Rebuilding from the foundation up

Liz WalzDuring the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo last month, I was thrilled to hear Joe Verde talking about the importance of marine businesses getting the right people working in their companies and leading and training them well. That is essential if dealerships are to recover from the effects of the recession and grow.

I’ve experienced the power of such leadership in my own life and observed it in the business world. Like most people, I’ve had some awful jobs, most of which boiled down to the working environment, not the duties themselves. It wasn’t until my current boss asked me what I wanted out of my career that I realized this job was going to be different.  In more than 10 years as part of the work force, no prior boss had ever asked or seemed to care what I hoped to gain from my job.

While the work I do today is in many ways similar to the work I did seven or eight years ago, that conversation was the beginning of a new stage in my career — one in which I’m happier, I’m learning more and frankly I’m performing at a much higher level for my company.

And in fact, I’ve noticed a trend within our industry. If you look closely at the highest performing boat builders and dealers, I think you’ll find the vast majority excel in the areas of employee development and employee satisfaction. They know how to hire, support and develop, and ultimately get results from their employees.

For the past few years, we’ve postponed several articles on employee development because dealerships and manufacturers have been focused on cutting costs – and employees. Now, while the recession hasn’t ended, there seems to be a new focus on preparing for the future and on making one’s own future. With that focus has come a renewed interest in human resources and a dedication to doing it right this time.

As Joe Verde put it during his MDCE presentation, “If your house blew down and you had to rebuild it, wouldn’t you rebuild it a little differently? Now is your chance to do it right.”

Now is the time to assemble an “A” team within your business and plan together for recovery and growth in the year ahead, whether the economy begins to rebound or not. Stay tuned to Boating Industry for information on how to reach those goals in the weeks and months ahead.


  1. Awesome. Well put and dead on.

  2. At the dealership and refit area of our industry, those who survive and flourish will be the ones who look for opportunities to professionalize thier operation and thier people – in short, training together with improved processes and procedures

  3. This article gets directly to the point,we need to re tool the way we think in this industry.It takes the correct employees to make our customers happy. It is ultimately the customer who pays the Bills and like wise they control how we do business,we need to get back to customer service and we all will do well.Many dealerships have lost that personal touch that makes our customers feel glad that they use us over the competition.


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