Here's a story many of you can relate to: A high-volume operation, already down one person, loses a key team member (for non-work-related reasons, no less) at a peak moment of production. The void left behind seems almost insurmountable, as every person on the team is already stretched to (or past) his or her capacity. And there’s a bigger problem: Customers don’t care; no one wants excuses. There’s a deadline and it needs to be met. Period.
So, what do you do? Well, I can tell you firsthand; this story is about our team at Fixed Ops Business over the last month or so. A lot goes on behind the scenes here to launch and now produce this publication each month, and honestly, we prefer to keep the majority of it “behind the scenes.” But I bring up this story for a very specific reason, which I’ll get to a little later.
First, our (logistical) solution to the problem: Just as you would likely do, we divided up the remaining work; everyone took on more and everyone pushed forward. But it’s never quite that simple, right? I mean, you can’t tell people who already work extremely hard to just work harder, put in more hours and figure it out. It’s not fair to them, and it’s not realistic. Instead, everyone decided to work smarter—and work together. They shared interviews, they tag-teamed stories, they picked each other up when they needed it. We changed some of our systems and processes, and tried to increase efficiency, not hours. And, in the end, they got it done.
Now, here’s my reason for sharing: This was a major victory for us, and I want to recognize our team for it. You don’t know many (or possibly any) of them yet, and hopefully that will change in the coming months. But I am incredibly proud and constantly humbled to work with such selfless, motivated and talented people. Our soon-to-be seven-person editorial team (once two people are added back into the fold) produces three monthly, national publications. At the rapid-fire pace we operate (and all of you do, as well), it’s easy to take everyday successes for granted. It’s easy to focus only on mistakes. Don’t.
You’ll notice this theme in our cover story (“Growth”) in which one dealership group goes to great lengths to maintain a positive culture amid exponential growth. The lessons: Celebrate success. Appreciate the wins. Recognize performance. No amount of words in this space will be enough to do that for my team, but, I’ll just add two more: Thank you.