Mike Bradford

So after my first blog entry ("What is your 'Why Audi'?") I had my wife read through it to get her thoughts.  What I took away is that I need to keep it a bit shorter so I am going to try my best to not tie up too much space here!

I received a group email from Scott Keogh, the President of Audi of America, on the 1st of this month in regards to the passing of Mike Bradford after a battle with cancer.  I am sure that just like me, you are probably wondering who Mike is.  After reading further, I found that Mike was the General Manager of Audi Beverly Hills from the time that they opened in 2012.  Scott explained that Mike and his team that he built, were responsible for bringing Audi into a difficult luxury market and changing the culture there so drastically that they took Audi from being a nearly unrecognized brand to being the top Audi dealership in new car sales for the last three years in a row.

Mr. Keogh goes on to describe how Bradford was an ambassador for the brand and pioneered and pushed some of the ideas that Audi of America has put into place in its dealers all across the country.  He started in a geographical location where the odds were stacked against him and seized the opportunity to turn it into something great, fueled by his ambition and love for the brand.

Now, I do not know Mike and to be completely truthful, this is the first that I have heard of him.  What I can tell you I have heard is about the store out in Beverly Hills and I do know that they are recognized as the leader in sales of new Audi vehicles.  I knew this, not because of an email from the corporate level, or from others that mentored me as I was growing in my roll, but rather, I wanted to search out and find for myself who the best was.  I wanted to see what it is that makes the best tick, see what it is that they do, and do it better.  Ambitious goals for Lafayette, Indiana right?

OK, I am also a realist.  I understand that the population in the Beverly Hills area, as well as Los Angeles County is quite a bit greater than our rural community.  However, I felt that when reading the email about what Mike had achieved, there were probably a great deal of excuses in the back of his head, or even those presented to him when he moved into his position when the store opened.  He may have had doubts but he was driven by something that overpowered all of that doubt.  This is where I was able to connect with Mike without ever even meeting him.

As I explained in my previous post, I didn't know much about Audi but the more that I learned, the more it drove me to be my best for this brand.  This same fever burns through not only those of us that get to work with these great vehicles every day (from the corporate level all the way to the dealership), but also those that drive these amazing machines!  This fever is what has fueled the unprecedented growth of a  brand that put a benchmark in place of 200,000 annual sales by 2020 and attained this goal by the close of 2015.  That's what I want to be a part of!  

We may not sell 1000 new vehicles annually (yet) but we are making strides with Audi in this area.  Those that watched these vehicles jump onto the big screen back when Tony Stark pulled up in his R8, are getting to get behind the wheel of that vehicle today!  I get to be involved in making this possible for people every day!  Sharing this is why I get up in the morning and go to work.  I would like to think that this is also what drove Mike Bradford.

In closing, toward the end of Scott Keogh's email, he wrote about him talking about the need to find our Why.  "...that thing that gets you out of bed in the morning.  It can't just be the paycheck.  For me, it's a need to leave my mark."  This is what drove me to post about this! My passion comes from my drive to make my mark, our mark.  This is what our team will strive to do with each and every guest that gives us the opportunity.  We will make our mark and continue to watch that fever spread, just like Mike Bradford did.
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