The Automotive Aftermarket’s $500 Billion Secret

Employees working in the automotive aftermarket can say that it is more than their alarm clocks that get them out of bed each morning. They keep the world moving in a meaningful way.

Spending time recently with more than 150,000 purpose-driven people left me pumped up, inspired and wanting more. I am referring to AAPEX 2015 in fabulous Las Vegas, the largest automotive aftermarket event in the world.

The aftermarket industry is often overlooked, but its role in society is very apparent. It ensures you travel safely to work and back home each day, allows parents to drop off and pick up their children from school. It enables family vacations and transports loved ones to deliver babies or to doctors to keep them healthy. The industry helps facilitate going on dates, hanging out with friends and seeing the world. The same industry also aids policemen and firemen in protecting your community, gardeners and sanitation workers to keep it clean and maintained and ensures essential vehicles build roads, buildings and homes. An industry contributing nearly $500 billion to the global economy and providing more than 4.3 million jobs in the U.S. alone. It is an industry filled with purpose and an immense amount of passion and pride.

This behind-the-scenes, but critical industry has kept their impact on humanity a secret for more than 100 years. Human resources, marketing, sales, engineering, technical professionals, executives and any position you can dream up quietly keep this robust enterprise racing along – unsung heroes enabling life to happen.

There are those that may want to work for the aftermarket because they love cars, but there are much bigger reasons that need to be discussed. The industry’s What, Where and Why. What it is attempting to do. Where it wants to go. Why the aftermarket exists in the first place.

During my AAPEX 2015 keynote presentation, I outlined the following answers from my perspective.

WHAT: To provide parts and services to make vehicles last longer, perform better and keep drivers safe

WHERE: To serve every vehicle on the road

WHY: To keep the world moving

In order to attract top talent Millennials and Generation Z to career opportunities, it is imperative that they know and understand the industry or organization’s What, Where and Why. Organizations also need to create a life, not just a job for their employees. This is needed to connect the personal purpose of those you recruit and hire to your organization’s purpose. This alignment is what will excite the next generation workforce and where the true magic happens when it comes to engaging people, fulfilling an organizational purpose and driving business results.

“If you want to hire people to move your mission and purpose forward, you must hire people who believe what you believe.” So says my purpose colleague Simon Sinek in his insightful book Start with Why.

Asking the right questions during an interview process is where it all begins. If you get it wrong in the beginning, the relationship will never yield the exceptional outcomes you are hoping for and need to maximize your profitability and business success.

Below are the five questions I ask candidates to dig deeper and get a better sense of their purpose alignment with the organizations I have recruited for. By asking these questions and listening closely to a candidate’s responses, you will ensure a better fit for your organization too. Not all answers will align directly with your business, but the clues within the responses – and even their body positioning and energy when answering – will highlight important connections to what you do and how engaged the person will be with your business once hired.

  1. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
  2. If you didn’t need money, what would you do in life?
  3. When in your life have you been so passionately focused on an activity that you lost track of time and what were you doing?
  4. What are you most interested in and speak most enthusiastically about?
  5. What do you want others to remember you for?

Want to fulfill your purpose? Leave a legacy? Have a life, not a job? The automotive aftermarket has opportunities for you. The secret is now out of the bag!

For more information about me and my new book How to Find a Job, Career and Life You Love (Second Edition) and companion recording, Surrender to Your Purpose go to and iTunes.

Published on LinkedIn Pulse, 1 December 2015 – 19 boosts, 6 comments

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