Why Environment Matters

Do you have your awards sitting on the shelf behind you in your office? Are they individual awards or dealership awards?

If they are dealership awards, who are you showing the awards off to? Clients? Vendors? Yourself? What kind of message do you believe you are sending to your team by having the awards proudly on display behind you versus on display in the showroom or a dedicated area for all to see? 

Tom Cochran said life is a highway, well what I’ve discovered is that the speed limit for me is 80mph and my environment – material items and people – is what dictates my speed, along with my discipline, routines, and habits. If the speed limit was 80mph would you drive 50mph? It’s ok to do it for a short period of time to take in the views and appreciate the scenery but not for any sustainable period of time. Driving 80mph then going down to 50mph feels like you’re crawling along the highway – a legal form of torture! Don’t allow your environment to slow you or your team down. The goal is to add energy to the room not draw from it.  Simply by moving the dealership awards from your office to the showroom, you’re adding energy to the room because you’re showing appreciation and praise to the entire organization who earned that award along with you. 

What I found earlier in my career is that the same is true for going 120mph.  It’s difficult to sustain high-performance and a healthy environment – at home or the dealership – when we’re redlining the engine. Worse yet, we move so fast with our head down that we miss the scenery altogether. Our scenery could be our kids sporting events, school plays, or the personal and professional successes of our team. When I was “hustling” too hard for too long, my expectations grew substantially for the team to do the same. I expected them to keep up to my speed. If I was going 120mph and they were going 80mph, I felt like they were crawling. The lack of awareness around the damage I was doing to my engine is what led to the lack of praise the team deserved, burnout, mood swings, and an unhealthy environment.

I encourage you to ask one simple question as you walk through the dealership doors every morning… “Am I adding energy to the team or drawing from them?”  As a leader, I’m sure you’d agree that it’s your responsibility to provide the environment you and your team needs to succeed.

You got this!

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