"You're In Charge" with Glenn Pasch
"You're In Charge" with Glenn Pasch

Episode 126 · 8 months ago

Dimitrius Naylor: Diversity and My Journey in Automotive


Diversity is a topic many speak about but for others, they shy away. Not knowing what to say or not thinking they can change anyhting.

What is the role of leaders regarding this topic?

In this episode, Dimitrius Naylor, Marine, leader and now General Manager of a new auto dealership talks about diversity in automotive. Dimitrius shares his experience and hope that we can move to a time where you are only judged on effort and results.

Passionate, thoughtful and powerful. Great conversation.

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About Dimitrius Naylor:

Former United States Marine corp veteran having deployed numerous times around the world.

Follower of Jesus Christ, Married to my beautiful Stephanie in which we have three children between us. I entered into the automotive industry in 2009 and have worked my up the ladder having sat in all seats on the variable side of the business.

My life’s work is summed up into my favorite phrase! “ hardwork is the great equalizer!”

Connect with Dimitrius on Linkedin: https://bit.ly/3yjql1S

About Glenn Pasch:

"Everyone finds themselves in charge at some point in their lives. Yet many of us lack the skills to generate consistent results. My goal is to help you learn the skills to adapt and grow in your personal and business life.”

Glenn Pasch is CEO of PCG Digital, a full service digital marketing agency that specializes in helping businesses create and deliver customers raving, recommending & returning for more. He is author of 2 books including "The Power of Connected Marketing" and has spoken and educated audiences throughout the US and internationally.

Let’s Connect:

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/glennpasch/

Personal Website http://glennpasch.com/

Company website: https://pcgdigital.com/

Support for this episode comes from PCG digital. It is anywhere from difficult to impossible to manage every aspect of the changing digital landscape. Rather than trying to do it yourself, why not leave it to an award winning team of Digital Marketing Specialists who have mastered at all connect to your message with more potential customers with PCG digital. Go to PCG digitalcom for more information. There's a lot of conversation about diversity and inclusivity in the workplace and a lot of people, I feel, truly think that their color blind, meaning they're looking at the individual and saying, doesn't really matter to me what color race creed any of that. It's can you deliver for my team and help my team be successful. But there are also a lot of struggles with this and as much as many people think they're doing a great job, we're still talking about that today. Well, my guest today, demetrious nailer, was a marine and now he is a general manager of an auto dealership and he talks about his journey as an African American man coming out of the military and all of his journey. where, as he said, you cannot like me for the color of my skin, but I'm going to out work everyone so much that you can't ignore me. And, as he always says, work is the true delineation or your superpower to stand out, because there are so many opportunities and and I want you to listen to this conversation. It's really impactful. So let's dive into today's power episode of you're in charge. Conversations that spark change with demetrious nailor so for you over your career coming into automotive and over the years...

...from leaving the military, where I you know from my understanding I did not serve, but military it's not that it's color blind, but it's just hey, just get the job done. But for you, how important is diversity to you in building a team? Do you for your career, to be an example of someone who is successful, or are you at a point where that's not as important for you? I just want people on my team that can win. I go back to meet an offer to become a general manager, probably in a lot of people's mind, a little sooner than probably should have. You know. I mean I've moved more sultiple times, but it was all strategically aligned to get to a twin end goal, not chasing a title right, but pacing a place of the highest greatest impact. I look at diversity in the workplaces my right, my duty and my responsibility. I I'm not trying to sway the pendulum one way or the other. I just want to make sure it's fair down the line for everybody. And I say this a lot on clubhouse. I say that we have a right and a responsibility that once we reach a certain plateau or a certain place in our lives, that we have to send that ladder back down. Right. I moved from Jacksville, North Carolina, starting in the car business, where I wasn't allowed to get promoted or move up in the ranks based on sometimes because of the color of my skin, because they didn't want to change the way the front office looked. M I I personally, have fought and tried to be...

...the best that I could be so that way, none of that ever played a role or a factor in but again, this is still this is still a conversation in two thousand and twenty one, going into twenty two. Yeah, we have to recognize our ignorance in this part of the business, in this part of the world where it's it's that miss number, that thing that's I'm spoken. But again, a lot of people ask me like, well, why did you? Because I wanted to give that opportunity to the gentleman or the lady that looked like me that wasn't given an opportunity. And do I purposely go out of my way to swing the pendulum to say like, I don't care what it is, they're getting in an opportunity over this person. No, but I make sure that the playing field is absolutely level every time I go into a situation where I can, and I make sure that I also coach and talk to people about it as much as possible, because I do know what that's like to not be given an opportunity because of the color of my skin or because I didn't look the quote unquote, same as other people right for one reason or another. So Do I feel still think it happens? Yes. So I happen to work for a great organization now that's owned by two minorities and that are giving opportunity. I we were in our training class yesterday. It was nice to look around the room. We have a GSM that's female, Hispanics, we have African Americans called Kate. I mean the whole room was the melting pot of whatever should look like. And I think too many times, because we get comfortable in seeing what we're used to seeing. So that kind of like inadvertently like alienates a certain group, because if we're all used to seeing the Glense of the world or the...

...demetrices of the world and we're friends with those people and we naturally just kind of don't pull for those people right. My thing is I look at it like this. I pull for the most talented, the most qualified, but I've have an opportunity to steward or bring in some personal color or a minority or especially especially a female, I pull them in, you know, mean with the right qualifications, but I make sure that I take that opportunity to give back, right I position, you know. Mean, do I alienate one racer over the other? Absolutely not, but I make sure that I take the extra time to give it a credible second look. Or I'm a voice in that room and an advocate for that person that can't speak. So I think that's kind of where I'm at with it in regards to diversity. Am I standing on the Front Line Holding a picket signed. No, but at the end of the day I'm I still trying to champion it from my position every day and every chance I get a hundred percent now and I and I that that is one thing that that, you know, I admire about you. When I met you there wasn't any it just it's the way you carry yourself and it's you know, it is that ability to look at another person and to say, you know, I want to be judged on my results. I wanted to be judged on my personality, who I am as a man or a woman, not on all of this other things. And you're right, it's still said that we're having this conversation in two thousand and twenty one or two thousand and twenty two, and some days it's worse and some days it's better. But I think for all of us in leadership positions, it is really about understanding the skill set that you need for your team and then going out and finding the best people and doing your best. Now, as you said, you know, if you have two candidates and hire...

...them both if you can, though, but really we keep talking about this, this idea and there are movements and there's ideas, but you know, we're all hoping for the day where it isn't about that. It's not saying, Oh, it's a minority owner, it's just an owner, and so it's a woman GSM. It's like, no, she's the GSM right. So for me and my company it's not a conscious thought, but I did the math at one time. Someone asked me, and I think I'm going to say outside of my brother and I, all of the leaderships Asians are women. Was it conscious? Know, they were the best people. They stepped up right, and so we're hoping that, and I think your example of that, of the way you carry yourself and the way you talk about it and what you're doing that is inspiring to other people that you have the opportunity and you're they're reaching your hand back, and I think that's a really great analogy. Reach back for the people behind you, drop the ladder down, pull them up with you. I think that that that's phenomenal. So so talk about that. That that conversation you have with some of the people on your team who may be thinking I'll never get that, like what what are those conversations like for people who may not think, well, you're you're looking at you and saying well, you're the exception, versus I could never get there. My thought process. There's again I look at I want to be seen. A lot of people say, Oh, I'm coming, I want to be seen. I want you to see me in all of my my African American beauty. I don't I want to be seen, but at the same time I don't want that to be the focus of our conversation. I don't want it to be. You mean, there's so many ISMs, eliteism, racism, you know, all the different islms that are out there. Says, and you know put that like so pointedly. She said there's...

...so many ISMs that we can't even talk through these days. My thing is I just want everybody to have a seat at the table and have a voice that from there, let your actions and your talent and your hard work. Then the the platinum be the playing field. Right. So when it comes to people on my team, I make sure that when we're hiring, I mean we don't necessarily have this problem here because of we're such a diverse area, but right when, when I was in West Virginia and they would be like, Oh, the major should you know? I mean you hired everybody and anybody. Yes, because I believe at the core principle everybody deserves a shot. When they do with that shot is up to them. Everybody says, oh, Dmitri's you're the exception, your this or your that. What I look at it and I say is, I just made the most of that one opportunity that somebody gave me and I just took off and ran with it. HMM. My job is to now show that people, show people, minorities, women and anybody that wants a real shot, this is what you do with it, this is how you stewart it and this is how you make it expand, and that is the conversation that I have with people that are looking to excel or that don't believe they can do it. That's the whole reason why I start with mindset rather than metrics and performance, because I want you to think that, regardless of what you look like, it is all possible. Right, prove that it is all possible. Now saying I'm the best that's ever done no, but I am saying that everybody deserves a fair shot, a fair and intentional shot, on on getting to the top, and I have the top far from it, but I'm going to make sure that everybody around me has that fair opportunity, as long as they're willing to work harder. Hard work is the grating was yes, and and to your point, I mean when I was thinking about asking questions, you...

...know, and interviewing you, I was going, I don't, I don't want this to be a topic because of what you just said. Oh, we're only having this conversation because I'm African American. It is no, but it's more of the way you carry yourself and the passion that you have for helping others and to say I'm not unique. I'm unique in the fact you're looking at me as I'm unique, chuck, but I've busted my ass to get here. You know, that's the key. So if you want to bust your ass, and and and I think it was now I'm going to go blank on HMM. She, she was. She's the CEO of three to one ignition and I'm sorry she's going to yell at me for Fordetty Your Day, but she came from Russia and she said you just don't take for granted all the opportunit tunities that you have here. Right. She was saying in Russia you're born rich or you're born poor and you can't change that. There is no middle class, you know. But here, if you're willing to work hard, there's always an opportunity, and there's so many people, for whatever reason, who take their opportunities for granted or think they should be given something because of who they know, where they went to school, of their rick whatever. It's nauseating. I talked to my children all the time about that. I said nobody cares. The only thing they're going to care about is how hard you work and are you will and if you're willing to work hard, you'll be successful. But just because you're my son doesn't nobody cares. I can get you in the door, but after that you got to do it yourself and it's that hard work, and that's why I wanted that conversation and talk to you about how you're elevating your team, because there are so many people that look up to you, but it's that idea of looking up at you and awe of Oh, he's the Unicorn, instead of no, this was hard work and you all could do I I live back and I think about the time that I was home as I came out of...

...the Marine Corps and made some made some poor decisions as far as like proper power planning, provincipal performance is what we only say in the military, but I made some poor I made some poor decisions on being able to have the come, have the the preparedness to do things when I got have a military. So when I got out of a military I was homeless for a year and a half, left in my car, and a lot of people would have laid down and drugs and got addicted the alcohol and woe is me. I kept working because I always was under the mindset that more was possible. That's where I get to look just a little bit more. But at the same time, though, like, when I look at it, my life is just multiple instances of just working hard and never giving up. And I want to show those people that want to automatically associate the ISMM's with hard work and I want to tell them that, like, Hey, look, at the end of the day, I'm not the Unicorn, I'm not the exception, I'm just a guy who said, in the face of it all, I'm just going to work hard, I don't care what happens. I'm going to be so good that they can't ignore me. And that's all it was. And do I look at him say there were sometimes that I wasn't given a shot or an opportunity? Yes, and can I oh man, I could always bang that drum like, Oh man, it's so hard out here. But what I instead said was I'm going to be so good or I'm going to go and grow, like that was my mentality, like I've reached this level here and they refused to see the hard work and the talent. So then I need to make a transition, I need to move. That's that's all there was to it, and I refuse to let anybody hold me back for race, religion, for any of those things, because I was...

...always a hard worker. You could not like me for the color of my skin, but one thing you couldn't deny was the fact that I was going to make you a lot of money or I was going to generate you the kind of attraction that you needed to make a lot of money. So again, it just bulled down to hard work. And I don't want to dismiss the race portion of it, but I also don't want that to be the focus. And just like I don't allow for my staff to focus on that, but at the same time we're going to make sure that everybody gets a shot, regardless race, religion, creed. I have all walks of life work for me and I'm never going to hold them back. I'm going to empower them, teach them, grow them, cultivate them, mold them, but I'm going to require that they they work hard, because that is the great equalizes. Hard work is the great equalizer. So that's where I'm at on that type and they said at the end of that episode. I got a lot of boost bumps because his words are so powerful. And what Dmitri said is that he's not the Unicorn. It is about hard work and, as he said, he looks at his team through one Lens. Are you willing to work hard and be part of my team? That's it and I wish more people thought that way. So please make sure you connect with Demetrius. He's a phenomenal individual and he will connect with you if you have any questions. Audience, you know the drill. Please make sure you subscribe to the podcast on Apple Or, if you're an android user, on spotify or whatever platform you listen to podcasts. We are there. You can also listen to the full conversation with Demetrius. It's episode one hundred and fifteen. He talks a lot about building teams, management, how to highlight their strengths, how to empower his team, how to train a team. It's so much great information. You do yourself a favor and listen to the full episode as well. You can jump over to youtube as well and and watch the two...

...of US have our conversation. But, as always, I thank you for your attention. I know there's a lot of places for you to consume content, but the fact that you spend some time with Demetrius and me today means the world to me. As I say at the end of every episode, you're in charge, but Demetrius gave you a few more tips and strategies to help you become better both personally and professionally. I thank you again and I look forward to seeing you on the next episode.

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