It's 4:38 am as a sit in the Charlotte, NC airport with the smell of cinnamon and icing wafting towards me from Cinabon. I see people moving slowly while they groggily walk to their gates, cussing themselves for having to catch a flight so early, cutting their much needed sleep short. I feel much the same way as I write this but am in a hurry to get back to my family and work.
You see, I just spent the last two days at the Automotive Super Conference's event How To Run Your Dealership By The Book and I feel inspired. Yes, I'm looking toward the loving embrace of my wife and children after 5 days away but I am also looking forward to action. Action, because having all the knowledge in the world is useless without it. Action, because it makes a difference. Action, because it's your barrier to success... if you let it.
While I was part of the team that spent the last year and a half putting this automotive conference together I took much more from it than I put in. Fellowship ran rampant as attendees stuck around hours after the last workshop, discussing application of what they learned, sharing what they knew.
Knowledge is great, the pursuit of it even greater, but only if there is action taken on it. That can be the problem with conferences, that you feel compelled, while at the conference, to take action once you get back to the dealership but as the day starts in on you the same-old-same-old starts to erode your conviction and you start to push your action back hour by hour, day by day, week by week until finally action has been replaced with business as usual.
I encourage those that attended How To Run Your Dealership By The Book to not let this happen. To make a commitment to take action no matter the cost. With 22 workshops and 11 panel discussions a lot of life and business changing information was shared. Some said almost too much as they learned so much that they needed to change.
Remember this, while sometimes all that is required to take action is to start sometimes action takes a plan, especially when there is so much to implement. I caution you though, to many times we stay in the preparing to take action phase for so long that we never actually take action on the things that we learned. That is why you should take action on something you've learned as soon as possible. While you no doubt learned many new things don't wait till the perfect opportunity to get started, start now. That is, take action while you plan.
There has to be a small nugget of information that you can implement now, a tweak here, a change in process there, whatever it is do it as soon as possible. Then, write out a formal plan. A plan of action so to speak. Put your team together, discuss what was learned and what implementation looks like. And then... you guessed it, take action!
From Dave Anderson we learned the importance of culture and vision while at the same time maintaining integrity as a leader. We learned from Jonathan Dawson how to motivate your sales people. Craig Lockerd taught us the value of people. Tracy Myers taught us what it meant to "Discover The Magic." There was so much learned, so much value given that it would be a shame to lose it all through inaction.
For those of you that were at the conference how are you going to take action? What are you going to do to ensure that there is a difference at your dealership today? I'd love to hear from you, leave a comment below.