The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode · 5 months ago

Stone Soup For You w/ Erikka Tiffani


"Every single day I'm reminded that there's no one in my dealership that looks like me and that I'm the only woman at the table."

Erikka Tiffani from the Women of Color Automotive Network shares her unique perspective about what it takes to grow within the car business.

Whatever the odds working against you may be, Erikka's inspirational story and analogy about "stone soup" will help you realize that small victories can compound into greatness. 

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Connect with Michael Cirillo:






Yeah. Mhm. Yeah. Where we have not had a lot ofconversations about diversity and inclusion and and gender bias and andall of these sorts of things. So I can only imagine that you're also dealingwith all of that and what's your mindset where as you're going throughthis, are you make, is it an issue for you? Are you are you also, in themoment, I would say kind of saying, I'm not even gonna deal with that right nowbecause I gotta I gotta follow. Of course it's a combination of both. Sothe courses there, but there's these obstacles and they're everywhere. Youlook every single day, I'm reminded that there's no one in my dealershipthat looks like me, that I'm the only woman at the table. Um and it's a tablethat the first time I was brought into, but ever since then I had to forcemyself to get there to sit there to...

...speak up, to talk about things that Ihad no idea about because I wanted them to know that I'm in the room. My voicematters, my thoughts matter. I'll never forget. I'd want to contest to, toBudapest with Audi as one of the top sales performers. And I'm sitting inBudapest. I'm right. I've never been first class before. Right. I'm sittingfirst class. I get off this plane, they got my name on this little card. Erica,you know, get you in a nice limo and I get to this awards ceremony wherethey're recognizing the top 10 sales managers in the southeast region. AndI'm sitting there in europe on, this is amazing. And I see all white men andI'm like, wow, you know, how did I get to this place? And this guy comes upand he says, hey, where's your husband? And I'm I'm like, excuse me. He's like,where's your husband? The one who won the award? And I said, no, it's me. Iwant to. I mean, I have the badge. You do not see it. And I said, even in thismoment when I could reach the top of of one of my career, epitome, I'm here inthis foreign country, in europe, among...

...the elite of the Audi sales managers.And even in that moment, I was seen as maybe somebody's wife that came alongto join the trip. And I said, you know what I have work to do because I haveto make seeing women like me in this position in these opportunities,winning these awards seem normal, seem okay, seem regular. And until thenwe'll can will exist because, right, We have to take the opportunity to dodeliberate diversity, you know, intentional inclusion, because peoplesay I want to change the industry, but everybody has the same mindset, right?We we we hire people that look like us. We hire people that remind us of usbecause that's what we're comfortable with, and that's our circle, which isfine. But then how do you change the very threat of something when everybodywho's thinking about it and talking about it are all the same. It's onlyuntil you bring in a different pattern. Someone who has been on the edge ofresourcefulness, right? Someone who sees life differently because I've hadto because I didn't have a choice...

...because I knew what it was like to nothave to have my lights turned off to have my rent not being paid to tryingto figure out. You know, can I get a roommate just to make sure I have aroof over my head? I understand what that looks like, and because I neverwant to be there again, then every decision that I make is one step out ofthat hole is one more step to the next level into the next level. I'm tellingmyself people this story about stone soup because I said, hey, we're in themiddle of a pandemic and here we are, where everybody's thinking of lack, Idon't have and we don't have inventory, we don't have cars, we have nothing. Isaid in the story of stone soup is about a guy who takes a stone and hegoes into this village and he goes, he knocks on someone's door and he says,hey, I want to make some soup. And they said, no, no, you know, we have nothing.He's like, well I see you have carrots out here in your yard, goes on mycarrots, you can't have none. So he goes to the next door and they havepotatoes and he's like, hey you have potatoes, let's make some soup. Andthey're like no, these are my potatoes that were in the middle of a famine.Get out of my lawn and so everywhere he goes, everybody just kept telling himno. So he finally knocks on a door, he says, I have stone, she says get away,I'm not giving you anything. He says, I...

...just want to make stone soup. All Ineed is a bowl. Just give me a bowl. So she goes in, she gets him a bowl andthey make a pot and she puts the hot water and he starts six, can I justhave some spices? I don't want anything else from me, I just want some spices.So he starts to put the salt and the pepper and the basil in there and it'sjust a stone and water and it starts to smell good and he says you know whatwould make this a little bit better is some vegetables. Do you have anyvegetables around? She's like well yeah I got some corn so she puts the corn inand it's just water in a stone and corn and then next thing you know otherpeople start knocking saying we smell something good in the neighborhood,what is that smell? And he says well hey bring your carrots and bring yourpotatoes and next thing you know the entire villages bringing their theirresources right that the lack that they only had one of because no one wantedto share and they're bringing it into this pot and we're mixing it alltogether and now we have a soup. Now we have something that's hardy now we havesomething that can feed the entire village. Now we have something that'sgonna make people healthy. But in the beginning we had nothing because wewere too selfish and self centered...

...because we were holding on what we hadbecause we were greedy and desperate and we couldn't see the bigger visionand we took nothing literally a stone a rock and created something out of itthat could feed everyone. But it took an idea and it took faith and it took avision and that's what we need more of people with vision who can understandthat in hard times. You get the best out of people. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I'm Michel Cirillo. And you'vebeen listening 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. Thanks for listening. Mhm. Mhm. Mhm.

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