"The task of a leader
is to get his people
from where they are
to where they have not been."
-- Henry A Kissinger
A few days ago, I was talking with someone in a commercial truck department and we were talking about when we got into the business, and where we've been and that sort of thing. It wasn't a long conversation, but we started in a similar time frame.
I told him about the last dealership where I created a very successful commercial truck department and when I left. He knows that the department is no longer, and so he asked what happened. It's a fair question. My answer was that "they had no leader, only a successful salesperson, finally they hired what they thought was a leader, who was not, and the entire department came apart and was no more."
As the leader and founder of that successful department, I know what I'm talking about, and at the same time, I have never enjoyed the idea that something I built from ground up was wasted like that. But, once out of control, it is not up to me anymore.
It's interesting how many times I have seen this kind of thing happen, not only in commercial truck departments, but in a lot of businesses.
A business needs a leader. A commercial truck department is a business within a business and it needs a leader as well. There is no effective substitute for this position and someone who knows how to lead, or knows what to do in order for it to rise.
A successful salesperson "managing" the commercial department is okay if all you care about is one person's production and capacity. That is like a skilled worker going into business for himself. He is simply creating a job for himself, and this applies to the commercial department. They are focused on what they can do. The best they can do is expand their capacity a bit, but one person is not a team and a team will get better results. But, the team needs a leader. It can do with a manager for a while, but if the department or the business is going to rise to its potential, we will need a leader.
This person will have a vision of what can be done, and a plan to move toward it. This person will negotiate and create partners to help it get done. They will keep the department sustained with support even before there are results to show. This person will create an atmosphere of mutual respect within the team, along with individual relationships to foster a creative and productive spirit. This person can create something from nothing, something more from something less, and eagerness of things to come.
Every department needs a leader, and every business or organization needs a leader. And, the best scenario when moving on, is that you have found, trained and nurtured a replacement for yourself so that the leadership remains in tact. It will never be exactly the same, but it must have a leader who can lead.
"The Quality Of A Leader Is Reflected In The Standards They Set For Themselves." -- Ray Kroc
Spread Some Joy Today--by leading the way.