Letter From the President – January 2022

One of the tragic misconceptions of leadership that many shop owners fall victim to is that the leader must be the all-knowing problem solver for their company.  For the readers old enough to remember the 1985 TV show MacGyver, this is the standard that many leaders have set for themselves. As the leader, the shop owner must be the ingenious, omniscient, and resourceful leader capable and ready to solve any problem the business throws at them. Diagnose a check engine light, got it. Calculate wheel fitment for rims, done. Create an employee manual, you betcha. Fix that broken lift, on it. OSHA safety procedures, bam! And on and on and on. Please remember that MacGyver was a TV show created for entertainment purposes only. As the leader, you must give yourself a break and recognize that as a human being, it is impossible to have all the answers.

I am here to tell you the leader having all the answers is a myth. Not only is it a myth, it is a horrible and heavy burden to place on oneself. There is no upside to the pressure and stress this mindset imposes.  It creates isolation and loneliness for shop owners.  Loneliness and isolation will eventually impact your performance. Keep going down this road and the inevitable end is a desolate one-horse town known as a Burn Out. 

The kryptonite to isolation and loneliness is community and human connection. Being able to connect with others like you is vital. Shop owners need an outlet that understands their struggles and frustrations. They need a community where they can open up and feel support from peers. Community and human connections where shop owners can be themselves and share their goals and aspirations improves the leader’s performance and prevents burnout. 

If you find yourself struggling with the loneliness and pressure of feeling like you need to have all the answers, please reach out to our staff at  ASTA. Your ASTA exists to help you build community and make valuable human connections.  If you talk to our most engaged members, they will tell you that the number one benefit of ASTA membership is the relationships and connections they make. Your ASTA is uniquely qualified to be your ecosystem and help you find that human connection. We are a community of 776 shop owners and leaders who share in your dreams, struggles, and frustrations. We are a powerhouse of resources that would make MacGyver green with envy.  

There is no project too small. Please share with us what you are working on. The staff at ASTA wants to hear from you. We are a hub of connections waiting to be made.  We can connect you with fellow members who are working on the exact same issues. Do you need a business coach? Do you need help hiring? Do your techs need specific training? Want access to online groups discussing shop issues? You name it, we are familiar with it and can help you on your journey. To easily reach out to our staff, please contact us at this link, https://astausa.org/contact/. We are ready to connect you and help you build community.