The managers of Mark Christopher Chevrolet knew how to run their company, but found that with a little help they could run it even better. At 250 sales a month, Mark Leggio, owner of Mark Christopher Chevrolet in Ontario, CA, was content. But he realized he was sitting at the top of a fractured, under-performing organization that spent all its time holding itself up instead of growing. “The real reason my people weren’t doing well is they weren’t being coached well,” Leggio admitted, knowing full well that neither he nor his employees were reaching their full potential. “After being immersed in The Pacific Institute curriculum, I started to coach and mentor right,” Leggio said. “We substituted what were ineffective training programs that were taking up my people’s time, and put in a very productive training program from The Pacific Institute.”
Less than two years after Leggio consulted with The Pacific Institute, Mark Chevrolet was selling 550 cars a month, a 120% increase. It went from being 11th in sales for California to 1st, and from the 36th to the 5th best-selling Chevrolet
dealership in the United States.
Leggio was the toughest to sell on organizational culture shift. In 1997, before starting to work with The Pacific Institute, Leggio didn’t want any help running his company. “When we started with The Pacific Institute, the culture of our organization… was best described as hardball. We were tough,” Leggio said. “We knew everything. ”Today, after training with The Pacific Institute, Leggio sometimes looks back to see the dysfunction that his mentality was creating within the organization. “I can tell you 80% of [our success] was just reinventing management techniques, management theories, how we treat people, how we treat vendors and reinventing the culture in the organization to really maximize our potential.”
Leggio now recognizes that Mark Christopher Chevrolet needed its employees and departments aligned to accomplish the same goals, to create an optimistic and confident culture and to encourage upbeat conversation and a higher level of self-regulation across the organization. Mark Christopher Chevrolet’s biggest handicap was its limited belief in potential. “We were a 250-car-a-month store,” Leggio explained, modeling his former, handicapping mentality. “If we had 200 cars sold after two weeks, I made sure we sold 50 the next two weeks.” As evidenced by their success after working with The Pacific Institute, it was not their potential that slowed them in those second two weeks; it was a disjointed staff in an impersonal culture and a limiting individual and organizational mentality.
ExperienceA Subtle Shift Towards What is Best. “What I realized was, with The Pacific Institute’s concepts and message, we had a viable shot at being something special in my industry,” Leggio said as he started through The Pacific Institute’s Imagine 21® program. Believing in the Imagine 21® program, Leggio worked with The Pacific Institute professionals as a facilitator in administering the Imagine 21® program to all 400 of his employees.“Once we disposed of all the untruths about how the business was supposed to be, we started to find what was best for the company and the employee. Obviously, people are at Mark Christopher Chevrolet to earn money, but that is not all. They must earn money to fulfill their commitments to family, church, community, and the parts of the balance wheel,” Leggio said referring to one of The Pacific Institute’s patented culture building techniques. “We cannot be a good coach or mentor without this information.”.
Energetic Employees, Satisfied Customers and More Money. As Mark Christopher Chevrolet developed a functioning internal culture, its bottom line - stagnant under its old culture - began to rise. Mark Christopher Chevrolet became one of the 50 largest dealerships in the United States, in addition to 5th best-selling Chevrolet dealer. The 120% sales increase at its main dealership is dwarfed by a 1200% sales increase, from 19 sales a month to 250, at a dealership it bought soon after starting work with The Pacific Institute. The culture shift is also reflected in “living a better life at home,” Leggio said about the greater effects of The Pacific Institute training has had on his employees. “Seeing that your employees are buying their
boats and new homes, “we’re proud of the fact that through this culture change, the employees are legitimately happy.”Leggio, who now works with his employees to shape how the organization is run, is extending the new Mark Christopher Chevrolet culture out to the surrounding community. In 2001, Mark Christopher Chevrolet was recognized as the National Philanthropy “Corporation of the Year.” He is also finding that even with expansion, “The Pacific Institute lessons will last as we live it, walk it and talk it. If you truly apply the principles with The Pacific Institute’s tools and support, it takes you to heights that you never thought possible.