Blog: Surely he is a “can’t miss” performer!
This is not, of course, a political endorsement of Chris Christie, but as a public character, he becomes a fascinating study.
My first thought is this:I pity the unfortunate person who is asked to share the stage or a microphone with the immutable New Jersey Governor.
He creates a formidable presence. It is quickly apparent, moreover, that Christie relishes the many contacts and frequent exchanges he has with friends and foes alike.
To some, he is an irascible opponent, and he behaves like a playground bully.
Yet Christie gets impressive results. Many voters in New Jersey may not like him or approve of his abrasive demeanor, but he does persist, and he brings people together to achieve a common good.
This critical skill or innate ability has great merit.
Readers will recall I was interested in, but later became disappointed by Sarah Palin, another popular politician.
I wondered, what could an enterprising person like Palin achieve in our industry?
Ultimately I decided she was too divisive to build a mandate, and thus she would be unable to reach agreed upon goals to benefit both operators and suppliers.
Could a Chris Christie type person, however, create a different outcome?
He likes to roll up his sleeves, get his hands dirty, and solve problems.
Also, unlike many political and industry leaders, he invites close inspection.
“Watch me do my job,” Christie boasted at a recent news conference, following his remarkable re-election as Governor.
He claims he was re-elected as a public servant to do big things, and he has the vision, energy and determination to accomplish them.
But how would Christie perform as a potential leader in our industry?
Despite his obvious appeal and pedigree, many may be surprised by my conclusions.
As an owner/operator, Christie would be somewhat successful. His tough-guy persona would crack and erode, and I think he would closely embrace his best customers.
As a boss, he would hire task-oriented people, much like himself. His employees, I am convinced, would go to the mat for him.
But Christie would not have the patience and the needed attention to detail to become a persistent and relentless marketer; he would fail to build a larger customer base.
Here, he would have to delegate this vital task to another responsible, take-charge person, and his big-boy ego would suffer a major hit. Truth be told, as an owner, Christie would not have the ability or inclination to let another person become a genuine star.
As an industry supplier, Christie would have only limited success here too.
To be truly successful, carwash suppliers have to become talented and dedicated “nuts and bolts” guys. They must build solid reputations over an extended period of time. Unlike many politicians, few suppliers become sudden, immediate successes.
To be sure, the New Jersey Governor has a demonstrated capacity for hard work, but in an industry where real growth has been stalled for many years, Christie would have become bored, and he would have been drawn into other fields.