The only thing permanent is change. This has always been the case as we look back at the lives of our grandparents and our parents and how things have progressed and how we continue to experiment with new ideas and technology. Never before has it been so important to look at yourself and your skillset and to keep learning. Leave today behind, the skills that helped make us successful as individuals and as a company may no longer be relevant. Our ability to reinvent, adapt and refocus is what kept us ahead of the competition but our strength of mind, and willingness to keep trying new things in times of change will define our success in the future.
An astonishing fact is that in our world of motor retailing, in 1975 there were over 10,000 dealerships in the UK, today there are less than 5,000. Half did not survive. For whatever reason, not strong enough, not open minded enough, not forward thinking enough, they did not adapt to their surroundings and became extinct. With a new day comes new strength and new thoughts. Nobody can predict the future, but the unknown is not something to be feared. We have the ability to help shape our future. What our industry will look like in 25 years from now will be determined by the decisions made now.
My trademark was servicing and I could change a set of points in record time – how useful is that to me today? I constantly try to challenge myself and others to learn new things, sometimes it is difficult to adapt, you cling on to the old ways as they are comfortable and you trust them. However, just like the old woodsman who chopped wood with his axe, when the chainsaw came along he accepted that the old ways were good but things could be so much better! We, like many others, do not take the status quo for granted, inherently watchful, always inquiring, perceptive and continually seeking to do things better. Nevertheless, no one has the answers to all the challenges we face, and I strongly believe that by encouraging all around you to continually question the norm and seek new solutions and initiatives will stand us in good shape to thrive going forward.
I have made reference to a number of books in previous blogs, Seven Habits by Stephen Covey is one I cannot help but keep referring to as it is a useful strategy to a successful life in general. The 7th Habit is Sharpen the Saw – how sharp is yours?