W.I.N. — What’s Important NOW

You may be surprised to hear that I learned some of my most valuable business skills from losing a tennis match. As a very competitive person, winning matters to me a lot.

As a result, I worked hard on my skills and deliberately practiced several times a week. However, I would often come up short in beating my opponents.

Usually, when I lost, it was the crucial points toward the end of the match when I would choke. A tennis coach taught me that I was losing because I cared too much about winning. What?

I became so obsessed with winning or losing—the “outcome”— that I would stop focusing on the present moment—the “now.”

I quickly realized that it is only in the present moment that we can be in “the zone” and execute what matters most. This included the shot I needed to make and the serve I needed to hit.

What does this have to do with managing a collision repair shop? A lot, actually.

Many shops wisely set goals only to get frustrated later when they don’t achieve them. They hold people accountable and even payout employee bonuses based on their ability to achieve a certain metric or financial goal. Think about a monthly gross profit percentage or a Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) score.

These are outcomes and results. Many shops demand results without realizing they are driving the wrong behaviors. It’s essentially saying, “I expect you to win this tennis match and if you win, I will give you a bonus,” even though the person has no control over how well the opponent plays.

The equivalent in a business is saying, “If you want to make a bonus this month, I need you to hit a 97% CSI Score!” On the surface, this seems sensible. Paying for results is a common method used.

However, when someone tries to achieve results without a defined process, results can be unpredictable and sometimes even damaging to the business. The person is no longer focused on what’s important now, only on the outcome.

All outcomes are the sum of the mini-individual steps of the process. To win, you need to place your focus here: W.I.N. What’s Important Now.

This includes:
How well you execute today’s communication with customers.
How well you follow the steps required to deliver an accurate appraisal on the vehicle in front of you.
How you find the gross profit on a particular repair job during the appraisal process.

In the NOW is what will eventually deliver the W.I.N.

Your gross profit percentage at the end of the month will be determined by what you do NOW.

Your CSI score is a result of how well you execute what’s important NOW. It could also be determined by how you pick up the phone and update the customer now as promised.

If you want to hold people accountable, hold them accountable for executing how well they do their job in the present moment.

Mr. “Roll Tide” Nick Saban, the football coach for Alabama Crimson Tide, preaches “The Process” in Alabama. In Tuscaloosa, they don’t sit around and talk about winning championships. That is an outcome.

Instead, they talk about how well players execute the task in front of them. Saban will provide instant feedback when they don’t execute it perfectly.

Any New England Patriot fans? Me neither, but you can’t argue with the fact that they know how to win Super Bowl games.

In his office, Coach Bill Belichick has a quote from Sun Tzu’s book, “The Art of War,” that says, “Every battle is won before it is fought.”

In other words, the Super Bowl is a result or outcome of the many individual contributions made in the NOW over hundreds of hours of practice.

He is famous for saying, “Do your job,” which is another way of saying, “If you execute on the tasks of the process, your outcome will take care of itself.”

I realize this topic may be unusual from what I typically share, but I really encourage you to think it over. It can be powerful, whether you want to win more often at sports or become the champion of your business industry.

Remember W.I.N.—What’s Important NOW. Stop worrying about the score and go out there and execute on the very next shot.

Would you like an outside perspective on your goals and the next steps to reach them? Schedule a free 1-on-1 consultation with me, Dave Luehr, and let’s outline the next steps, so you know exactly what W.I.N. to focus on!

Click here to schedule your no obligation meeting to help you get dialed in and crushing your goals. 

Subscribe to the Dave Luehr YouTube channel and visit the Elite Body Shop Academy at elitebodyshopsolutions.com/academy to keep learning effective business strategies for independent body shops.

About the Author:

Dave shares his experience from over 30 years as a collision repair industry leader in leadership, lean and Theory of Constraints. Once the owner of a body shop himself, Dave draws on the realities of a real world collision repair shop in his consulting, writing and keynote speeches.

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