Aug. 15, 2005 – The second P in Profit: People

Editor’s note: In the last issue, Bill Shenk introduced “The Four P’s in Profit”: Purpose, People, Products, and Performance. He also described the importance of each P to the others, and explained their developmental order-why the second P (People) must come after the 1st P (Purpose) but before the 3rd and 4th P’s (Products and Performance).
In this issue, Shenk takes a look at the 2nd P, “People”.

I’m not aware of a powersports dealership worth owning that you could operate by yourself. You need a team — one that works together to carry out your mission, in a way that meets not just your expectations but also the needs and expectations of your hard-won customers.
When you know your dealership’s “Purpose” and the nature of the marketplace in which you’re working, you can build a team that reflects your purpose as it serves the customers within your market.
Naturally, you must also know what it takes to do each job in your dealership, and the kind of person who’s best suited to that position. Would a Formula One team exchange the engine-builder or the suspension guy for the driver and expect to win, just because they all have years of Formula One experience? No way! Yet we do something like it every day in the powersports industry. We’re seldom even sure what it takes to be a star “driver” or “suspension man.
So how does an owner or manager build that strong second P-the People who can make or break the dealership?
Testing Pays Off
In our PHD 20-groups, we’ve spent years figuring out not only what it takes, task-wise, to do each job, but also what type of personality is best suited to those positions. We recommend that our members run their candidates through a unique personality-profiling test. It uses our job requirements, but it also “benchmarks” these candidates against known top performers in the powersports industry for that position.
Winning Traits: Commitment & Competence. We’ve learned there are two traits that are common to ALL top performers on any team. They are Commitment and Competence. Each of these has two key components.
Commitment is an inherent attitude. It’s made up of Desire plus Confidence.
If a racer has all the knowledge necessary to win, and all the skill he needs to use that knowledge effectively, but has no Desire to race competitively, what are his chances of winning against rivals who desperately want a victory? Pretty much nil, right?
Now let’s say he has plenty of Desire-he’s dreamed, all his life, of being in the Winner’s Circle. He’s read all the books and has taken all the classes (knowledge). He’s even put in all the grueling hours of practice, till he’s darn good at it (skill). But unless he’s absolutely convinced, in his own mind, that he could actually be a winner-in other words, if he lacks Confidence-what are his chances of winning? I’m sure you’ll agree, again, that the answer is none.
Competence is learned. It’s both Knowledge and the Skill to use that knowledge.
Which Trait Should You Hire?
Here are the facts: You MUST have BOTH Commitment AND Competence to win!!! AND YOU MUST HIRE COMMITMENT FIRST!!
Why do I say that? Think about it. Which quality will be easier to “put into” someone-Commitment (Desire plus Confidence in oneself) or Competence (Knowledge and the Skill to use it effectively)? Obviously, Competence is much easier to “put into” a person. So if you have to choose, hire Commitment. You can always teach Competence.
Be aware, though, that while Commitment may be much harder to “put into” someone, it’s also much easier to “remove” from them. You can’t take knowledge or skills from someone, but you can destroy their desire and self-confidence. Most employee failures are actually management failures-in hiring, motivating, or training.
Bottom line: Hire Commitment first, put the right personality type into the right spot, make sure the pay and other motivations are on-target, review everything regularly…and NEVER stop training!
To join an independent PHD-20 group and become a Top Gun dealership, call PowerHouse Dealer Services, toll-free, at 866/896-3759, or email me at psb
Bill Shenk of PowerHouse Dealer Services may be reached at 866.896.3759 or email

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