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Leadership in Difficult Times

An industry friend of our parent company Babcox Media visited our headquarters in Akron, OH, in August, sitting down with our editors and publishers, sharing insight on a variety of industry topics. We all enjoyed the visit with Vic Tarasik, who has been in the automotive industry most of his life and is now devoting time to coaching shop owners and helping advance the service and repair industry through his knowledge and positive outlook.

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He recently shared some thoughts on leadership in difficult times in our sister publication, Shop Owner. I found them to be inspiring and perfect for our AutoSuccess dealership readers as well. Take it away, Vic: 

In John Maxwell’s words, “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.”

Regardless of when you’re reading this, one thing is certain: Your leadership is needed, desired and craved by your employees. Leaders look at the landscape not seeing the challenges but seeing the opportunities because of the challenges.

There’s a tremendous opportunity to be the calm voice in the sea of worry, to lend a hand to your neighboring business, to help those who have less than you.


How do we lead in difficult times? Here are a few ideas.

Stay Grounded

Get the facts and repeat them. Let those around you know that you have a handle on things, and things aren’t as dire as they might seem to be. 

Watch What You Consume

Having a 24-hour news cycle doesn’t help. The internet and cable news bring the latest “Breaking News” whenever we choose to tune in. The downside is that the abundance of “bad” news chips away at our confidence, which inhibits our ability to remain positive. Will worrying about COVID-19 make it any better or improve your chances of not contracting it? No, it won’t, but having a calm sense about you will allow you as a leader to be your best.



Have daily meetings with your team; remind them of your core purpose. A five-minute team huddle at the beginning of the day works wonders in keeping everyone rowing in the same direction.

Stomp Out Negativity

Get a hold of negative thoughts and speech before they have time to plant roots. Nothing instills less confidence than being unsure.

Remain certain, hold fast to your convictions and know this will pass. 

I’d like to thank Vic for the words of wisdom! You’ll find more exceptional leadership and business advice in the following pages. I hope it helps you stay positive and profitable in these challenging times.

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