Super Man-ager or Just an Average Joe?

Aug. 1, 2023
What skills should you be looking for in leadership in your stores?

We all know that to be successful, you have to have the right team in place. Ideally, we have all been doing this a while and we have an idea of what we are looking for in this person. However, the changing landscape of interviewing and hiring combined with a new generation of employees in the workforce, this seems like something that you might want to tackle. These ideals below are things that I look for in hiring either a manager in training or promoting from within. Some may work for you and others may not, but thinking outside the box is sometimes needed to find the right candidate.

Leader or Follower?

This is much easier to determine with an in-house employee than an interviewee. You ideally want a leader in the shop that is ready and willing to give direction, set standards and be able to separate friendship from work. We work in tight environments with these people every day, so friendships are going to happen. This can be a positive for having a team that will buy in to what is expected; however, you need to look for red flags. Some of these are how often are they cliqued up or not taking the job serious, how do they interact with one another and most importantly is how are they influenced. You don’t want the leader of your team to be the guy or gal that is allowing things to happen that are unacceptable. When it comes to a new hire, this can be difficult, but not impossible. Look at the resume. How often are they changing jobs? What positions do they rise to in their stays? Ask them open ended questions regarding situations that may arise and how they will handle them. You want to find the voice that everyone respects and has also bought into your company philosophy. These are the ones that will take you to the next level.

Communication Skills

This one doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it could be a gamechanger. We work in an industry that is customer service focused. Yes, we work on cars, but we also work with people. You want a level headed person as your lead. If there is a customer issue, they would be the initial conversation. If there is an employee issue, they will be the mediator of the situation. So, having someone that has an ease of communication will greatly improve your chances of success in both in store and out of store issues. Again, in-house is an easy one. You can see how they interact with people. An interviewee can be just as easily done if you hold the interview the right way. Avoid yes or no questions and ask lots of open-ended ones instead. This forces them to conversate with you and gives you the opportunity to listen to how they communicate. If you choose poorly and have someone that cannot diffuse a situation, then you are setting yourself up for a lot of phone calls that you are handling yourself.

Work Ethic

The leader in your shop will be the driving force in your success or failure. Have you ever heard the phrase “speed of the leader, speed of the crew”? If your manager is engaged and hustling, so will your team. You want someone that is not afraid to get in there and get their hands dirty too. If your manager is always telling people to do things, but not willing to jump in themselves, the crew will lose respect and you will begin a vicious cycle of hiring and recruiting to follow them. If you have a manager that wants to sit in an office all day and allow his team to do all the work, you will find that you are losing out on opportunities that are missed. This is not just on the sales side of the business, but in training and teambuilding. You ideally want someone that is not willing to ask their team to do something that they themselves would not be willing to do themselves.

So, in conclusion, we can all sit around and brainstorm many different traits that would be good to look for in a candidate. However, these three of being able to lead, communicate and work are going to get you the most well-rounded person. If you have one of these in your shop already that is not a manager, start working with them! Identifying and attracting these candidates are core to running a successful business that is staffed for long term success!

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