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  Chairman's Message

Darrell AmbersonNo Fear It's An Adventure!

Posted 07/1/2013

Have you been following the series from Dick Cross in AutoInc? I recently read his article in the May issue titled “Courage, Not Fear.” It really struck a chord with me. I see many decisions (or lack of decision) from business owners and management that are based on fear, not only in business, but in life in general. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of responsibility, fear of change, fear of confrontation, fear of the truth, fear of admitting weakness and fear of delegation. It causes many to avoid risk. Dick says, “Adjust your thinking to see being wrong, within reasonable boundaries of risk, as the sign of your courage.”

I can relate. At one time I was a professional drag racer. Driving a nitro-burning, fire-breathing, funny car at 250 mph caused less fear than dealing with being interviewed by the media. When I thought about the risk, the potential public embarrassment, I realized that it wasn’t that great of a risk. Often I was in another part of the country where none of my friends or relatives knew anyone anyway. After putting it in perspective it got easier.

Cars are changing. Technology is changing. Our industry is changing. Our association is changing, including new leadership. ASRW is changing. Dick talks about how as leaders it is our job to display courage and to display the ability to see things others don’t. He says that if we do, others will see us in a brighter light, as an adventurer, someone never satisfied with the status quo, someone exciting to be around because you’re not timid.

In this issue we have information on mechanical and collision shop management software. Do you have fears over new technology? I admit that I do. John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death – but saddling up anyway.” It is up to us to put our fears aside and look into new technology. It is up to us to put forth the effort. We may be surprised that the risk is not as great as we feared. We may even propel ourselves, as well as our businesses, to a higher level of performance!

When some of my peers in the professional drag racing world, including drivers and crew, were asked, “What motivates you to do what you do?” (of course they were referring to the personal safety risks, the lengthy travel, the extensive time and financial commitments), a common response was, “Fear of having to get a regular job!” Many of those folks understood that their significant efforts and risk-taking were not the elements of a burdensome job, but instead, an adventure. I think we can learn from that. In any business – including automotive repair or association management – if we overcome our fears, take some risks and strive for greatness, the experience becomes an adventure. Enjoy the ride!

By Darrell Amberson, AAM, Chairman

Darrell Amberson




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