Horne Auto Group’s next-manager-up planning will pay dividends

While Powell he has worked closely with Cawley for several years, Powell’s training intensified in 2021. He began taking on more senior-level responsibilities and decision-making.

“Every Monday, we’d plot out the week, determine which stores I’d visit and identify their key issues,” Powell says.

Armed with file folders and performance data, he would evaluate the operations, report back to Cawley and work with the local GM to put an action plan into place.

The only problem was when Powell tried to do too much himself.

“Once he figured out what needed to be done, he wanted to implement the plan like he was running the business instead of working with the local guys and getting their buy-in,” Cawley says.

Acknowledging the issue, Powell says he had to learn that everyone doesn’t think exactly the way he does and now works harder to share information and incorporate their vision into a joint plan that best meets everyone’s needs. Cawley also has helped Powell to be more patient so he can thoroughly evaluate a situation and make a fact-based decision.

The Horne family wants the fixed operations director to be a corporate consultant for its dealers, according to Cawley. To this end, he says, Powell now is doing a much better job working with store managers to identify problem areas and opportunities, then getting them the necessary resources.