The One Key Thing Every Effective Leader Needs

Written by Adam Wright:

“Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily.”

Johann Schiller

I have encountered many great leaders in my time as a consultant. Some of the best have been overly talkative, stern, funny, or even quiet. There is one trait, however, that every effective leader possesses – patience.

Earning a profit in any business takes time and a lot of effort. An orchard doesn’t grow in a day. This is especially true for dealership service departments. Developing a strong team working out of the same playbook can take years. Let’s explore a few proven steps that patient leaders take when building for success.

Technician Development

Bringing a new technician up from scratch is a long-term process with no guarantee of success. This is where an effective leader simultaneously keeps an eye on the long-term goal; a high-performing shop filled with productive team members, while dealing with the day-to-day challenges that come with inexperienced techs.

These challenges include:

  • Lost production during training, especially for out-of-store learning
  • Higher possibility of repeat repairs
  • How to structure the trainee’s pay
  • Retaining the tech as his/her skills develop

Patience and planning are critical to getting past the goal line with tech development. The most effective service managers stay committed to steadily bringing along promising candidates. They coach new techs through the inevitable errors, encouraging them to learn from every mistake. These high-performing leaders make time to put together a written plan outlining milestones the trainee is expected to hit as well as communicating when and how pay increases can be earned.

Daily Feedback and Training

Giving regular feedback and providing good training can be tough. These things require an approach to management that is proactive, one that goes being firefighting and adult babysitting. It takes time…and patience.
The most effective service leaders I have worked with all had systems in place to provide daily feedback to their advisors and technicians. These leaders develop simple, but clear methods to get key pieces of information out to their people. I’ve seen many different ways – it’s not a one size fits all situation.
Examples include:

  • Brief daily huddles
  • Whiteboards with results
  • Well-crafted emails
  • Quick one-on-ones

Effective leaders also ensure their team has access to training. There is an abundance of training resources available to service managers. What is important is finding which training is valuable and gets the desired results, then putting the team through it and following up with daily feedback to make it stick.

Good Hiring

The most important thing in this regard is to avoid emergency hires. Don’t bring someone in to plug a hole and avoid short-term pain. Effective managers will stay patient, even if it requires getting on the drive and writing service until the right person can be found.

When we encounter these issues, it’s easy to want a quick fix. To put a patch over problems and hope it holds. It’s difficult to be willing to delve in and put forth the time and effort these problems demand.

Time is essential in doing any job right and having patience through that process can be one of the more daunting tasks. Patience is hard-earned. It is something that all quality leaders exhibit.

“Patience is the ability to dwell gladly in the present moment when we would prefer not to.”

John Ortberg

When you are ready to make big changes, put in the work, and time to turn the corner, M5 can help you do it right. Give us a call today.

We can work with your team to develop and implement ways to increase profitability, customer, and employee satisfaction. If you would like to learn more, please call or email me at (407) 221-8974 or

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