4 Things Leaders Should Learn From Reality TV’s “Counting Cars”

What’s your first thought when you see someone dressed like a biker? I’ll bet it’s not “Hey, I could learn to be a better boss from THAT guy!”

Counting Cars Cast

Danny Koker (center) and the Counting Cars cast.

There is a boss you can learn from who wears motorcycle outfits to work every day. His name is Danny Koker.  You can see him in action on the History Channel’s Counting Cars.

The reality show is set in a Las Vegas hot rod shop. It’s worth tuning in to watch Koker solve problems.  Here are four management lessons you’re likely to see:

1. If someone is pushing your buttons, ask questions. Koker’s employees are constantly making mistakes. The workers generally have the shop’s best interest at heart, but their actions can be ill-informed and cost Koker money. You frequently see Koker’s frustration. But rather than yelling, he starts asking the employee questions. Using the Socratic technique of asking intentional questions, he patiently leads the employee to right outcome.

2. Speak with a smile in your voice. Across the board, members of the Count’s Customs’ leadership team speak with positive energy and a ‘smile in their voice’. Koker is the best at it, but General Manager Kevin Mack and Shop Manager Scott Jones are good too. Watch and learn from these guys.

3. Encourage the ‘Joie de Viere’: Counts Customs is filled with the pressures and stress of business. Still Koker’s leadership sets a tone. There are many moments of laughter, celebration and humanity. Everyone loves to work where there is a joy to life.

4. Don’t judge a book by its cover (or an entrepreneur by his sleeveless shirt.) The Count’s Customs guys don’t dress like mainstream businesspeople. Some might dismiss them based on their appearance or their offbeat business. But that would be a mistake. Abe Lincoln said, “You can learn something from everyone.”  It’s true whether that person wears Armani or a dew rag.

More information on Counting Cars: http://www.history.com/shows/counting-cars

Key words: leadership, management, lessons, counting, cars, #countingcars, @DannyCountKoker, @history

Photo used by permission. Special thanks to Michelle Ciciyaxvili at History.