PowerSports Business

August 14, 2017

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SOLUTIONS 42 • August 14, 2017 • Powersports Business www.PowersportsBusiness.com I've written a lot about leadership and the effect it has on business. Team performance and busi- ness profitability is always enhanced with great leadership. I believe it always starts at the top, either consciously or unconsciously. Now think about this: Cog- nitive neuroscientists (yes, you're reading PSB) have conducted studies that have revealed that only 5 percent of our cognitive activities (deci- sions, emotions, actions, behavior) are con- scious. The remaining 95 percent is generated in a non-conscious manner. Wow! You might be thinking, just what do we use that 5 percent of our conscious cognitive brain power for, and what's the deal with 95 percent of the rest on auto-pilot? Are you thinking about breathing right now? Nope? We create, process and reason, all without ever knowing we're doing it. Your unconscious mind is a type of holding tank, not a black hole where things get lost. It takes in thoughts and information and turns out answers suited to your specific situation. Once it's time to act on that information, a decision is made, and the unconscious mind hands the information from the holding tank over to the conscious mind.Generally, what is thought of as a conscious thought, is not. Sounds iffy at best, but that's how it works. Your team's performance is affected by your leadership style. What kind of effect does your conscious and unconscious behavior have on your team's performance? What kinds of behaviors and beliefs are you promoting under your dealership roof? As a leader, you want to instill confidence, not worry or mistrust. No one likes distress, and your leadership can cause a lot of it. Saying something can have the same effect on someone as saying nothing. Paying attention to behaviors that could nega- tively affect outcomes is a desirable practice. In today's world of constant communication, this is more important than ever. "We as a team need the courage to speak to one another and actually listen, to put aside differences and talk with one another, not yell or call names. We as a team will stand shoul- der-to-shoulder and say our differences will not, and should not, prevent us from working toward solutions. We are a team, and it should be part of our ethos and nature to work as one." When was the last time you handled an issue in your dealership by saying that? As a leader you've got to be aware of what you're saying and how you're acting. Bring the unconscious to conscious awareness. A wrong word here and there or looking at things in a narrow way signals to others that it's a one-way street (yours) and that the thoughts of others are not valued, appreciated or even wanted. A team that feels valued, top to bottom, is a team that works hard together. A title, or the lack of one, has no bearing on how each and every individual is treated, and how they perform as a group. You do not build consensus and congruency in practices in your dealership by not showing appreciation and respect to your folks, either consciously or unconsciously, through your behaviors. And whether you like it or not, behaviors are modeled, good and bad. Yes, that would be your behaviors. The leader who does not make good on promises is making an unconscious decision that promises are not important. For example, not completing an employee review when promised is making an unconscious decision that a review is not important. The employee who was looking forward to hearing your feedback (they worked hard for you) now sees signals of their lack of importance to you, and maybe they don't work quite as hard anymore. Promises not kept erode confidence and trust in leadership. I've seen great leaders in our industry over the years in dealerships and at the OEM level. Great leadership instills confidence, even in less-than-stellar times. Being that great leader is more important than ever. There are lots of signs that the powersports industry is retract- ing. I can guarantee you this: There are plenty of dealers who are not where they'd like to be or where they thought they'd be at this point of the year. Do you let industry conditions dictate your success or your own leadership, conscious or unconscious? Things will change in our industry. They always do. Ask yourself this: Do you inspire confidence with your leadership? Are you sur- rounding yourself with and building a team with folks who instill confidence in others? Are you taking care of what needs to be done, when you said it would be done? Do you have congruency and consistency in practices in your dealership because of your leadership? Are you doing daily what is needed as a leader to continually strengthen your business? Dig deep. Bring the unconscious into the light of day. Make the best decisions you possibly can. Deep down, you already know. PSB Mark Mooney is the principal of Mark Mooney Powersports Consulting, a Santa Cruz, Calif.-based company that works with OEMs and powersports dealers to strengthen dealership performance. A former dealer principal, Mooney has 35 years of industry experience. Contact him at mooneypowersportsconsulting@gmail.com. With leadership, deep down you already know THINK ABOUT THIS... performance and busi- always enhanced with MARK MOONEY

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