The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode · 9 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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Yeah. Mhm. Yeah. Where we have not had a lot of conversations about diversity and inclusion and and gender bias and and all of these sorts of things. So I can only imagine that you're also dealing with all of that and what's your mindset where as you're going through this, are you make, is it an issue for you? Are you are you also, in the moment, I would say kind of saying, I'm not even gonna deal with that right now because I gotta I gotta follow. Of course it's a combination of both. So the courses there, but there's these obstacles and they're everywhere. You look every single day, I'm reminded that there's no one in my dealership that looks like me, that I'm the only woman at the table. Um and it's a table that the first time I was brought into, but ever since then I had to force myself to get there to sit there to...

...speak up, to talk about things that I had no idea about because I wanted them to know that I'm in the room. My voice matters, my thoughts matter. I'll never forget. I'd want to contest to, to Budapest with Audi as one of the top sales performers. And I'm sitting in Budapest. I'm right. I've never been first class before. Right. I'm sitting first 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 where they're recognizing the top 10 sales managers in the southeast region. And I'm sitting there in europe on, this is amazing. And I see all white men and I'm like, wow, you know, how did I get to this place? And this guy comes up and 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. I want to. I mean, I have the badge. You do not see it. And I said, even in this moment when I could reach the top of of one of my career, epitome, I'm here in this 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 along to join the trip. And I said, you know what I have work to do because I have to make seeing women like me in this position in these opportunities, winning these awards seem normal, seem okay, seem regular. And until then we'll can will exist because, right, We have to take the opportunity to do deliberate diversity, you know, intentional inclusion, because people say 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 us because that's what we're comfortable with, and that's our circle, which is fine. But then how do you change the very threat of something when everybody who's thinking about it and talking about it are all the same. It's only until you bring in a different pattern. Someone who has been on the edge of resourcefulness, right? Someone who sees life differently because I've had to because I didn't have a choice...

...because I knew what it was like to not have to have my lights turned off to have my rent not being paid to trying to figure out. You know, can I get a roommate just to make sure I have a roof over my head? I understand what that looks like, and because I never want to be there again, then every decision that I make is one step out of that hole is one more step to the next level into the next level. I'm telling myself people this story about stone soup because I said, hey, we're in the middle of a pandemic and here we are, where everybody's thinking of lack, I don't have and we don't have inventory, we don't have cars, we have nothing. I said in the story of stone soup is about a guy who takes a stone and he goes 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 my carrots, you can't have none. So he goes to the next door and they have potatoes and he's like, hey you have potatoes, let's make some soup. And they'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 him no. 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 I need is a bowl. Just give me a bowl. So she goes in, she gets him a bowl and they make a pot and she puts the hot water and he starts six, can I just have 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's just a stone and water and it starts to smell good and he says you know what would make this a little bit better is some vegetables. Do you have any vegetables around? She's like well yeah I got some corn so she puts the corn in and it's just water in a stone and corn and then next thing you know other people start knocking saying we smell something good in the neighborhood, what is that smell? And he says well hey bring your carrots and bring your potatoes and next thing you know the entire villages bringing their their resources right that the lack that they only had one of because no one wanted to share and they're bringing it into this pot and we're mixing it all together and now we have a soup. Now we have something that's hardy now we have something that can feed the entire village. Now we have something that's gonna make people healthy. But in the beginning we had nothing because we were too selfish and self centered...

...because we were holding on what we had because we were greedy and desperate and we couldn't see the bigger vision and we took nothing literally a stone a rock and created something out of it that could feed everyone. But it took an idea and it took faith and it took a vision and that's what we need more of people with vision who can understand that in hard times. You get the best out of people. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I'm Michel Cirillo. And you've been listening to the dealer Playbook podcast. If you haven't yet, please click the subscribe button wherever you're listening right now. Leave a rating or review and share it with a colleague. Thanks for listening. Mhm. Mhm. Mhm.

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