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The Best Auto Repair Shop Owners Take Extreme Ownership


Extreme Ownership by Lucas Underwood

 It sure is a beautiful day here in Western North Carolina. This is Lucas Underwood and I'm going to be standing in for Rick today. What I want to talk to you about today is extreme ownership. Now, this is something that's made a tremendous difference in my business. And it's something that I learned from watching a Ted Talk on Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink. Jocko was commander for the Navy Seals. He tells this horrible story of fratricide. It was basically friendly forces against friendly forces. I'm going to tell you something. It was a horrendous story. And out of that, he learned something about ownership. Now I'm not talking about the ownership that you find on a piece of paper.

I'm talking about ownership in your business. Ownership of its problems, of the struggles you see in this world today. We're all too often focused on who's fault something is that we're always blaming, complaining, and becoming defensive. We're passing the buck off to somebody else. Harry Truman said the buck stops here. And I'm going to tell you something. When I learn that it changed my business. It changed my life. It changed my relationships. Why? Because all of a sudden I found the ability to solve my own problems. You see before I was giving everyone else the power. I was complaining about them. It was always their fault. And with that, it was their responsibility to fix it. But when I take ownership of the problem, guess who's responsibility is, guess who has the power to fix it?

That's right. It's all on me. It’s extreme ownership. I'm telling you, it's huge. It changes your life. When you really dig into this and you really begin to own this in a big way, extreme ownership will change your life. You see, you can dispatch, you can delegate all of the authority in the world, but none of the responsibility. At the end of the day, as the business owner, it is still your responsibility. You can make it someone else's fault in your head all you want, but it doesn't mean it's going to change anything. Would you rather have power over it? Would you rather have the ability to change it, to make it better? Listen, when you own this, when you make it yours, you truly have the ability to make it better. You truly have the ability to change things. It's such a breath of fresh air not only to our staff but to our clients too.

When we accept responsibility, the biggest thing we'll learn about this is it doesn't matter whose fault it is. It doesn't matter if it's my fault, your fault, or someone else's fault. It's the acceptance of responsibility. I understand something went wrong. I'm going to take care of it. I just recently went through this whole deal with canceled flights and everything else in the airport. No one would take responsibility. Every single person in that airport was going around talking about it's this person's fault. It's that person's fault. It didn't matter whose fault it was. It simply mattered that someone was going to fix it. They were going to take responsibility for it. We're going to take ownership of it. Maybe it's time that we do this in our business. Think about what a difference it would make for your employees.

If instead of passing the buck around about whose fault it was, at the end of the day, I'm the leader. It is my responsibility. I will take care of this. We've had these instances here recently in the shop. We have owned this response. And so I'm going to tell you, folks, it changes the culture of the business. It changes your mentality, and it changes the perspective that clients have of you and your business. At the end of the day, as a business owner, the buck stops here. It is solely my responsibility. Jocko said something that will always stick with me. And he said, “I will never pass the heavy burden of command to my people.” Hmm. Why did that stick with me? Because I'd been passing that heavy burden down. I had been moving it to others.

I had been saying why didn't you… You should have… couldn't you have... I'm not going to say we don't have those conversations. I'm not going to say we don't have coaching moments. I'm not going to say that we don't correct problems in the shop. But I am going to say that when it comes to the client when it comes to serious problems in the shop, I am always the responsible party, no matter what. Nobody else will ever be responsible for that.

But I do have a challenge for you today. When things don't go right, when there's a challenge that pops up in your business, when a car is not fixed properly, go out and just say, this is my responsibility. I'm going to take care of it. See what it does for your culture. See how it changes your business. See how your employees treat you differently when they realize their leader is going to take ownership of the problems in the shop.

Lucas Underwood signing off. Just wanted to say thank you for being here.


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