Leadership Requires Strength & Humility

William H. McRaven, retired U.S. Navy Admiral and author, discusses the word hope in chapter 9 of his book “The Wisdom of the Bullfrog: Leadership Made Simple (But Not Easy).” Anyone in a leadership position has either used hope or have heard something said like “I hope it all works out.”

McRaven goes on to explain that hope is not a strategy by itself. Hope is essential because it drives, energizes and helps people achieve incredible feats. However, for hope to reach fruition it must be reinforced by studious planning, meticulous strategy and unmatched persistence.

In the marine retail world, effective leadership is a critical component of success. Adept leaders — who play an integral role in helping businesses persist, succeed and advance — interlace hope with courage and hard work. Leadership involves decision making and task delegation and well as cultivating a culture of accountability. Dynamic leaders can delicately balance their strength and humility.

Strength in leadership is about setting clear expectations and promoting self-sufficiency while holding team members accountable. This recipe usually helps in driving the business forward. It’s about making tough decisions, setting ambitious goals and pushing your team to achieve them. It’s about being decisive, assertive and confident.

However, strength alone is not enough. Humility is equally important. Humble leaders recognize that they don’t have all the answers and remain considerate. They’re open to feedback, willing to learn from others and capable of admitting when they’re wrong. On top of that, they value all of their team members, listen to their ideas,  provide valuable acknowledgement when it is deserved and practice transformative communication.

Among the many characteristics of a leader, strength and humility help to nurture accountability. Team members feel empowered to own their work, recognizing that their contributions are valued and their opinion matters. This encouragement is authentic and motivates them to perform at a higher level and strive to take the business to new heights.  

Leading with strength and humility isn’t easy, but it’s a powerful approach everyone in the dealership can abide by that unquestionably can transform your marine retail business.

Need help in raising your leadership performance? The MRAA has specific resources and relevant courses to help you transform your leadership style, tactics and skill set.

Where to start: MRAATraining.com Leadership Course Package
As a leader and manager at your dealership you need insights and tools to expand your skills and to help others in their leadership journey. This course package helps you and your team cultivate your leadership abilities so you can contribute on a greater scale. The How to Excel as Marine Dealership Leader and Manager features seven courses and five different subject matter experts in the marine industry that offer tactics for improving your career trajectory, attitude, bond with others and your overall leadership.

Be Proactive: 5 All-New Dealer Week Leadership Pathway Courses
As a leader, you want a plan to adjust to the changing customer and marketplace, a motivated team that works well together and tactics that help solve your biggest issues. These Dealer Week 2023 Leadership Pathway sessions, Dec. 4-7, in Tampa, Fla., are designed to prepare you for whatever the future could hold. (Don’t worry if you can’t make it to Florida, you can also watch this by registering for Dealer Week Online, and take in the education at your dealership.)

Marcus Sheridan, Marcus Sheridan International, Inc.
  1. How to Fix Breakdowns in Dealership Communication: Leadership Pathway host and speaker Marcus Sheridan will share transformative communication skills that not only have the power to improve dealership performance, company culture and employee retention, but also to turn your employees into future managers and leaders.
  2. Recalibrate & Renew Your Dealership for What’s Ahead: Gain insight into how you can prepare your company to adapt and succeed while navigating turbulent markets, from subject matter expert John Spader, Spader Business Management. He will share proven strategies, management attitudes, processes, financial benchmarks and execution skills to help you outperform the market in the year ahead.
  3. 4 Steps to Solving Your Dealership’s Most Complex Issues: Dave Newell of Evolve Leadership Consulting, LLC will provide you with a repeatable process and methodology to help you make clear decisions on the most impactful issues you’re struggling with now and likely in the near future. Learn how to identify core problems, name desired outcomes for the obstacles you face, and establish pathways and action plans for crushing them.
  4. Drive Dealership Performance Through Interdepartmental Harmony: Expert Kurt VonAhnen, Mañana No Mas, will teach you ways to improve communication and collaboration between departments, create consistency through better process, reduce employee churn, drive efficiencies and bolster profit margins as a way to overcome the finger-pointing and denial that rages through society.
  5. Transform Your Retail Environment, Transform Your Customer Experience & Profits: Today’s customer expectations have changed in response to our omnichannel world. Whether your dealership is large or small, one location or many locations, speaker Paige Wittman, Miller Wittman Retail Design Group, will help you determine as a leader what retail investments would be most impactful to you and your dealership – no matter what your budget.

3 Resources to Help You Lead & Grow Future Leaders
These resources, along with others available through the MRAA, provide supportive tactics to help leaders create more accountability within their team.

MRAA Guide to Dealership Improvement cover featuring images of white boats on black background and bold RED font saying Dealership Improvement
  1. The Guide to Dealership Improvement, created by MRAA in partnership with Barletta Boats, will ignite your inner fire and boost your desire to pursue continuous improvement on both an individual and company-wide level.
  2. The Guide to Building a Foundation for Accountability supplies tips and strategies to help marine businesses create a culture of responsibility. It offers guidance for setting clear expectations, providing feedback and fostering a sense of ownership among team members.
  3. MRAA Webinar: How to Implement Effective Onboarding webinar, offered in partnership with KPA Online, discusses the importance of onboarding new hires effectively. It emphasizes the need for leaders to approach the onboarding process with both strength and humility, setting clear expectations while also providing support and guidance to new team members. By implementing effective onboarding practices, leaders can establish a culture of accountability from the very beginning of an employee’s journey with the dealership.