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Do the Right Thing Every Time

The father of two of our franchisees recently passed away and we had the opportunity to attend a very moving memorial service on Saturday in Clovis, N.M.

Larry Porter, father of Gene Porter of Clovis, N.M., and David Porter of Lawton, Okla., passed away last week at the age of 75. One of the things that touched us was the eulogy given by Gene. He talked about how his dad taught a strong work ethic and doing the right thing. Gene gave examples of how his dad impacted his life in these key areas.

Eulogies by others at the funeral made me wish I would have met this incredible person who was a leader in so many ways. As we started our 450 mile drive home and reflected on the stories we heard about Mr. Porter’s commitment to “getting it right,” we put that in context of something that happened to us this week.

Our Volvo is six years old and has more than 130,000 miles on it. It‘s been great ride and we haven’t put much money into it until this week when we had to invest more than $2,100. We both agree that investing in the vehicle is better than having a car payment. The Volvo dealership gave Mary Kay a loaner vehicle for five days.

When we got our car back I filled it with gas for the trip and noticed that our windshield washers didn’t have any fluid it them. So I bought a gallon of fluid and filled it up while the car was filling with gas. As I filled the reservoir, I noticed there was a stream of fluid running out from under the car. Obviously there was a hole in the system somewhere. This meant we’d have to take the car in again. I also checked the sticker and saw that we were 2,000 miles over the time we needed to get an oil change.

We spent $2,100 and the Volvo dealership had the car for five days. It’s hard to believe that no one took the time to look at the sticker and see if we needed an oil change.

I thought back when I took cars into the quick lube places. They had a checklist they always used. They’d vacuum the car, check the fluids and try and sell me new filters and a variety of other services. They key is they had a checklist they’d use for a $19.95 oil change.

Why didn’t the Volvo dealership use a checklist? If they would have done that we wouldn’t have to mess around this week taking the car back in for an oil change and to fix the windshield washer.

This all reminded me of the Auto Glass Safety Council installation checklist. Are you making sure that your techs use one every time? You’ve heard it before—inspect what you expect. That is what leaders do. They make sure their employees understand that doing things right are not an option. Leaders make sure their employees get the training necessary to make sure they are doing every step necessary—just as the AGSC checklist indicates.

I know that Larry Porter didn’t give his boys an option. That’s just how he lived.

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