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Great Leadership is Based on a Foundation of Respect and Not Intimidation

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By Phil Villegas

It may be a byproduct of getting older, or perhaps having less disposable time, which in turn may be the root cause of getting grumpier, but I am finding that I am having less patience with people who simply are not professionals or carry themselves as such.  I’m particularly more frustrated by the lack of professionalism and general courtesy at the highest ranks of many dealership groups with such as their general managers, controllers and at times, even the owners.

I’ve witnessed these types of disrespectful and unprofessional individuals throughout my entire career, I always chalked this up to a “different management style” or “cultural differences” within the dealership.  Over the years I never spent too much time reflecting on the individual merits of these individuals or their behavior in their stores; at least not until recently.

At Axiom, we are fortunate to have the ability to be very selective about the clients we choose to work with.  We simply enjoy working with professionals that are respectful and courteous to others and have an appreciation for the work we do. We will go out of our way to ensure these clients are over-serviced and catered to in order to maintain a relationship with them as long-term clients.

Over our 8 years in business, we have unfortunately come across a few unprofessional and disrespectful clients.  The few clients that despite our best attempts could never seem to take a break from their obstinance.  These types of clients are simply not part of our long-term growth strategy, no matter how much they are willing to pay.  When we encounter these types of individuals, the relationship is typically short-lived.

This brings me back to reflecting on many of dealerships I’ve encountered which were owned and managed by disrespectful and unprofessional individuals.  These stores typically suffered from high turnover, exhibited questionable business practices and were unable to truly achieve a sustainable level of success.  While many of these stores could achieve a level of profitability and apparent success despite themselves, these stores would typically fail to realize their full potential.  Dealers and management should be mindful of these types of individuals within their organization, irrespective of the financial results they produce, any short-term gains they contribute may compromise long-term growth.

“Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination, on cooperation, not intimidation.” – William Arthur Wood

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