Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Not much love for the Governor

May 28, 2013

Wow, this one I really missed!!

I nailed the Super Bowl winner, and had an excellent showing in March Madness.

I had a strong hunch, however, that car wash operators had lost their earlier appetites for sports figures as Keynote Speakers at The Car Wash Show™. 

Joe Theismann was a good choice, to be sure, and Mike Ditka spoke as directly as he had played the game a half-century ago.

Many attendees this year also raved about Magic; but after all, he is Magic. 


            Who could hope to follow his engaging and high-energy presentation?

Not another sports figure, I thought.

Well, I thought wrong. 

Much to my surprise, Bob Knight, a legendary but gruff coach, very much like Ditka, was the clear winner in the PC&D poll, with a solid 50 percent of the votes cast.

But even more surprising to me, was the poor showing of Chris Christie, the current Governor of New Jersey.

I like Christie’s charisma, style, demeanor and direction. As an executive, he seems very focused on correcting obvious problems in short-sighted organizations or stagnant bureaucracies, and then banging out favorable results.

To Christie, and to other thoughtful leaders, the status-quo, perhaps more than any other single factor, is the biggest obstacle to making uncomfortable but necessary decisions.

The carwash industry is slowly recovering now, we know, yet the pace of change at both the operator and supplier level remains severely restricted, I fear, by a common mindset which remains too cautious. 

“Every time we’ve moved ahead in IBM,” Thomas J. Watson noted, “it was because someone was willing to take a chance, put his head on the block, and try something new.”

The carwash industry today needs to import that growth-oriented mentality.  Truth be told, the market is well-positioned for a Chris Christie-type of person or organization to step up later this year.