If You Want Something Done… is the title of a book by Nikki Haley (and yes, I would vote for her for president or anything else for that matter — but let me finish this before my wife looks over my shoulder) describing the accomplishments of women leaders of the world. Before we over extol the role of female leaders, remember at one time Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher were all world leaders, and all their countries were at war with someone … but again, I digress.  

My mom also always said, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” As we have traveled through life, both the aforementioned statements are mostly correct. That is in the world of perfection, but we live in the world of reality. As owners or managers of equipment dealerships, we live in an even different world. We find ourselves sometimes living from one all-encompassing issue to another.   

Years ago, I called Stephens Equipment and the owner's son Randy answered the phone. I ask, as we do in the South, "How's everythang goin’?” The answer was, in a monotone voice, “Aw, we live from one crisis to another. Dad is either overdrawn at the bank or he is out of toilet paper. Where he is, at that moment is the problem we deal with.” I will never forget that reply.  

There is also a commercial that asks the question, “Do you run your business, or does it run you?” Well from this dealership, I consider it a success that if we have a batting average of over 50%, WE are running our business. 

I have been fortunate to have been in and talked to dealerships all over North America. Know what? The only difference is the names and faces — about everything else is the same.  Why? Because people are people. Some managers are smooth as silk, others operate like rusty gears, but all face the same challenges that exist in our business. 

Getting something done is the daily execution of our short- and long-term plans. 

"We must accept the fact that as our business grows and we age, we can't do everything ourselves and our management style must be to delegate authority to these alphabet kids who we need in our businesses....

To be long term in the business, we have to continually educate ourselves as to the changes that are occurring in the scope of our little “world.”  Women are becoming more of the decision makers, are becoming more involved in dealerships and businesses and must become a part of the dealership management. We have to figure out millennials, Gen X, Y and Z and as Dr. Suess has written “On Beyond Zebra” or Gen Z.   

We must educate ourselves on these future customers as to buying habits, hot points and communication venues. We must accept the fact that as our business grows and we age, we can't do everything ourselves and our management style must be to delegate authority to these alphabet kids who we need in our businesses. Even though it might not be the way we would have done it. If the results are accomplished, YOU are running your business  — getting it done. We must become the 'smooth as silk' manager and oil our rusty parts to become that well-oiled machine that serves us, our customers, keeps the employees working as a team and makes a profit in the process.  

“If you want something done” needs to be on our minds and in our methods continually as we tend to daily tasks and future planning. Read the book, and if you are the rare female who has found her way into this arena and are reading this, take a sip of coffee, point to this script and state, “I have been telling them this!”   

Also read On Beyond Zebra as well (before it is banned).  Now, where is my toilet paper inventory … ‘till next time wishing you smiles, sales and profitability.

Told from the perspective of an in-the-trenches owner/operator — Tim Brannon of B&G Equipment, Paris, Tenn. —  Equipment Dealer Tips, Tales & Takeaways shares knowledge, experiences and tips/lessons with fellow rural equipment dealerships throughout North America. Covering all aspects required of an equipment dealership general manager, Brannon will inform, entertain and provide a teachable moment for current — and future — leaders within equipment dealerships.



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