I have been influenced by the life of Abraham Lincoln since I was a child. Not just because he did great things. However, because he lived by great principles. He left a lot of clues for us. Here re just a few that drive my thinking and living!
Create Your Success in Your Mind First
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” — Abraham Lincoln Great producers normally have great attitudes due to daily focus on their mindsets. Stinking Thinking is the opposite of Lincoln Thinking. Despite his popular image as a small-time country lawyer, Lincoln had a great interest in cutting-edge technology. During the Civil War, he haunted the telegraph office – which provided the instant-messaging of its day – for the latest news from the front, and was actively involved in directing troops. He encouraged weapons development and even tested some new rifles himself on the White House lawn. He is the only U.S. president to have held a patent (No. 6469, granted May 22, 1849). It was for a device to lift riverboats over shoals.
His mindset was, “I have a lot to learn and little time to do it.” So he read books constantly with light from the fireplace and spent every day seeking new information. The learning mindset, or should we say, Lincoln mindset, creates a daily hunger for new information. That information will compel consumers to make decisions they didn’t plan on making and also enable them to see solutions to problems they weren’t even sure they really had. As we learn, so learn our customers.
Sharpen Your Axe
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” — Abraham Lincoln
Preparation for success determines the level of success. Great athletes and great presidents know that success is not determined while you are in the spotlight but in the darkness of the training and preparation room. What the F&I professional does when he or she is not with a customer is much more important than what’s done when they are with a customer. Show mew hat a finance professional does with free time, and I will immediately be able to determine how successful they are. Reading, researching and practicing your skills is time well spent, and every customer will gain value from your preparation. Having up-to-date information and insightful views of the risk of owning a modern vehicle make saying yes easy for customers and “no” hard. They need us to practice and prepare, and when we do, we all win! Lincoln lived by three words: preparation, preparation, preparation!
No Matter What You Do, Do It Well
“Whatever you are, be a good one.” — Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln was determined to be the best at whatever he was doing. When he was a country lawyer, he wanted to be the best. When he was campaigning, he wanted to outshine the competition. He knew the art of losing, and he lost many times in life. Yet he never gave up, and learned form every loss and got better, until he was president of the United States!
Mediocrity is not an option for the successful F&I professional. Every day there are new things to learn, new perspectives to be gained, and anything less than daily personal growth is below the standard they have set for themselves. Aspire to be the best, not better than others, just a better version of yourself every day. And determine you will leave everything and everyone better than you found them. That will kill mediocrity and fuel Lincoln Thinking!
That just skims the surface of this great man. Yet, Lincoln Thinking will propel us all to the top. Let’s go!
Rick McCormick serves as national account development manager for Reahard & Associates.