The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode · 4 months ago

David Long: Mindset Over Tactics

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The real change-makers in the retail auto industry all have one thing in common. They believe and deploy the power of a positive mindset before any job-specific tactics. Isn't it ironic? Those who focus strictly on tactics never seem to get a head while those who have a positive, willing, and committed mindset tend to rise the leaderboard consistently?

David J. Long is the Executive General Manager for Hansel Auto Group in California and has helped thousands of individuals throughout his career reach new heights through the power of a positive mindset.

Listen carefully as David helps us understand the importance of remaining positive and provides a glimpse into how he makes it happen for himself each day.

Noteworthy topics from this episode:

4:16 - You speak a lot about mindset. Why?

10:07 - How do you pivot or adjust and still keep on track?

14:25 - Is there a difference between positivity and happiness?

15:38 - How does one cultivate an attitude of positivity?

22:12 - How do you foster a culture of positivity?

26:22 - Caring drives us. 

Enjoying the show? Leave a rating and review here:https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-dealer-playbook/id857094979


Hey, welcome to this episode of thedealer play boat, a podcast that explores what it takes to create athriving career right here in the retail auto industry. I'm your host,Michael Cirillo, delighted to be joined by 30 year veteran of the industry.David long. We're gonna be talking about the pandemic of positivity. Look,when we first launched the podcast, we did what I think many people would do,especially in the automotive industry, and that's why we were so focused ontactics like how to sell more cars or how to book more appointments, how torank higher in search engines. The list goes on somewhere along the way, I hadan epiphany. I've been thinking a lot about my personal development, thosethat have been here for a while, know that I've struggled with mental healthissues and depression and and all of those sorts of things. And, and so as Iwas contemplating my personal development journey and what thecontributing factors to rapid growth were and still are for me, there wasone thing that I realized and you've probably noticed, the theme runs deepthroughout the dealer playbook. It's one of the reasons why we focus less ontactics and a little bit more on quality of life lifestyle. You see, Irealized what makes me perform better, What helps me think bigger reach higher,take more risks, has nothing to do with tactics alone. You see, I it has littleto do with job specific tactics and more to do with mindset willingness,vision, the ability to lead and care for myself so that I can then do thatfor others. See, I came to realize the best tactics in the world will notcompensate for a life that's in disarray, a life where I feel out ofcontrol and constantly at a loss. That's why over the years...

...with the podcast specifically, we'vedone our best to mix lifestyle and quality of life topics in with thetactics. We know you still got to get the tactics, but we want to mix thosethings together because I'm on a mission to let you know that no matterwhat you matter and that the seemingly intangibles are,would actually contribute to accelerated growth, not just at workbut in all facets of life. And that's why I am thrilled to be joined bysomeone who I know shares this common interest to spread positivitythroughout the industry in the world. David lung has built an impressivecareer in dealership operations, holding multiple leadership roles,including general manager, owner and operating partner, vice president ofoperations and can wait. Hold on. How much did David pay us to say all thesebig things about his career? I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I'm kidding. Inaugust. David was hired as the executive general manager for HanselAuto Group in California and most recently has been lighting up theairwaves on clubhouse and beyond as the founder of pandemic of positivity. Myman, David long, thanks so much for joining me on the dealer playbookpodcast. Good morning Michael. Good to see you glad to be here, man, old man.So I've had the privilege of hearing you and learning from you on clubhouse.I think it's become this Feeding trough for all of us that we gather around andshare ideas and I mean, you've got 30 years of experience in the autoindustry, specifically in, in senior leadership positions in operations,managing the day to day. Um, you know, I'm intrigued by what I've observed,which is no matter what the subject matter we could be, we could be in aroom about used cars or chip shortages or like whatever challenges theindustry is facing today. Yet when you...

...speak, when you offer advice, it rarelyhas anything to do with the thing, yet has everything to do with the topic,whether it's used cars or whatever. But you speak a lot about mindset, how to have a healthy mindsetor a positive mindset. You speak a lot about quality of life and recognizingone's individual worth above everything else. And so my first question, out ofsheer curiosity is why? Oh, that's a great question. So, and asyou were saying it, and up until that very moment, this thought didn't occurto me. But I went, I flashed back Michael to september 11th And I wasrunning three dealerships at the time. And when the planes hit the building,I'll never forget the look on everybody's face, the dismay, the fearof, the apprehension, the concern, the worry. Um and I think that was adefining moment in my career in that no, you can't make that positive, right?There's nothing, there was nothing that I could do to make, to put thenarrative in a way that made people feel like the future was going to bebrighter than the past. But what I did know is and identified very clearlythat everybody had different emotional needs and that was the day that mywhole leadership career changed. Some people needed to go home and be withtheir families and love on them and be close to familiar spaces. Some peopleneeded to lean into work and be distracted by activity so that onesingle impact on my career change the way that I lead people from that pointon and has just evolved ever since. So the reason when something like chipshortages or Covid or what I'll share here in a minute is some of ourobstacles. I always go to control the narrative, right? Like if you need this,get that, if I can help you with that,...

I'll do that. So that is what really Ithink has led to some of my success is giving people what they need, when theyneed it regardless of what I want or need or think for that matter, Doesthat answer your question? It does, and it leads me to, what do you do thenspecifically to tap into that for each individual? Like you pointed out somevery specific things, um different emotional needs. Maybe they need to bedistracted by activity or maybe they need to be home embracing loved ones,You've brought up all of these things, How do you as a leader tap into that sothat you don't have a one size fits all approach? Have you ever met somebody? Areally really high I. Q. Kind of like you you met people like you with reallyhigh over the chart off the chart? I. Qs. I've yes but more so observed themfrom afar. Like you look at Mark Zuckerberg. Yeah, well I'm not giftedwith a high I. Cube, but I have been gifted with a fairly high E. Q. Are youfamiliar with that? So and I'm so grateful that I have ahigher Eq than I. Q. Because I think it's served me a lot better than beingintelligent on the book smarts. So I think that's how I've been able to justdial in and pay attention to people's unexpressed wishes. Um and it's not,I'm not always right and you're you might be, but most people are notalways right as it relates to paying attention to the emotional cues. But Ithink if you ask the right questions and you position yourself and yourpeople to feel safe, I think you get authenticity and in that authenticitypeople are able to take away what they need. That's worked for me. Is thatsomething speaking of this, you know, emotional intelligence, Is thatsomething you're born with? Do you...

...think that's a gift? Is that somethingthat can be developed? You know, that's a great question. Ilearned to be incredibly emotional intelligence through actually reallydifficult childhood. I learned to pay attention to moods because of the waymy parents showed up so inconsistently. So for me, although it seemed like areally, really, it was a really, really difficult time. Some of my best giftswere derived from those from those times, right? So I don't know if youcan learn it. I know that I learned it the hard way, but I'm certainly glad Ihave it. It makes me think about so fast forwardSeptember 11. That's when you, that's when you identify, hey, everybody doeshave a different emotional needs. And I love this because it really ties intowhat some people might call psychobabble or, or intangibles on howyou can actually rally a team and foster a culture of care, end ofpositivity. But I mean Like you said something like September11 or a pandemic virus, you know, literally the things that they makemovies about, We just experienced uh rarely in the movies though, do theyjust show everyone sitting at home watching netflix, like the way that wedid. But but you know, this is another experience that we've just been throughwhere people's emotional needs are different from an operationalperspective. I want to go here just for a minute before we swing back from anoperational perspective, how do you manage that in a way that you can stillquantify progress right? Like if people are like, oh man, I need time off. Likewe're not going to meet deadlines now or we're not going to meet these KPI sthat we thought we were gonna meet.

Like how do you find pivoting oradjusting in the moment so that you can still ultimately stay on track as anorganization? Mm That's been our greatest blessing and I'll just sharethis with you. So the beginning of 2020 was a cyber attack where we were heldfor ransom. They took all of our ability to operate our business awayfrom us, locked us down, put a message on all of our computers and didn'tallow us to do one thing. We couldn't punch time clocks. We couldn't open ourrose, we couldn't log into DmS, we couldn't do one thing. Have you everseen that? It was like a sci fi movie. See this is what happens when you sayyou're not going to participate in coop anymore. I'm just kidding. So, so wehad to hire a negotiator and pay a ransom and or I mean it was like reallylike what you see in the movies. So that kicked off 2020. Um, so you know,you know, we couldn't make any money. People couldn't do their jobs. It wastough. It was and it wasn't ours, it was days, which felt like weeks. Um, sowe paid the ransom. We got our keys to our kingdom back. We were able to logback on and get to work. Um, which was great. Right? There was like this bigsigh of relief and then boom the wildfires in Sonoma County hit us andtwo gigantic wildfires. People lost homes and lives and there's ash fallingout of this guy, Michael. I have multiple rooftops, I can see my BMWstore from here. Um And it's only 100 and 5200 yards away, but when the ashwas falling out the sky couldn't see it. Like the air quality index was fourpoint oh two fires back to back and then right on the heels of that. And Ishare this for particular reason I had to fire everybody Because the pandemic,Alright, we're only gonna be closed for a little while which two weeks turnedinto quite a while. So every single...

...person, people have been here for 40,50 years got furloughed right? People hear that and they think I've just beenfired from my job. So when you ask that question about how do we pivot, how dowe come when we brought people back? We were not able to bring, not everybodywanted to come back. There were many people that just wanted to stay home.They felt safer home. So there are people that did a job that we had tohire somebody that never did that job to come back and do a job they'd neverdone so to hit the KPI s and to find stride and do the things, I mean it wasnothing short of an absolute miracle that people were able to jump in and dothings that they had never done. I had sales managers doing finance, I hadfinance. Um when we didn't have finance, I had sales people working deal. I meanit was just, I had service managers greeting ups like it was just that wedid what we had to do, right? And that in that one, six month period welearned what we're really made of and that's as a team when we really startedcoming together and I think that answers your question, but that's howwe hit KPI S when people aren't able to post for their position. Yeah, there'ssomething I want to touch on, which is how deeply rooted, I don't know, DPBgang if you're picking up on this, but I am how deeply rooted everything thatyou've just shared has this this very positive undertone to it despiteexperiencing like I'm writing down cyberattacks and I'm like flippingPutin, would you just stop with the cyber attacks? Okay. Especially thingstargeting automotive, you've got oil pipelines, taking down dealerships,kidding, but then you go from that to a wildfire. You go from wildfire tofurloughing everybody, You go from furloughing everybody to bringing someof them back, having to then experience stretching as a team. Yet everythingfor you circles back to the word...

...miracle, which I think is reallyinteresting. So I wanna, I wanna pivot just for a second so that we can comeback to this positive undertone, which is how in your experience does one cultivate a positive mindset? And isthere a different, like, first of all, is there a difference between in youropinion, positivity and happiness and if so, what? Yes, uh huh. Nobody's ever asked me that questionthat way. Well, I don't think one can be happy without being positiveand I couldn't imagine being positive without being happy interesting. So Ithink they're almost one and the same interesting. And so how do youcultivate this is really where I want to go is how do you cultivate positivity? I meanwhen you look at the, the auto industry on mass, if we just if we were left toour devices and could only see what we see in the facebook groups or perhapssome of the drama, the conference or whatever happens. Sure. There is agrowing number of individuals who understand the importance of positivitywho are working really hard on this, but there is still such a large basethat has this negative bias that where if they were cyber attacked and wildfired and having to furlough everyone and then experienced the change withthat maybe they're holding themselves to the standard of pre pandemic andthey're disappointed that they can't achieve that now and they don't likethe way the pivots feel or the way progress feels like. How does onecultivate an attitude of positivity? So, you know, I didn't share, but whilethat was all going on in 2020, I had five deaths in my immediate family aswell. So it was just, you know, it was just one thing after another. But howdoes one cultivate that or how does a leader get their team to focus on that?There's two different good point. Let's...

...start with, let's start with the leaderas an individual cultivating for themselves and then perhaps talk abouthow do they then transition that or convey that to a team fair. I thinkit's, it's hard to give away something you don't have, right? So if you're notable to cultivate positive, so for me and you've been so transparent, all theepisodes I've ever watched, you've always talked about, you had some, youknow, some things that you've dealt with and you and I share that in common.I've never shared that with you, but um and I don't want this to be a triggeralert, but if you've never been to the place of having um being completely um so depressed that you can't get upin the morning, you can't get out of bed that you feel like you're betteroff not being here if you've never had those feelings. Um I think it might behard to really relate at this people of a level, but because I've been thereand I'm not there anymore, I have this unshakable faith um and this ability tostay positive because it's not what it once was, but I can I can assure youjust like the physical body atrophies if you don't use it, the emotionalhappiness and positivity mindset. Atrophies if you don't use it, thedifferences muscles, I think I have memory. Well, I know they do mustphysical muscles have memory. So like if I used to work out hard, if I startworking out my muscles have memory, they'll come right back. I don't thinkthat's the same with attitude and outlook. I think it's a much slipper,slippery or slope with attitude, outlook and positivity. I think for meanyway, it requires daily deposits in order for me to keep a solid upbeatframe of mind that puts the narrative on life happening for me and not to meright, there's a significant difference between, oh, maybe this isn't optimal,but it's happening for me, it's going...

...to help me get where I'm going. Um andthat frame of mind doesn't come free. It requires, for me anyway, it requiresa tremendous amount of daily effort. Can you bring us inside? So do you havea routine that you follow? Are there certain exercises and things that youdo as you're willing to share? Yeah. So it's the first thing I do every morning,so you can't see this and hopefully nobody, but every single morning I getup and I'm not an overly religious guy, Michael, but I start my morning on myknees and I all I simply just say please, uh and my please is to be thebest version of me I can be to impact people to leave people better than Ifound them, to help people that are suffering and be able to pay completeattention to people's needs expressed and unexpressed. So that's my morningprayer from my knees. From there I go right to journal. Journal. Everymorning I write down all the things that I'm incredibly grateful for. Iwrite down the blessings that are coming to me and then I go right intomy meditation. I love, I'm doing Wim Hof now. I don't know if anybody knowswhat that is, But I love starting my day with a YouTube video that's 11minutes long from a guy named Wim Hoff. There's a beginner version and thenthere's an experience version sets up my whole day. I go right from that towork out after my workout, I hit the sauna and after my sauna, I am ready togo. And by the way, all that's done by six a.m. Because my day starts at six.Um, and, and that's how I feel what I call my emotional tool. And when I fillit that way and I feel it that way, five days, week minimum. Um, I'm readyto go, I'm armed and ready that answer your question. I hope so. That's myhack. It does. And I'm taking notes. And what I think is interesting isseeing some parallels to my morning, right? Morning prayer, gratitudejournaling...

...and, or like just getting stuff out ofmy head, like gratitude seems to run through it now. Um but but you know,also taking time to be like, hey, I'm waking up with this thought and I justneeded to not be in my brain anymore and I need to get it out. Um is part ofthat, the exercise I think is so, so crucial. I don't think a lot of peopleI certainly didn't, by the way, at the peak of my depression. I was like, itwas like £255,, which is not Good for a 5' 7 Italian, like, likethey were like, what do you want to, so what are you preparing to play penguinin the next batman movie? Like what are you doing? Um you know, now that I'm onthis side of losing, you know, a ton of weight, exercising regularly, it'sshocking to me how big of an impact exercise movement has in my ability tomake better decisions to work throughout the day. Stay focused andsomething I had never realized when I was, you know, slurpee monday,Wednesday, friday, blizzard, Tuesday, thursday saturday, you know what I mean?So I think that's tremendous. So now you are working on self, you're filling your bucket, you'remaking deposits, you're feeling a certain way, you're in a frame of mind.I love how you said life, you're really in a position to be the victor, not thevictim, right? You said life happens for me, not to me. Um how do you find now with going back towhere we started, where everybody on your team, you've got hundreds ofpeople working for you that you have stewardship for who are in differentemotional states, who have different...

...needs? How do you both foster a culture of positivity for themas individuals and as a team? Okay, so I'm gonna use my son as an example. Iknow we're talking about my team, but this bleeds right over my son. My son. Yeah, he is, he's definitely the team,my son and my daughters. And one of the things that I learned as being a parent,right? I think I parent better than I do anything, at least I hope I do. Um,is that everybody has that gene or that part of their makeup that makes them alittle self absorbed. How do I look today? How do I sound today? What dopeople think of me? And I think that's especially heightened when you're goingto school and you're a preteen or a teenager. So, um, one of the ways thatI know I can feel better about me is when I'm not thinking about me, right,When I'm out actively pursuing how I can fill someone else's emotional needs,I find that I'm not consumed with me, which then I'm not worried about how doI sound, How do I look? How did I act, what they think? And I'm more about howcan I serve? So, and I started this at a really young age for my daughters andmy son, like their mission. They are on a mission when they go to work or go toschool rather is to find somebody that looks like they need something. Likethey have a hole in their soul. Like they have, um, an emotional wound likethey don't fit in, They don't belong, They look fearful. They lookapprehensive. They look sad and to go fill that person up and what I found bythem doing that they would come home Jack to the moon. They wouldn't comehome thinking about how they did or what people thought about them or howthey sounded, how they acted. They'd come home and said, Dad, I made thisfriend. I sat with him at lunch. He...

...went from being really sad or she wentfrom being sad to feeling really good. I took him a snack. I shared melon,whatever. Right? And I thought, wow, if it works that good with pre teens andteenagers, how good could that work at work? Right. I know that adults haveemotional pools that need filled and every single one of us, you and me andeveryone we've ever met has a hole in their emotional pool. And pool is P. O.L. Write a pool of emotions that drains. And that's where the crisis ofconfidence comes. That's where the fear comes. That's where the anxiety comes.That's where the impending doom happens like. So I feel like as a team whenwe're out digging in trying to pour into one another and fill thatemotional need, then the whole team comes together and there's a completelydifferent vibration that we operate in. And we're not thinking about ourselves,meaning we're thinking about how we're gonna serve each other. And do we do aperfect no, but I got to tell you this team that I have right now. Does itabout as perfect as any team I've ever seen. So it's super cool. So that's theanswer to that question and that's how I see us serving each other as leaders.Uh I think this is tremendous. It's the, there's so many different universal lawis built into this. It's the law of abundance, The law of positivity, thelaw of compounding returns the law of appreciation. Like just how you knowthe whole pay it forward thing, how everything like it just resonates withme on such a deep level. We certainly experience this in our organization,which I'm with you. There's, there's something so exhilarating about seeingeveryone care for each other knowing full well that as they lift others,they will be lifted. I just think it's so tremendous and it really is amessage that I wish, I wish the next dealer conference only focused on thiskind of stuff. Yeah, maybe it's, maybe...

...it's yours in mind to put together,let's do it. You heard it here first folks think about this, here's ourmantra here and you're gonna like this from the car perspective, it's caringdrives us, hmm. Um, and I think for the most part we live true to that mantra,caring drives us. So the filter, we press everything through. Is it caring?And will it push us for will drive us forward? If it's not caring? It's notgonna drive us forward? We probably shouldn't be saying it, doing it orthinking it. How do you maintain this? I mean, Ithink I know the answer, but I would love your take for your team and foryourself. How do you maintain this, then when the going gets tough, whenthat unforeseen circumstance? When a pandemic hits or or when there's a chipshortage or whatever the circumstance might be, when you're sufferingpersonal loss like you had mentioned, um, how do you maintain positivity,authenticity? I think the word would be authenticity. I'm just waving at peopleout of my office. Sorry. So, right. I mean, so when you think about thepandemic of positivity, it's not the pandemic of Polyana positivity, right?There's it's real genuine positivity. And if you're struggling, you're sadand you're wounded, you're hurt. You had a death in the family. Like, let'sbe real. It's painful. It's hard. Let's talk about that. Let's love on eachother. Let's come together. And that's, I think what I saw when the pandemichappened and we had to furlough people. Like I didn't call one person out ofthe hundreds of people and have them cussed me out right there. Like I knowDave, this has to be really difficult for you to do. And I know you only have300 more of these calls to make, right? Like it was, there was not one purchasethey knew that they knew what my heart...

...was, right? So I think because we havethose difficult conversations and we stay authentic with one another um thepositivity and the kindness Israel. So that's that's what I think. Yeah,there's there's a layer of of um seeking to understand somebody. I lovehow you, you framed this as hey, instead of thinking about yourself, go,you're on a mission to go identify somebody who looks like they needsomething and to extend a hand like you said love on each other to extend thathand of love care, concerned tenderness, I think just speaks volumes to what canhappen in an organization. Like the sooner we all start thinking more aboutthis stuff and practicing it, implementing it. You know, the less wewill actually have to sit here and think about how to sell more, how tohave better software, how to have better marketing, how to have that,like none of them. What does that matter in the grand scheme of things? Ithink, you know, it comes down to me, David the concept of there are so manythings we could do, but what should we do? Those things that should do isbecome much fewer. It allows us to focus a little bit more um for those listening who are feelingsomething and they're going, I like the way this conversation makesme feel, it feels different than other automotive conversations I'veparticipated in. How can they get in touch with you to learn more about youand connect with you? So one I have been called differentquite often. Um, but I can be found just on every social media channel oryou can go to the pandemic of positivity dot com and all our contactinformation is in there. Um So that you...

...can find me anywhere Really welcome toshare my personal cell phone as well any time is that? Hey, you just told meabout cyber attacks. You know, you stop sharing your phone number all over theplace. Okay. But let's talk about pandemic positivity now that you've,that you've mentioned the website. Tell me about the pandemic of positivity forthose that aren't familiar with it. So it was a mission. It was this epiphanythat I had at two o'clock in the morning and I never wake up in themiddle. I sleep like a baby every night. Um But five deaths, cyberattack firesfurloughed. Uh The election was going on, as you might remember. I meanthere's just so much toxicity and so much negativity. And then the pandemicon top of it, I thought there's gotta be a way that I can find a group oflike minded people to pour kindness love compassion through a portal ofpositivity into the world. Right? Let's just stop talking about all thiscraziness and let's start figuring out how we can be kinder more loving andmore compassionate. And I thought, I know, let's shift the skate oma and theparadigm around the word pandemic and turned into a pandemic of positivity.God knows the universe, the world needs it right now and it just like caught up.Yeah, it didn't just catch up. People wanted it. It was a tsunami ofpositivity in that I start seeing everyone taking the pledge. Thepandemic of positive. Their profile photos have stuck you realize, I don'tknow if I'm sure you do, but if you don't, let me just point out the factthat of all the profile pictures that people have changed their profilepicture to the pandemic of positivity pucks have remained consistent for thelongest period of time. So I would say this is a this is a tremendousundertaking. You're right. I think the...

...world needs, needs needs more of this,and and so, you know, I'm just so delighted to know you and um to to feelof your heart and your your welcoming spirit. And I think that's why thingslike this take off and why people need to experience more positivity in theirlife. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you sir for joining me here on thedealer Playbook podcast. Oh, it's my pleasure. I love talking about what wecan do together to impact, and you do a great job of that. So that's the reasonI suggest to spending time with you is because of how you serve how you showup. And you're really one of the nicest guys I've met. So thank you for havingme. I'm Michel Cirillo and you've beenlistening to the dealer Playbook podcast. If you haven't yet, pleaseclick the subscribe button wherever you're listening right now, leave arating or review and share it with a colleague. If you're ready to make bigchanges in your life and career and want to connect with positive,nurturing automotive professionals, join my exclusive DPB Pro community onfacebook. That's where we share information, ideas and content thatisn't shared anywhere else. I can't wait to meet you there. Thanks forlistening.

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