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Half the techs got there late. A couple of them never showed up, because they were too busy getting a waiter done. We started with pizza– didn’t matter if I brought ten pizzas or forty, there were never enough. It took thirty minutes for everyone to eat, during which the only conversations were about not having the right toppings, or that we forgot to get paper plates again. Then everyone got sleepy.
After I got through my list of topics, one of the techs would inevitably pull out a list of his topics. It really wasn’t his list as much as it was their list. During the two or three days before the meeting, the techs would put together a gripe list and appoint the most brave, outspoken one to present it. There were valid issues, but they were usually based on things that happened in the last two to three days, and were all about negative gripes. Sometimes, to really top things off, the owner would sit in on the meeting.
The gripes were usually tabled, but sometimes I tried to defend them. Let me tell you, trying to defend a tech concern in a room full of sleepy, fed and “over-worked and under-paid” techs is not fun, and a complete waste of time. The gripes were always things like: “The factory warranty time to replace water pump isn’t enough. You need to talk to the factory about it,” or “All the techs at our competing dealer across town make way more money than we do.”
I remember what a tech said to me at the beginning of the last one of these tech meetings, like it was yesterday. “Are you nervous?” he asked me, holding a slice of greasy pizza. “You’re sweating.” He was right, and I decided right then that this would be the last of this type of torture.
There’s nothing quite as rousing as being fed-up to the back teeth, is there? We’ve all done it. We sit back and let things slip. As long as they don’t become too overwhelming, we’ll cope with it. And then one day, we look around and see things as they really are. We realize just how glum we have let life, work, or play become. Our epiphany may have been sparked by a careless word or a telling-off from the boss, or it may be the sudden realization that our whole lives are lived in fear– fear of rejection, of loss, of change. Suddenly, we are the sort of people we swore we would never become.
So, what do we do when we finally reach that moment of clarity? We get off our backsides and do
something about it. Those feelings are what drive us to alter our situation. They motivate us, and isn’t motivation crucial when you’re in the automotive industry? I can speak from experience. By my second year as the service manager of a nice-sized Jaguar dealership in Phoenix, Arizona, boy was I ever uncomfortable and unhappy. I was far from being at the peak of my performance.
I was stuck– and I knew that something was wrong.
When my dealership hired Chris Collins, and I began to be mentored by him, life changed for the better. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that I gave his systems a chance, and didn’t just throw it away in my self-deluded misery. I got an opportunity to start over.
The way he challenged me really got under my skin. He was blunt and very direct: “I will give you every opportunity, and the know-how to transform yourself into a powerful manager and turn around your service department. If you won’t do it, then you might as well go flip burgers instead!”
It really felt like he was seeing right through me and saying, “Well, Mr. X, you’re not on the path you know you should be; I’m offering you all the knowledge of how to do it. Are you going to do it, or are you just going to give up for life?”
I kept thinking about what he said, getting madder and madder each time. I remember thinking, “Who the hell is he to tell me to go flip burgers? I am not a loser!!” I tried to be angry at him, but really, I knew that I was just mad at myself for falling below the expectations I had set for myself.
Right then and there, I made a conscious decision to change my life. I was determined and focused. Chris Collins had issued a challenge. He would teach me how to become an irreplaceable service manager, and I would do my bit by turning the department around and boosting profits through the roof. Finally, I had something concrete to focus on. I was going to crush my goals!
Change tends to make people uncomfortable, and I experienced some initial resistance implementing and executing the things that I’d wanted to accomplish. But, I had help this time. I had Chris Collins behind me. The old me would have just given up and blamed everyone else for why I couldn’t do anything, but this time, I pushed through every obstacle. I quickly realized that where there’s a will, there’s away. It may be a cliché, but all clichés have to start somewhere– and that’s usually because they tell the truth. I started seeing results immediately, and it was astounding! I was gaining my power back. There wasn’t anything I couldn’t do.
I got a ton of compliments from employees and customers on the changes. The naysayers and the
negativity went away, because the results were undeniable.
I finally felt like I was accomplishing something and making a difference; not just sitting in my office looking morosely at our shrinking bottom line. I wasn’t hiding away anymore, filling my time doing petty, tedious, and boring tasks. I was making goals and crushing them! I was in charge of myself once again and, as a result, I became the go-to guy for everyone. I was no longer failing my team; I led by example and showed them how it should be done.
I felt empowered, way happier, and less stressed. My home life improved dramatically. My wife felt like I was finally the man she remembered marrying, and I used my newfound determination to lose fifteen pounds and cut back on my drinking. My kids were happier, and our life just felt like it was back where it should be. We got onto a rocky road for a while, but now we’ve finally gotten off that dirt track and onto the freeway. It’s smooth driving from here on out.
I’m a much happier man now that my family life is back on track, but nothing felt more gratifying than finally getting the acknowledgement I had been craving. I distinctly remember the text message I got from the dealer saying, “Thanks for your hard work, great job!”
It felt awesome. Not only was I being thanked and genuinely appreciated, but he was now asking for my input on every single thing at the managers’ meetings. I had become his go-to guy, and I can’t describe how good that felt!
And I have Chris Collins to thank for it. His training secrets and tips really helped me focus and raise my game; they gave me my confidence back. They helped me feel like I was where I was supposed to be, rather than stuck.
The secret that took Mr. X from Stalled to SUPERCHARGED can be yours for just $39.95 plus shipping and handling! Get the book today!
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