Jason Girdner was always a person with big dreams and endless ideas, but he was never confident he would end up leading a successful team like the one he heads at TECOBI. Nevertheless, his AI-integrated software — which lets car dealerships follow up on leads and answer questions over text messaging — has been such a hit that he now manages a team of dozens in his Denver office.
Girdner and his wife, Scarlet Mick, a former surgical tech, had to learn how to become influential leaders after their business took off in 2016. Quickly, the husband-and-wife duo had to learn how not just effectively to run their business but the fair and inspiring bosses as well.
“It’s the leadership that holds everything together. A company needs strong leadership to survive. If Scarlet and I falter, the team can see and feel it,” said Girdner. “If we don’t complete our duties, how can the team complete theirs?”
We sat down with Girdner for some of his best advice on being a successful leader.
Lead with Purpose
This is important for your business and your personal growth and motivation. “Sure, I can say to myself, ‘I want to sign on 100 new dealerships per month,’ but the actual motivator is knowing that I’m maximizing my potential, which lets me feel good about myself,” he said.
And feeling good about yourself leads to the happiness and passion that can keep you effectively at the wheel of your business for decades, not just until the end of the month when you hit your target.
Another way to lead with purpose is to know what you’re doing and why and continually try to improve yourself, your leadership, and your company. Asking yourself how you can improve and where you can do better is often an effective tool in leading with purpose.
Keep Your Integrity
Never falter in your beliefs or values while doing business. To be an effective leader, your team needs to trust you and see you as a bedrock of the company’s values. Once they see you compromise your integrity, they may stop trusting you and believing in the company.
Having employees working for you that don’t trust you is antithetical to outstanding leadership. It’s a basic lesson we all learn when we are young, but leading by example is still one of the best business practices out there.
Communicate Well and Often
Communication with your team is key to good leadership in business, from informal brainstorming sessions where you come up with the company’s next big projects to letting them know when all is not rosy with the company’s finances. This open communication keeps your team well-informed and makes them trust and respect you.
When you think of pivoting your business, changing strategies, hiring, or downsizing, keeping your employees in the loop will make them feel calmer and keep office gossiping to a minimum.
One crucial part of strong communication skills in business that often gets overlooked is listening. A great leader should listen twice as much as they speak. Listening is how you learn more about your industry, your employees, and issues you may not be aware of.
Foster an open-door policy where your staff members can come directly to you with any concerns or ideas. This will keep everyone on the same page and ensure that no team member feels you are inaccessible. “Employees that feel heard and understood are employees that will stay with you,” said Girdner.
Girdner and Mick’s groundbreaking company, TECOBI, uses AI technology to allow car dealerships across the country to locate and follow up on leads by communicating with potential buyers over text messaging.
The smash-hit software makes follow-up easy and automatic for dealerships, freeing up their salespeople to concentrate on other tasks. For prospective customers, they love the ease of asking questions at their leisure and getting many of the answers they need before they show up at the car lot.
TECOBI uses hybrid-intelligence software, and those who have used it often say they had no idea they weren’t talking to a real person. The software eases the auto sales industry interactions, letting on-site leaders inspire their teams with new ideas and fresh initiatives.
Girdner and Mick have become strong business leaders and are looked up to by their team. By putting Garner’s advice to use, we hope you can also become a more effective business leader.
About Jason Girdner
Jason Girdner & Scarlet Mick are the Founders of TECOBI, an advanced communication and advertising solution of SMS/Text conversations for the automotive industry. Served thousands of automotive companies through their industry-changing software. To learn more please www.tecobi.com