Executive manager, Audi/BMW of Tri-Cities
Number of employees you oversee: 59
Brief background of your business:
Sales, parts and service of new and pre-owned Audis and BMWs as well as selling of any other brand pre-owned as well.
How did you land your current role? How long have you been in it?
My family has been in the automotive business in the Northwest since 1985. I started back in 2003 when I turned 16 years old by washing cars. I started in management in June 2009 and from there continued to grow into the business. My current position started in April 2015 when my family and I acquired BMW of Tri-Cities.
Why should the Tri-Cities care about the automotive industry?
This industry is one of the highest contributors to state and local taxes that go back into our community. It is also an essential service to help keep clients on the road whether it is maintaining their current vehicle or replacing it.
What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
Passion. You must be passionate about what you are trying to accomplish, and you need to pass it on to your staff to get them motivated to reach their goals.
What is the biggest challenge facing business owners/managers today?
Navigating a constantly changing environment. It is critical that we stay on top of changes and continually modernize the experience for the client and our staff.
If you had a magic wand, what would you change about your industry/field?
I would love to change the perception that clients have about the automotive industry or automotive dealers. The industry has changed drastically in the past few years, and there are lots of great dealers who are genuine and care about the client. We take pride in always trying to be the best versus the biggest. We would not be here today if we didn’t always put our clients first.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
Have patience. It can be overwhelming at first and learning how to cope with the added responsibility of guiding a team and having to make decisions that moves their agenda takes time.
Who are your role models or mentors?
My parents. They have always inspired me to be the best I can be no matter what I chose to do and have worked hard to give me the opportunities I have today.
How do you keep your team motivated?
Reminding my team to always look at the glass as half full. My dad has always told me “so you think, so you travel.” Positive results come from a positive outlook.
How did you decide to pursue the career that you are working in today?
Since I was able to work, I spent time around my family’s dealerships as often as I could to work and learn the business. As I got older, my love for the business continued to grow and it pushed me to take on more responsibility and learn as much as I can from those around me. I have always loved being around cars as a kid and never lost that passion growing up.
How do you measure success in your workplace?
By setting realistic goals for the team and seeing where they end up but also by what kind of improvement they show. Sometimes, they may not get to where they set their goal, however, they may have shown personal growth in other areas that can lead to them obtaining their goals easier in the future.
What do you consider your leadership style to be?
Coaching style. It is important to help others see their own potential and what they can achieve. People are capable of more than they may realize at times and it is important to acknowledge the talent they have.
How do you balance work and family life?
It can be difficult. This position doesn’t always allow you to leave work for the next day and sometimes keeps you working late into the night. When it does not, being present for family is key, i.e. putting the phone away and spending quality time with family or doing some sort of activity with them.
What do you like to do when you are not at work?
Spend time with my wife or see family. I also play golf when time allows.
What’s your best time management strategy?
Writing things down in my day planner and prioritizing them based on importance. Distractions and interruptions can come at you without notice and it makes it easier when I have something to refer back to and make sure I’m on pace to finish them within the time allowed.
Best tip to relieve stress?
Doing some sort of physical activity, working out or doing something unrelated to what causes the stress. A puzzle or some sort of game to make the mind work on other things helps.
What’s your favorite website?
I usually go to AutoWeek.com to see the latest car updates every week. It helps me learn what the competition is doing so we know what to expect when our clients are comparing brands.
Do you have a personal mantra, phrase or quote you like to use?
“Nobody is perfect, but those who chase perfection will always have the best chance of being successful in whatever they do.”
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