FIRE AND EMERGENCY MANUFACTURERS AND SERVICES ASSOCIATION

“Learn to Lead: Guaranteed to Succeed”

By: Richard Bryan, Closing Keynote

Richard Bryan grew up in Bristol, England, but currently lives in Colorado. His family owned an auto dealership for four generations. When the business was on the brink of bankruptcy, Bryan found a consultant named Frank who helped him turn the company around.

Bryan grew up in a house with four generations of his family. After going to a university in Scotland, Bryan came to the USA to work in auto dealerships to learn the trade. At age 28, he learned his father was ill and he was called home to join the family business. In order to successfully run the family business, he had to earn the respect of his co-workers after a rocky start.

With $120 million in sales and almost 500 employees, the company was losing $3 million per year. Bryan hired Frank who created a step-by-step plan to get the company back on the road to success. The first hour of the day he would walk around the business and listen to employees, customers, etc.

 

Simple things are the most difficult to achieve. Some of the strategies they implemented to turn the business around were simple things. Bryan was guided by the following four lessons in achieving his goals:

  1. Define your role. Do the things that only you can do. He focused on relationships including bankers, key customers, manufacturers, property and shareholders.
  2. Hire “A” Players. Look for people who have transferable skills. Industry experience is not a prerequisite. Positive attitude. Compatible. Competent.
  3. Have some fun! Celebrate Success. Look for low cost ways to spend quality time with your “A” players.
  4. What’s your No. 1 Priority? It is good to focus on the most important things and use the 80/20 rule, but you need to find the one thing that is most important.

Bryan was successfully able to turn the auto dealership around and later sold the business in 2008.

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