A Few Words on My Past For Your Future

Sept. 1, 2019

Columnist Lenny Saucier looks back on a great career for lessons to current techs and operators.

I am going to be reflective here. These past few years has presented me with some major changes in my personal and professional life.

I have left my long time career with the great Take 5 Oil Change, expanded my consulting practice, opened an automotive shop and closed that same shop, began writing to all of you about my visions and methods to grow a successful group of leaders in your business.

This latest change has encompassed a cancer discovery inside my digestive system that requires great and immediate attention. While this discovery seems to be early enough, it puts me in a mood to reflect and recap some of the things I have learned in the past few years that I would like to make sure you understand. And as always, I am offering complete transparency and openness to my life.

Evaluate Your Basket

At the end of my time with Take 5, Driven Brands had departmentalized almost every aspect of operations within the company. As an early contributor to the brand, I was used to holding many hats and taking on many projects to move the company forward.

As we grew, my role became more defined and I struggled to push my reach to other parts of the company. I was forced to solidify my efforts which meant I could not be involved in every aspect as I was used to.

What started out as a joke quickly became a lesson in life. I want you to look at your hands and realize that all you can create, and fix come from your hands. Now cup your hands together as if you were dipping them under a stream of water to collect a drink for yourself. This is your basket.

It is what your hands can hold and create differences with. If something comes up and that doesn’t fit in your basket or creates your basket to overflow, realize that this should not be in your basket and should not consume your energy.

What Do You Do Great? Great, Now Do It

When reflecting on the closing of my automotive shop I looked at the beginning of the creation of this shop. I did not really have a true plan for what we were going to be. The shop was set up to handle preventive maintenance, repairs, tires, modifications, U-Haul rentals or anything I could throw at it.

Jose, Andrew and I wasted countless hours talking to 4x4 enthusiasts that seemed to be motivated buyers but turned out to be window shoppers.

Advertisements ran on multiple platforms from a slew of companies promising to make my doors swing off the hinges with all the people who would rush in. I had no identity for my shop, we did everything good, which lead to nothing great.

As for me, I personally removed my talents of leadership development, training, and customer service and replaced them with marketing, bookkeeping and paper filing. I know what I am great at, I was just doing other things. This process is trial and error until you understand what you are great at. And when you determine your attributes, you can develop your roles and responsibilities. Those go in your basket. 

Be Jake

I have dropped many names in these articles that have impacted me in the moments I have written about. Jake Oro is a very special person that deserves his moment. Jake appeared in my life in 2005 right before Hurricane Katrina. He was a superstar that held himself back due to other companies filling his basket with their needs.

I watched Jake stay stagnant for many months as I begged him to take on more responsibilities. During Katrina, he was shuttled away to Texas and eventually coming back to Louisiana. Jake shifted gears to pharmaceuticals (the legal kind) and eventually back to Take 5 in my  team. It was the easiest decision I made. Jake has been involved in many departments and projects and has made a huge impact to many.

Past this, there is another side to Jake. Jake Oro is a father to two incredible young adults, a husband to a great woman and brother to a beautiful and strong woman (Hi Kelly!). I had thought that Jake was moving around for the company, but it was actually being driven by what Jake can do for his family. He stays faithful to his kids and etches out his time to serve them as they become successful. While Jake insists that I have made huge impacts,

I have followed and admired his impact on others including myself.

While there are forces stopping me from being his brother legally, he is and always will be my brother.

Today there is no homework, only reflection. Be great!

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