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If someone were to give you keys to the life vault and say, “Open it, and you will be successful,” would you do it? Would you turn the key without hesitation, or would you look around for the hidden cameras?
Folks, everything starts with attitude. You know what “ATTITUDE” stands for, don’t you? Always make today your best day. Take pride in a job well done. Treat tasks as opportunities. Isolate negative thoughts. Treat others with respect. Utilize your talents daily. Do the job right the first time. Expect positive outcomes.
Write it down for yourself and you will soon have it memorized. I have five children. They each earned a bright, gold “ATTITUDE” pin when they could recite that list by heart. Their friends started asking how they could get one, too. Out of 100 or so school friends, only one of them ever followed through. Where’s your pin?
You see, the world wants success, now, without any effort. Let’s take this up a notch. How many thousands of people worldwide will read this and do nothing? Come on, now, I had to tell you twice to stop and write it out.
Attitude is more than a state of mind. It is also a reflection of what we value. Attitude is more than saying “I can.” You must believe you can. You have to see it to believe it, because seeing is based on circumstance, while believing is based on faith. Attitude is contagious, especially when we allow it to turn our doubts of the past into passions of today and set the stage for our tomorrows.
We have total ownership of our attitude. No one has the power to alter our attitude without permission. Our attitude allows us to become more empowering than money, to rise above our failures and accept others for who they are and what they say. It is more important than giftedness, and it is the forerunner of all the skills needed for happiness and success. Our attitudes can be used to build us up or pull us down. The choice is ours.
Effort and Performance
Are you really willing to implement a disciplined effort? It’s never easy. It requires a great deal of time and it may be awkward at first. It will require consistency. Once you have the attitude in place, improved effort and performance will soon follow.
Remember, finance managers are solely in charge of the temperature of the deal. Hot, cold, lukewarm, frozen. “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” “Either they’re buying or they’re dying, and they’re still breathing.” Did you turn every stone and put in every effort to help deliver the car? Salespeople, sales managers and dealer principals are counting on you. Your task is to exceed their expectations. The pool of mediocrity is well-stocked. Up your game and up your effort — not only at work but in life. Shut the TV off for a week and start to focus.
Attitude, check. Effort, check. Next up: performance. NBA great Larry Bird would practice shooting free throws until he made 100 in a row. If he missed one, he would start over, even if it was No. 95. He would start over! Even after practicing with the team, he’d shoot free throws. What is your least favorite task?
In the F&I office, we are only as good as our last deal. The older we get, the more authority we acquire, the more success we achieve, the more prominent we become and the more admiration we evoke, the harder it is for us to see our mistakes and act accordingly. And since greater conviction leads to greater perceived confidence, certainty and, thus, credibility and success, it’s easy to continue to fool ourselves, especially when things are going well.
Behaviors, implementations and efficiencies will become automatic, but only after your attitude, effort and performance are dialed up.
It will be tough. If necessary, double the prescription. Dr. G.P. is in the house.
G.P. Anderson is finance director of Thielen Motors Chevrolet Buick in Park Rapids, Minn., and a 25-year industry veteran. He is AFIP-certified, a 2008 F&I Pacesetter and winner of the inaugural 2011 F&Idol contest. [email protected]