“How Will You
Rock the Boat?”
My parents grew
up during the Depression. As a result of their struggles, they
taught me to…
“Not rock the
boat!” “Keep a low profile!” “Go along to get along!” “Let
others decide, so you won’t be criticized” “Stay silent and just do
their instruction led me to not excel anywhere other than in my
schoolwork where I was in control of my actions. In high school,
recognizing that continuing the same course of action would lead to
being average, with no path to achieving excellence, I began to
“rock the boat.”
Our high school
band director shared that for me to advance to the “A” band I would
need to play more than one instrument. I excelled in trumpet and
French horn and learned to play the guitar. My commitment led me to
teach others to play those instruments. I also volunteered to teach
others how to march properly while playing music. Others learned to
“rock the boat” in order to advance.
various restaurants, plus helping other band students, I learned
the value of teamwork…how each person’s part, plays a valuable role
in the success of the team. When asked to lead, it was my destiny
to help each organization achieve their goals. This carried through
into my college experience and my upward mobility in
After college, as
a leader and coach, I continued to “rock the boat!” They
sent me to the worst performing restaurants to get them back on
track by upgrading their people, processes, products, and
promotion. By installing standards for these 4 “Ps” wherever I was
assigned, our company grew rapidly.
Not wanting to
stand still very long, the opportunity to change careers appeared
so that I could gain control of my own income. Selling cars and
trucks was fun, but not as satisfying as helping others achieve
their goals through their own sales success. Leading 19 different
auto franchises, we achieved success in both profit, team member
and customer satisfaction.
boat” was not always popular with owners and led to several
separations when I rocked too far or too fast. However, leading
while teaching others, how to be operationally sound by managing
the 4 “Ps” was very rewarding.
I continue to
challenge students by sharing sound personal and business
Are you prepared
to step outside of your comfort zone?
How will you
“Rock the Boat?”
That is today’s
Morning Minute 4/28/23:
“Are You Accountable or Anonymous?”
The “A” in the T.A.S.T.E. module stands for
Along with Truth, Support, Trust, and Empowerment, these
fundamental traits guide the decisions of servant
Growing up in Alabama in the 1960-70’s, I marveled at how both Paul
Bryant of Alabama, and Ralph Jordan of Auburn, described the
results of each game in their weekly TV broadcasts. If they won,
they gave the credit to the players and the assistant coaches. If
they lost, they always took the blame themselves for bad decisions
or an ineffective game plan. They congratulated others after wins,
and took the blame themselves after losses. By assuming
accountability for failures, they both were respected and effective
As a beginning car salesman, in my haste to sell a car, I
misrepresented a vehicle to a client. The client caught this and
terminated the sale. It was my responsibility to both apologize to
the client and to my manager. Getting chewed out by both taught me
to be more careful in my presentations. I learned and became better
because I was accountable.
My first auto leadership role was Sales Manager. During my first
sales team meeting, I shared that I was responsible for vehicle
reconditioning. If there was a problem with a vehicle, either one
in our display, or one that had been recently purchased, they were
to get me involved immediately. The previous manager would always
shift the blame to someone else, attempting to remain anonymous. I
shared that I would address any issue myself. In short, I held
myself accountable. Employing that policy, we more than doubled our
used vehicle sales with massive increases in repeat and referral
Leaders have to choose between accountability or
Being accountable for our mistakes and/or the performance of our
teams, may bring us short term pain. That is how we learn and grow
as effective leaders. Staying anonymous and/or deflecting
responsibility to others, will not help us learn from our mistakes.
Plus, our teams will not improve, either as individuals or as a
Have you had a learning situation such as the ones I described
above? It would be helpful for both yourself and our readers if you
would share the situation, and how you addressed it.
Usually, it is not the mistake we make, but the actions we take,
that create a positive or negative outcome.
Are you accountable or anonymous?
That is today’s Morning Minute.