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How 2020's Hindsight Inspires 2021's Leaders

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We rely on leaders to see us through the most challenging of times, and 2020 was no exception.

Rob Choisser, owner of Choisser Import Auto Services in Davidsonville, Md., took those challenges to heart and turned them into confidence for 2021.

When he opened his shop 12 years ago, Choisser set himself apart from other shops. He created solutions to challenges by doing business “the right way.”

Today, Choisser’s shop is committed to helping customers experience the fullest life from their cars and helping employees achieve a work-life balance. Employees look forward to their Monday-Friday 8:30-5:30 work week. 

This has not only made the industry more approachable for the shop's apprentices, but also personally fulfilling because they can keep up with their health and outside interests, and maintain family-friendly schedules. This in turn motivates employees to stay with the company for longer.

After a unique year like 2020, Choisser plans to lead his team into 2021 with confidence and adaptability.

Invest through proactive maintenance.

One of Choisser’s biggest challenges in 2020 was uncertainty. Customers and employees felt uncertain about finances, about health, about their children’s education … and Choisser wanted to make sure he rallied his team’s confidence without discounting their fears or worries. 

His approach was the same for his team as it was for his customers: proactive maintenance. He asked his team to take care of their health, follow all CDC safety guidelines and voice their concerns. 

“As on the road of life, an accident may occur,” Choisser said, “but it may be less impactful if you have maintained the system as a whole. When they take care of themselves and their loved ones, they’ll be able to bridge over any trouble that may arise.”

Maintain active communication.

He stressed to his team and customers that cars are tools for life. Even if customers had changed their commute, their cars now needed a new level of maintenance. 

His shop has actively reached out to customers to start this conversation. His hope is still to have customers experience the maximum mileage and life possible of their car.

Have faith in a bigger plan.

There is little doubt that 2021 will see a dramatic shift in the way customers use their cars, and businesses thrive when they’re able to adapt to a shifting market. “It’s about communicating confidence,” Choisser says.

Choisser knows that his process is still valuable to clients, whether he’s seen them for years or whether they’re new “weekend driving” clients. The key factor is that a customer’s car is often equitable to their independence—something they'll always strive to keep. 

Remember challenges don’t happen “to” us, they happen “for” us.

Throughout the year, 2020 felt as if it dragged on. In 2021, Choisser looks forward to seeing new challenges opportunistically and leaving behind any fear or negativity associated with the previous year. 

Choisser says “The new year will present its own challenges and now it’s about adapting, growing, and looking forward to the future.”

Celebrate 2020's accomplishments.

Choisser is a fan of the way author Richard Branson put it when he said, “Train people well enough so they can leave; treat them well enough so they don't want to.” 

Choisser’s team persevered and thrived through the challenges of 2020. Although they did not have in-house training, two of his technicians achieved ASE mastery, two achieved L1 Advanced Engine repair certification, and another was admitted to ShopFix Academy—the list goes on. 

He’s glad that his team was able to pursue personal development towards their dreams that they can now recognize and celebrate in 2021. 

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