Leadership Lessons from a Car Dealership?

miniWhen I walked into the MINI dealer to buy a new car, the last thing I expected to find was a great example of leadership, but that is exactly what I found. It took a while for my early observations to draw the conclusion that the secret sauce of this dealership was the Sales Manager.

This busy, almost chaotic dealership was full of energy and organized. We were approached immediately by a salesperson who was quick to tell us that this was her first week, and she’d just moved from Pittsburgh. After a little hometown sharing (I grew up in Pittsburgh), she showed she knew her stuff. Turns out she transferred from Pittsburgh MINI.

What she was unsure of were some Florida-specific/dealership-specific processes, so she checked periodically with the Sales Manager. That’s what got my attention. He gave her the information she needed, but let her work; he didn’t hover as I might expect with a new employee. Continue reading

A Leader?

Carol Anderson:

This, from fellow blogger Gwyn Teatro, is an awesome lesson through poetry.

Originally posted on You're Not the Boss of Me:

Many years ago, I found this poem. It is one that impressed me and continues to speak to me now. To the best of my knowledge its author continues to be anonymous. Here it is. Enjoy

A Leader?

I went on a search to become a leader

I searched high and low. I spoke with authority, people listened but alas, there

Was one who was wiser than I and they followed him

I sought to inspire confidence but the crowd responded.

“Why should we trust you?”

I postured and I assumed the look of leadership with a countenance that glowed

with confidence and pride.

But many passed me by and never noticed my air of elegance.

I ran ahead of others, pointing the way to new heights.

I demonstrated that I knew the route to greatness.

And then I looked back and I was alone.

And I sat me down…

View original 201 more words

The VA’s Wake-Up Call to Human Resources

vaHere is an excellent wake-up call to anyone in the field of Human Resources. As the investigation into the VA scandal deepens, it appears that, according to the VA’s performance and incentive system, they were doing GREAT!

Fox News reports that [Gina] Farrisee [Assistant Secretary for Human Resources]….

“acknowledged the need to hold VA employees and supervisors accountable, particularly regarding regarding performance, but defended the pay bonuses.

Farrisee acknowledged the need to hold VA employees and supervisors accountable, particularly ‘We must recruit and retain the best talent, many of whom require special skills in health care, information technology, management and benefits delivery,’ Farrisee testified. ‘In particular, VA requires talented senior executives to manage the complex set of facilities and programs that VA is responsible to administer.

‘Performance plans are the foundation of accountability not only for senior executives but for the entire workforce,’ Farrisee’s prepared remarks continued. ‘Senior leadership engagement in managing executive performance plans, including counseling and mid-year assessments, also serves as the model for the general schedule workforce.’

Farrisee, who joined the agency in September, admitted to Miller that not a single member of its senior executive service – a pool of 470 individuals – received less than a fully satisfactory or successful rating. She acknowledged that the VA’s recently exposed problems don’t jibe with an agency rewarding employees for stellar work.

‘Mr. Chairman, if we knew what we knew today at that time, it is unlikely that their performance would have reflected what it reflected at the time the reports were written,’ Farrisee responded.”

Continue reading