As the owner of your business, you are the Leader of the team. Which means not just leading the team with new policies, procedures and training – but to lead with the understanding of how digital applications and advancements can help you and your team succeed.
To have a successful and expanding shop in 2020 and beyond, the rapid advancements of technology and how they affect each area of your business is a crucial component of leading the business.
Technology is no longer its own sub-category of running a business. Technology effects every area of your shop.
There are key characteristics of a leader who embraces and implements technology for their business.
Possibly the most important attribute of a leader in the digital age. The desire to want to know about the latest technology that could be a great addition to your shop…curious to learn the latest technology applications in cars being built.
Without curiosity, a leader will stay stagnant. With curiosity, a leader will find new ways to solve old problems and new ways to motivate their team. This leader never feels that they have found the one and only solution to a shop issue. They may have found it for the moment, but this leader is always open and searching for new and better technology solutions on the horizon. Staying curious will keep your shop ahead of the competition.
Being curious and a commitment to continuous learning is a crucial component of a successful leader in this digital age. Not only for their team, but themselves. Don’t ever think you know everything about a particular topic. As soon as you do, you’ll shut off your mind to new technological solutions. Attend seminars with a digital emphasis. You may be surprised that what you learn can be directly and immediately applied to your business.
The community you have your business in evolves. New housing developments are built. Employers move or expand. Or you have a great team member who leaves. Knowing that population growth can mean a bigger customer base and knowing how to reach out to them first amongst your competition – by using the latest technology application – can increase your car count. Or always being in a recruitment mind-set means you are continually adapting to change. Embracing these changes requires a leader who is adaptable. Change is constant – it’s important to see change as a new opportunity and think through how your business can grow from each development.
Being a strong leader in the digital age requires agility. Things can change quickly. Being comfortable with change and having the ability to be nimble is key. This leader never puts up barriers and is always open to change – they invite change and have the ability to move quickly but still purposefully.
A leader in the digital age is engaged. They are engaged in the world around them. They have a natural inclination to be involved. In their community – in associations with fellow shop owners from around the country – attending industry conventions and trade shows. Being engaged includes online outlets. From public and private Facebook pages to Instagram, being a part of the online community that serves your industry is an important element of being and staying engaged. You can’t wall yourself off from the world. As soon as you do, the learning stops.
You should never think that your solutions or opinions are the only ones. Be open to other ideas – including your employees’. Technology changes each day and because of that, you can’t know everything. That new Service Advisor you just brought onboard may bring something up to you that you hadn’t thought of – a new app that will serve your customers better. So keep your eyes and ears open and don’t think that what you think is always the best idea in the room.
A great leader in the digital age thinks big. What’s around the corner for your industry should always be on your radar. How can that change affect your business and your team members. You are inspired and determined to bring that ‘big picture’ thinking to your business and industry.
We aren’t talking building an engine here. We’re talking about building a business. Knowing what new technology offerings can bring to the table and knowing how each building block fits in with other building block brings you and your team closer to the goals you have set.
Consider each of these Leadership in the Digital Age attributes and think about where you’re strong…and which traits you need to bolster.
“Technology lets people learn things they didn’t
think they could learn before, it’s
all about potential.”
Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers