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A lube team is only as strong as its leader

October 11, 2010
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Every two years comes an event that inspires millions of people. Lives are touched, hearts are opened and minds are free to dream.

This event seemingly revolves around sports and athletes, but I see it as so much more.

The Olympics offer the world an opportunity to watch the finest athletes in the world compete at the highest level, reminding everyone that success and exceptional accomplishment is bred from unequivocal commitment.

Successful state of mind
What makes an Olympian any different than the average athlete? What prepares someone to push to succeed day in and day out? Where does it all start?

The official Olympics website expresses an important motto for the game: “Passion, Olympism is a state of mind.” That is where all success begins.

Once you achieve the mental understanding of the importance of succeeding, there is really only one thing that separates the average from the champion: Training, training and more training.

Listening to any of the athletes interviewed, one finds that they consistently talk about their practice, their coaches and their hard work. They all know there are other teams, and that competition motivates them to train and practice to be better.

Being the best and achieving success means committing to a standard of dedication, accepting that only through diligence and fortitude will you succeed.

In the lube business, this philosophy is no different. Building a successful business means committing time and effort, and encouraging others to take the same attitude and outlook.

Take a closer look at your team
Think about where you are today with your team of employees:

  • Do they have the right state of mind for your business goals?
  • Are you able to motivate them, if they can’t motivate themselves?

Once you define what attitude is needed from an employee you can see who is capable of becoming a champion in your shop.

When you hire, look for people who have the mindset along with attitude and aptitude needed to succeed in your business.

Train the right way
Do you have a plan for training and do you stay committed to it? Innate drive is important, but employees look to managers and owners to set a precedent and explain how things should be done.

No Olympian was ever plucked off the street and put onto a team within minutes of their interview that I know of. No Olympian was chosen for such a high profile competition simply because they showed up.

Olympic athletes are trained by qualified coaches. Your employees should be trained and encouraged in much the same way. An employee’s desire to succeed needs to be supported by the owner or operator’s willingness to lead them there.

Lead by example
Training, practice and commitment from the coach makes the difference in each champions’ performance, much like a business owner or manager influences their team.

If your business needs improvement — more cars or higher ticket averages — maybe you can find the state of mind you would like your employees to have, set a plan and commit 100 percent to it and train, train, train.

Cricket Killingsworth is vice president of The Heartland, and is a national sales trainer and motivational speaker. Killingsworth can be reached at