A question I frequently ask my clients is, “Would you enthusiastically re-hire your entire team?” The purpose is to begin developing current employees, begin recruiting for new team members and to incorporate ongoing evaluation of people and performances.

Today, I am going to change the question — and I would like for you to answer it: “Would you enthusiastically re-hire yourself?” Before you answer, I want you to imagine that you are an investor in your business and you have hired someone to run it for you. That person you have hired just happens to be you. What do you expect out of that person?

Let’s dig into that last question. I want to share three areas that need clarity for you to set those expectations.

Measuring Outcomes

Every position should have clarity of what success looks like. An owner or general manager is successful when they achieve revenue and profit targets and deliver a return on investment. Every year, these numbers and goals need to be defined and documented. Goals are just a dream if they aren’t written down. Have you defined your revenue goal, profit goal and return on investment target? If not, set them today.

Defining Roles

To achieve those expected outcomes, what does this position have to do? You might be saying, “I do everything!” That may be true, but you need to define truly what your responsibilities are. Here are a few ideas for you:

  • Set company goals and priorities.
  • Hire, train and develop your team.
  • Set and communicate clear expectations
  • Manage financials to ensure there is enough revenue to cover overhead, payroll and profit.
  • Stock the right products for the right customers.
  • Create and implement a marketing plan.
  • Create and guide the desired culture or core values.
  • Provide a feeling of security in the dealership’s future.

There may be a few more, but I believe this should cover about 90% of what an owner or general manager should do. Just because I listed them as your responsibilities, doesn’t mean you do all the work. You may have team members that do the heavy lifting, but you need to ensure that it occurs.

How to Act

How to act is often disregarded because we believe that people cannot change or that’s just the way they are. How often have you said, “Do as I say, not as I do?” People do what people see. If an employee sees you doing something, they believe it is OK to do the same.

So, here are some suggestions for how an owner or general manager should act:

  • Be a proactive and clear communicator.
  • Be relationship-focused with employees and customers.
  • Anticipate and prepare for tomorrow (or next week, month or year).
  • Allow people to make mistakes so they can grow. A mistake made once is a learning experience and more than once is a trend.
  • Be humble. It’s not about you.

Now, I want you to answer the original question, “Would you enthusiastically re-hire yourself?” If you are unsure of your answer, bring clarity to the above three areas and write down your responses. Then share them with your spouse, your team and your employees. Now, you will have instant accountability and clarity of what you expect of your future (or current) general manager.

You may have to learn new skills, improve behaviors or manage your business differently. I encourage you to create a personal development plan where you identify strengths to maximize, weaknesses to minimize (by delegating or growing) and specific actions you will take with specific dates for starting and completing them. Actions could include: Reading a book and implementing three actions; attending a training course and implementing two actions; being more intentional in your communication or with how you use your time; or reading an article in Rural Lifestyle Dealer magazine and implementing one action.

Once you create and use your personal development plan, you can start to incorporate it with the rest of your dealership and your business will grow and become better. Be proud to say you have an amazing general manager, even if it happens to be you.