talk and now I can talk reasonably well. I know there was a time when I couldn't fix a car. I can do it well now. There was a time when I struggled to coach a shop. I don't anymore. But is there still a lot to learn? Yes. There is so much for me to learn to become a more effective influential coach and leader. I'm constantly honing my craft. But I still have confidence.

Always be grateful, but never satisfied.

One of the things I say all the time is “Always grateful, never satisfied.” I am always grateful for where I am. I'm grateful for what I have. I'm grateful for the opportunities and the lessons. I'm grateful for the problems because of those problems. Instead of avoiding them, I push through them which makes me a better coach. I become a better leader. And it's the same for you too.


Teams need a leader who seeks counsel from them.

Your team will follow someone who seeks counsel from them. That is huge. The byproduct of that is buy-in. When they are a part of the process and part of the solution, they will own it. And because of that, it's not you telling them what to do, it's them realizing they created it. They will make sure to do it.

Teams need a leader who shares the win and shoulders the blame.

Your team needs someone who will share the win and shoulder the blame. You deflect the win to the team and shoulder the blame, the responsibility when things go wrong. That is the definition of having their back. One of the most powerful things I did as a shop owner was when a client would call or come back to thank us for a great job, I would bring the tech out to hear it. Or the advisor who worked with them. Shouldn’t they be the ones who should be hearing it? Absolutely. I want them to take the credit, not me. I want them to feel good because it fuels their progress. It fuels their growth. For me, I don't need that. What fuels me as a leader is my team's growth. That's where it makes a difference. So, you must deflect the win.

And at the same time, you must be the one who accepts the responsibility. If someone makes a mistake, it's not their fault. Don't throw them under the bus. I don't want blame. It doesn't matter whose fault it is. It is a hundred percent my responsibility to make sure that it's correct.

Teams need a leader who respects each of them.

Next, they need someone who they can follow. Someone who will respect each team member. Recognizing that each of them has a unique skill set and a unique perspective.  If I have my fingers all spread out individually, it's easy to break any of them. B when we are a fist, when we are a team, it is unbreakable. That is what I want.

These are the ingredients; these are the actions that you need to take so that you can create an amazing team, a superstar team. But remember, it all takes time.

If you want to deep dive into building and creating a superstar team, then you want to see our Pocket Business Genius webinar titled “Creating a Superstar Team.”

If you know someone who owns a shop, they have to be a shop owner, who could use perspective, some help, or guidance, please invite them to our Shop Owners Round Table. It’s absolutely free. It's our way of giving back to you and our industry.

And then one last thing I'll ask you, please share this video. This is such an important message. There are so many out there who are completely focused on survival, and they think that's all there is in a business. But then we have those few that just do an amazing job at creating a business that serves them, their team, and their community. You can too. 

God bless. stay safe, have some fun, and go make some money.

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