We Need More Leaders and Less Managers in Dealerships

Michael Migliorini

Lately, most stores are doing more with less. Meaning GM's and GSM’s can’t be good leaders because they are too busy managing.

The argument to spend time and money on leaders vs. managers is a hard one... leaders can't really measure results, where managers can check tasks off a list, count cars sold etc.

However, I still think it's important to create good leadership inside dealerships. How does the balance between leadership and management work at your store?

Derrick Woolfson

I think it is an excuse. A leader is a manager. But instead of just managing, they lead. 

Aaron Evans

All great points Michael. Thanks for sharing. 

Sherri Riggs

Derrick I can agree to a certain point! I think more managers can try a little harder to lead, rather than just checking off their list of management tasks... but that being said, to do a quality job on either, you have to put your all into it.

In the wise words of Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec, "Never half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing."


Amanda Gordon

Sherri thanks for making me giggle. I think there should be a separation of managers and leaders. Management can focus on the production and team leaders can address processes and daily tasks. I've seen this model work at numerous stores. 

Michael Brown

Leadership is a quality. Management is a skill or ability. You can have a BDC Manager that is a great leader, and a General Sales Manager that is a great leader but a terrible manager.  When you can have a person with both, at the top of the organization, you have the best scenario to succeed.

But you also have to break this down to what you are managing and leading! 

Sales/Desk Managers often come from the sales ranks, so might not have strong people skills.  They are focused on managing tasks (desking deals, locating cars, etc.) but not on leading a sales team. Yet they have the day-to-day interaction with the sales team that can help increase productivity, sales, and retention.

In lieu of that, you need a GSM that is a very good leader, and his or her key management skills are delegation and prioritization.

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