Success Strategies - May - 2018

Vital Questions for Leaders

Do you think of yourself as a leader? It’s really helpful when you do, because, believe it or not, some people are watching you and following your examples.

I’ve been involved in many businesses, shops, teams, clubs, associations, platoons, bands, and assorted groups over the years. In each situation, I’ve found that achieving big things always involved getting others to embrace or adopt the project enthusiastically. In other words, getting them to “buy in.”

Without buy-in, you’re left with only your own strength and knowledge; with it, you gain the resources of others. The next time you have a big project to accomplish, consider these vital questions for owners, managers, supervisors, shop managers, and technicians as you begin.

  • Who always tells you the truth? (Think about this one for a moment.)
  • What specifically are you hoping to accomplish with this effort?
  • What will that look like in actual outcomes and behavior changes day to day?
  • What specific behaviors and comments do you want to see to prove this is working? How will you know this has worked?
  • What will that be worth to the shop financially? Where will you save money and make money?
  • What problems will that eliminate or reduce for you?
  • What’s important about achieving this goal to you (personally)?
  • What’s possible for you? What do you wish were possible for you?
  • Someone in your industry will become the leading shop and a model for the industry to follow. Are you up to becoming that good so that others want to be like you?
  • What’s a customer worth to your business over a buying lifetime?
  • Are you willing to change your systems and practices day to day to achieve a winning culture?
  • Are you willing to change enough personally to sustain the new culture of achievement?

Lots of companies will start new initiatives this year to increase sales, improve customer service, increase employee retention, reduce wasteful practices, increase profit margins, and promote what they think is a great brand message. Most of them will only have moderate success in doing so.

Not only will most of their advances be small, they’ll also be temporary.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

When a small group of people is committed to making a lasting difference, they can change the world!

Sociologist Margaret Mead once said, “What makes me think that a small group of committed individuals can change the world? Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has!”

Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE is a longtime contributor to GEARS Magazine and a friend of ATRA. He is the author of 18 books and in the top 1% of speakers at TEDx worldwide. He consults with business owners and coaches success seekers. Contact him at View his videos on YouTube and