Be A Compelling Leader


leadership (Photo credit: Ed Gaillard)

Our industry is in a period of change and it is time for reflection, goal setting and renewed commitment.

However, this time of the year is particularly important.

This is not a “Goal” setting blah blah blah blog post. If you are in a Leadership position in your Dealership and you need a lesson on Goal setting and business planning, sorry to disappoint.

This is the first in a 5 Part Series on Leadership.

The nuts and bolts of Goal setting and business planning is in here in several different posts like “Service Absorption Rule #1” and “Crunching Your Service Numbers.” Search the blog posts and you will find them. If you need some help, send an email to

A little background. I am constantly in search of new ideas or maybe old ideas presented in a new way. I had been leading seminars for a well-known training company and I was assigned to deliver a Communications seminar to a large transportation organization.

I always arrive early so that I can look around and quite frankly, I spend a lot of time looking at what people put up on their walls. You can tell a lot about an organization from what you find hanging in the lobby or in the training room. (Ever notice that the places with the most Rules posted on the walls always seem to be the unfriendliest?)

I noticed that this organization had a lot of Leadership thoughts posted. I found one very, very interesting Leadership model hanging in the training room and I copied them down. I transferred them to a 3×5 card  and posted them on the wall in front of my desk. I look at them every day and think of their meaning often.

Here is the first one and the beginning of this 5 part series.

“Create A Compelling Vision”

Creating a “Compelling” Vision and one that is well, ordinary, is really two very different things.

The word compelling means “forceful” and “driven.” Combine that with the word “vision” and you have a future destination that other people can’t resist and feel obligated to help you achieve.

That is a “Compelling Vision.”

If you have been having some difficulty achieving your Vision, perhaps it’s time to decide if the Vision is Compelling or is it just “if we can” or “if it works out” or a “maybe if everything falls into place” kind of Vision.

If you have what you feel is a “Compelling” Vision, try it out on a few people and see if their enthusiasm matches yours. Compare the two below to yours and see how your Vision stacks up.

  • Compelling “We have had success this past year in increasing labor sales. Based on what we have accomplished so far I know that we can increase 10% for 2011. In order to do this I am using a two-pronged approach and will start by providing additional Sales Training beginning next month. Secondly, I am initiating a performance based bonus plan that rewards increased labor sales. I am counting on you to help me and our Dealership meet this new objective.”
  • Not Compelling. “Uh, as you all know, we have had a pretty good year and are looking to do better next year. There is no reason that we can’t improve and I am expecting big things for 2011.”

See the difference? The first is specific and lays out a game plan for hitting the new objective. The second is so general that you could be talking about how the bake sale for the school went.

Yet, how many of us have heard or delivered a Vision statement that sounded similar to that?

Creating A Compelling Vision.



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