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Looking ahead to 2018: How to be a great leader and inspire your team

By Lauren Labunsky

As we close on 2017 and look toward the new year, you may be considering the goals and improvements that you’d like to make in 2018, whether that be in your personal life or in your business. Call it New Year’s resolutions or just a good season to slow down and reflect – as we move closer to 2018, here are some helpful points for improving your business by strengthening your leadership skills.

A great leader is:

  • Helpful & service-driven. Rather than asking what your dealership staff can do for you, focus instead on what you can do for them. Daily, you should be evaluating the productivity and achievements of the team(s) you manage and considering what kinds of changes or improvements you could implement to help them be more successful.
  • Trustworthy. Your employees need to feel like they can come to you with issues and problems, and that you genuinely care about helping them. This trickles down to your customers as well – set a good example by being caring and trustworthy yourself, and your employees will treat the customers they interact with the same way. Especially in the sales world, without trust you have nothing.
  • Problem-solving. You know your business better than your staff does – that’s your job. When your teams run into problems, it’s up to you to help them find solutions. Think of yourself as the big-picture representative for your dealership. While specific employees may only have the perspective of their own department, you understand how issues affect the business as a whole, and your customers too. You are the voice of reason.
  • Flexible. While you do need to establish authority and provide guidance, its also important to remember that two heads are better than one. Your employees likely have great ideas and suggestions for improving the business, so be open to hearing them and trying new things out. It’s all about teamwork. 
  • Inspirational. As a dealership leader, it’s your responsibility to help form a company vision and enable employees to carry out that vision. Rather than allowing yourself to be overbearing or controlling, practice being supportive and encouraging. Strong leaders establish a cultural identity in their businesses that makes people love working for them.

During the downtime you will inevitably have this winter, take a step back and consider how you could elevate your leadership style. Becoming a better leader will have a positive impact on your whole team.

Lauren Labunsky is the public relations manager for Dealer Spike, a company that provides innovative websites as well as a suite of powerful online advertising solutions that help marine dealers help increase sales and service profitability. For more information, visit www.DealerSpikeMarine.com or call 800-288-5917.

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