Are You Investing in Leadership Training?
Many factors go into the success of an auto dealership, such as offering high-quality vehicles, providing outstanding customer service and managing inventory well. But there’s at least one success factor that many dealerships often overlook: leadership training and development.
There are two main approaches you can take to train and develop your leaders: internal and external.
Internal: Mentor young leaders
Internal leadership development is practiced when owners and executives devote time to helping new managers and employees who might one day be promoted to positions of leadership. To do this, shift your mindset from one in which you view yourself as “the boss” to one in which you view yourself as a mentor to young leaders learning the ropes.
Here are a few practical ways to do this:
• Generously share your knowledge and experience with young leaders while working with them to shore up their weaknesses and bolster their strengths.
• Invite young leaders to participate in important meetings and solicit their input during these gatherings. This includes both internal management meetings and meetings with external vendors, manufacturers and suppliers.
• Get young leaders involved with the industry trade association and a Dealer 20 group so they can meet and network with other leaders in your industry.
Also, give young leaders real decision-making authority. Don’t be afraid to let them fail if their decisions don’t pan out. This can help your most promising employees learn real-world lessons now that can prove invaluable later in their leadership careers.
External: Invest in leadership training
A wide range of training options are available to help your employees hone their leadership skills. Here are a few of them:
NADA Academy. This course combines six one-week classroom sessions with hands-on practical training in all dealership departments.
ATD Academy. This course is similar to the NADA Academy, but the material is customized to focus on developing leaders at commercial truck dealerships.
College of Automotive Management: Leadership in Sales and Management. This course teaches young leaders the concept of “servant leadership” — or helping other employees achieve their goals in the context of the dealership’s overall objectives.
Joe Verde Sales and Management Training. This course focuses on developing and training leaders in management who can help grow a dealership.
David Lewis & Associates Online Leadership Series. This course explores and reinforces the various personalities and traits necessary to be an effective dealership leader.
Round up resources
Don’t forget the importance of leadership training and development when it comes to your dealership’s success. Investigate both internal and external resources that can help you grow your future leaders.