Captain Insights


Empowering Your Staff
March 24, 2021 by Check Out Our Captain Insight!


Taking a management position comes with a new perspective. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been promoted from within a dealership or hired from outside it.

Worrying about our personal performance won’t win championships. Instead, we need to think about our people. A good manager will take 0% of the credit and 100% of the blame.

If you ask motivational expert, Sean Kelley, the best way to achieve that is with a shift in how we think. We shouldn’t predicate our dealerships on a hierarchical structure but think of them more like a team, or a group of teams. We need to transform our managers away from automatons barking orders into coaches.

The act of changing our perspective will then lead to a change in our language so we can achieve the goals of the dealership.

Here are three essential ways to empower your people.


Check Out Our Captain Insight!


Do you find yourself dolling out orders like a military officer? Go do this, get that done, head over there. If we only tell our people what to do, they will never learn.

It’s akin to the ancient proverb “give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day; teach him to catch a fish, and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.”

If we change our language to discover the problems, eventually our employees will start asking those questions of themselves. When they start to think differently, the job will seem like it’s being done on its own.

We can’t be an effective sales manager when we’re too busy being a problem manager. Kelley describes it as “yelling, telling, and selling until everyone comes to you when they need help.” Instead, if we start thinking about how we can raise our people, so they aren’t bogged down by the little things, they’ll be focused on their goals, not the obstacles along the way.


Introspection is defined as the examination of one’s own mental and emotional processes. When it comes to our people, teaching them to be introspective will benefit the dealership in unique ways.

Introspection Offers:

  1. A source of personal knowledge
  2. A way to block out the noise around you
  3. Reflection on your strengths and weaknesses
  4. Slower thinking to make decisions

 When we teach our people to be introspective, we are allowing them to take ownership, solve problems themselves, and ultimately remove a culture of dependency.


Coaching your people shifts your language away from directives to suggestions and then to questions. You will be more concerned with their personal achievements and growth. Rather than dump more training work on them, you show them strategies for how to learn and gain from experiences.

Kelley’s final thoughts get right to the point of the employee/employer relationship. Engaging and empowering our staff helps them meet the ten motivation factors, so you get continuous improvement. That improvement will lead to empowerment.

We all benefit by changing how we approach the employee/manager relationship.