Discover the secret sauce that differentiates a true leader from a mere follower as we unravel the core characteristics that define leadership beyond job titles. Promise yourself a transformative experience as we dismantle the idea that leadership is confined to the upper echelons of the corporate world. Leadership is an everyday journey, one where the mantra “Better today than yesterday” is not only preached but practiced. Through a candid discussion, we dissect the traits that empower individuals to take charge of their circumstances, highlighting the importance of initiative and responsibility.

Our conversation takes an introspective turn, urging you to evaluate your life’s narrative—are you the director of your own story, or merely an actor waiting for cues? We examine how self-awareness and personal attitudes can either cast ripples of positive change or leave us stagnant. David emphasizes the power of self-improvement and the ripple effect it has on those around us, echoing the wisdom that to inspire change, one must first embody it. Join us as we explore how to harness the minutes of your life, not in pursuit of perfection but in the relentless chase for excellence, crafting a legacy of leadership that endures.

David Lowe: 0:00

Are you a follower or are you a leader? Stay tuned to today’s episode and find out for yourself.

Grace Lupoi: 0:16

Hi guys, I’m Lupoi and and I’m here with David Lowe, the Automotive Sales Coach, and, as he said, today we’re talking about the difference from a leader and a follower, and this is one of the topics that I learned along my time, through middle school and high school and college that in my mind, I always thought that a leader was the one person that had authority. Right and I learned in high school and college and now my professional life that that’s not really the case.

David Lowe: 0:39

Right, yeah, so so many times people wear a badge of authority but don’t have true authority, right? In other words, you can call yourself a leader and remind everybody hey, look at my badge, I’m the, I’m the boss. But a true leader, somebody that leads by examples, really more demonstrated by their wherewithal, right, their attitude and their actions, that kind of thing. And so what we’re talking about is not really a position in a company leader like I’m the COO or whatever. It’s not that I mean I’m the manager. It’s not that. It’s really kind of a way to define yourself in life as a follower or leader. In other words, we believe that every one of you could be a leader if you choose right. And so let’s kind of define it right. That’s right. So, a follower versus a leader, now, obviously everybody wants to be a leader. So what does it take? Well, so we spend so much time in dealerships and over the more than three decades I spent time with sales teams, and not just in this industry but other industries and learning about people. And you see some common traits, and because of that I was, I kind of separated them into two categories that I see out there, and it’s just true. And, by the way, I’m going to give you these two categories and before I do, what does our motto be? What? Better today than yesterday. So I don’t care if yesterday you were a follower or not. There’s no judgment here. Right In the Prepare to Win podcast, our episodes are focused on helping you become better today than yesterday. We don’t really want to look back. We can look back to learn from ourselves, but we don’t want to look back to justify ourselves or make excuses or even find reasons why we can’t go forward. Looking back is good for self-examination, but you’re not heading backwards, we’re heading this way. Let’s look at to where we’re heading, and so I can choose every single day to be better today than was yesterday. That’s right. If yesterday I demonstrate the qualities of a follower, today I can demonstrate the qualities of a leader. That’s all we’re talking about, really. So the qualities of a follower versus a leader right. How are we separating these categories? Well, when I go into dealerships, there’s two basic types of people that I see. There’s people that are waiting around to be told what to do, and there’s people that are doing it. I’m just telling you they really, truly are. So I would start to define a follower as somebody who is to constantly be directed to do what they’re supposed to do. Somebody has to be constantly reminded to do what they’re supposed to do. Right, they only do what they have to do when someone else is watching the bare minimum, and this it shows itself. We see this kind of in. It almost looks lazy, but it’s really this lack of initiative that creates a follower. They’re waiting for others to do and they’re not taking initiative, and so on. The contrast a leader is someone who does what they’re supposed to do, whether they’re reminded to or not. Now, this is weird, some of these qualities, and I don’t know where you learn them and where you make the distinction. So one of the jobs of a manager, when you first become a manager, is to lock the doors before you go. Now it seems simple right, lock the door. You have a long day and you’re going around the building and you’re checking the doors and I, for you, I’d start to drive off the lot and I always like, did I lock that door? Now a follower would keep driving and go yeah, I probably did. I always turned around and double checked it. They were always locked, by the way, never found it unlocked. But there’s no way that I wouldn’t take the responsibility I was given seriously. Somebody trusted me to do that and I wasn’t going to hope that I did it. I was going to go back and make sure I did it. So many people are not taking personal responsibility for themselves. So a follower is always examining others and talking about other people’s shortcomings. A leader is focused on their attitude and their actions, self-examining and wants to become better, just right. So we’ve got a couple things so far right. A follower only does what they have to. A leader does what they’re supposed to do. Everybody’s told them. A follower is always, is always judging other people and using other people as their excuse. If I had better managers of a lab and a leader, someone who’s really more focused on self-examination than out there Now, by the way, let’s just get into that real quick, because this is a big separation of people, huge. So I go into dealerships. I remember one dealership I was in. It was large and it had a lot of sales people and I’m in their training and unfortunately, another manager is there and that’s the wrong way of trying. Never do that. If you’re not going to train as a team, it’s not going to be near as effective, right? So sometimes managers always thought they’re too busy to train, which is that tight is turning. I feel managers today are like man, I need to get better, and I love that about them. But in that day in the 90s it was really go train my salespeople, right, I’m already a manager, I’m good, anyway. So I’d be in there and of course somebody would say Dave, you got to help us. Our managers are terrible, blah, blah, blah. They’re not doing this and they’re not doing this. And oh, man, you got to talk to me. So they, as I did the training, they connected with me. This person knows what to do and what to talk about. They should go and help us fix this place. So I always say and this happened in many places and here’s my go to response right, so, okay, are you the top salesman? Oh, no, no, no, okay, so how many cars do you sell? They’d tell me okay, great, anybody sell more cars than them. Okay, great, who’s the top sales person? And that person would raise their hand and I would look at the complainer, the follower, and I’d say just start using his managers. Right, and what was I saying? Right, same team, same inventory, same marketing, same customer, same managers. You’re looking at why you can’t succeed while other people are succeeding. You’re blaming other people, and so I think today that’s almost looked at as a virtue. Let’s talk about why I am where I am and not talk about how I get here through my own attitude and actions, but let’s talk about how other people kept me here or put me here. It’s really kind of shameful. So I don’t know where we developed this through our life. Maybe it’s sports, you know. Maybe it was in sports where you started to develop, I don’t know. I don’t know a competition of some sort. Maybe it’s in school and interaction, maybe it’s demonstrated by people. So maybe not all of us have been exposed to the same thing and I believe inside we all, intuitively, do have some of the basic knowledge and a basic knowledge of complaining about others. You don’t really need training to know that. That’s weakness, right. That’s, that’s a. That’s a cop out. You can go on any court, street corn people know that’s a cop out. They’ll do it if they can get away with it, if somebody enables them. So a follower right. They’re always looking at other people instead of themselves. They’re always focusing on if they would be better I could be. But they only do what they have to do when some, you know, when people are watching, that’s what they do. And so if you want to have followers work with you, you have to constantly kind of force them to do what they have to do. Where a leader shows up and takes personal responsibility for their attitude, knowledge, skills, actions and results. Leaders make mistakes a lot of them but when they fall, they don’t blame it on someone else and they don’t stay down, they get back up. So could we say in our vernacular the automotive sales coach, the dealership playbook to train? I’m looking at a page we have from there, our proven success model, personal responsibility, talking about. So in all of our training online, if you haven’t been on it, we have, of course, videos, but we also have materials, downloads, workbooks that you could use to strengthen your thinking and your skill sets, and we’re looking at that. We know that leaders are the people that are making the difference in the world, and when we assume personal responsibility for ourselves, we unleash the beast, don’t we?

Grace Lupoi: 9:39

That’s right. We control what we can control and focus on just that.

David Lowe: 9:43

That’s it. And so I think that probably all of us probably slip into fellowship. Sometimes we get tired, we get beaten down a little bit and we might look at ourselves and say, wow, come on, man, get it together. Right, we have to correct, right, it’s human nature. We’re not looking for perfection here. We’re talking about excellence. Excellence is pursuit of your best self. That’s what we’re looking at Working with your whole might and your whole heart.

Grace Lupoi: 10:16

And anyone can do that right Anyone. Excellence and being a leader is available to anyone who chooses it.

David Lowe: 10:21

Anytime, isn’t that cool. So we say excellence is working with your whole heart whole, might, I think, to be a leader you have to do that. That’s kind of a minimum requirement, that you do everything with your whole heart.

Grace Lupoi: 10:33

You get 100%, 100% not perfect.

David Lowe: 10:36

Not perfection, but pursuit of your best self. Right Leaders, taking personal responsibility for yourself, not just your results, but your attitude, your knowledge, your skills. I mean the dealership may provide training for you, but it’s up to you to absorb it right and for you to use it and to practice it and turn it into a skill set. So it’s not the responsibility to give you knowledge and skill I believe it is a dealership’s responsibility to bring it to you but obviously it’s what you do with it that makes the impact. So if you’re waiting for a video to change your life, you’re going the wrong direction. You’re a follower. I watch the videos. I just don’t get anything from it. That’s right, okay, well, that’s just a follower. So my question did you take notes? Did you pause it and think about the things that hit you? Did you practice it right away? Are you taking responsibility of turning that knowledge Obviously a success model, obviously something that will change you? Are you using that to change who you are? Now getting back to where I got off track here. You said that everybody can make a choice. Can we make it every day?

Grace Lupoi: 11:46

Every single day.

David Lowe: 11:47

Can we make it every hour?

Grace Lupoi: 11:48

We should.

David Lowe: 11:49

Sometimes we have to. Now, if you’re in sales and of course, this whole podcast and our episodes are really dedicated to becoming better today than yesterday, the pursuit of excellence, and many of you are joining us. We hear from you that are not really actively in sales but you’re saying, hey, these skill sets, these principles cross over into my personal, my professional life. That’s not even really in what you would call traditional sales, but if you’re in sales, boy, do we not get a lot of setbacks? I don’t know anybody closing 100% of their leads. Some would say closing 10% of internet leads is an okay job. I don’t know how about closing 20% of total leads? Even if you close 50% of everybody who you talk to face to face, that means 50% of the people are telling you what get lost, right, true or false. There’s a lot of disappointment and failure that are naturally built into the role of a salesman. Yes, we don’t always have the right car and we don’t always make the sale, isn’t that true? And so that can be something that can weigh on you and pull you down, and you might find that it pulls you down into being a follower. You know what? It’s okay to fall. It’s just not okay to stay down. Be better today than yesterday. Remind yourself, I can do this. Get back and do the things you know you’re supposed to do. And I think, if I would say, finally, the last thing that I’m in dealerships and I noticed, the difference between a follower and a leader is their mindset, their attitude. So I don’t know if we’ve talked about it before, but if we go back to the book Think and Grow Rich, this is one of the first kind of self-improvement books I don’t know 1930, whatever and it’s studied craft and carving, movers and shakers of the night. You know the turn of the century that really Henry Ford studied them. What do they do? How come they’re so much, how come they’re making such an impact on the world? It came down to thoughts or things. Thoughts or things. We go back 2000 years ago. Marcus Aurelius said the quality of your thoughts determines the quality of your life. Your thoughts are what, or your life is what your thoughts make it. Of course Marcus Aurelius didn’t think of that. Solomon said it a thousand years before him that as a person thinks in their heart, so they are. So I think the biggest separation between a follower and leader is their mindset, their thinking, their ability to focus on what’s good and what’s right. Right, the ability to purposely put a positive energy into their life and purposely focusing on being and impacting other people with that right being a positive light in other people’s life. And when Gandhi said, when we change ourselves, the world changes with us. Right.

Grace Lupoi: 14:56

That’s right.

David Lowe: 14:57

So it’s kind of cool. So we have a lot of responsibility. So, follower versus leader Now, which are you today? Right Now, which have you been? What is your main go-to? Are you a leader? Are you taking personal responsibility? Are you driving yourself? Are you taking responsibility for not just your actions, but your results, your knowledge and your skills, your attitude every day? Or have you fallen into the trap of blaming others, only doing what you have to do, saying I don’t really care that much? If they don’t care, why should I care? Right? Are we gonna use other people’s apathy to create our own apathy? Right, that’s right. All change begins with honest self-assessment, doesn’t it? Be honest with yourself, find out where you are right now, be honest and decide where you wanna go. If you’re currently a leader, decide how you’re gonna stay there. If you’re currently a follower, decide how you’re gonna change. Cool, well, glad that you joined us today. Right, I am, yes, so we’ll have another episode. We’re really focusing on some principles and some soft skills right now, but we bring you a lot of different tips on how to turn the minutes of your life into excellence. Right, that’s right. And when you turn the minutes of your life into excellence, your life reflects your pursuit of excellence, not perfection, right? So thank you so much for joining us and good selling.

Similar Posts