AM Online

'Don't let success become a trap' - AM People Conference speaker's warning to business leaders


Dealers and individual senior managers should be wary of falling into the success trap, Dr. Bernd Vogel, professor of leadership and organisational behaviour at Henley Business School, will caution delegates at this year’s AM People Conference.

Now in its third year, the conference, hosted in conjunction with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) takes place on 16 June at the Park Plaza, Riverbank in London.

Vogel’s warning comes on the back of record new car registrations for the sector.

March 2016 saw the highest number of new car registrations in a single month since the dual plate system was introduced in 1999 and rounded off a record first quarter, 5.1% up on 2015.

Vogel (pictured) said: “Success can be a double edged sword. There can be reluctance among the leadership to address any underlying issues whilst the business can become dependent on individuals who first led the success.

“Creating a successful business is very different to sustaining a successful business.

“Business leaders can be reluctant to step aside from the day to day running of the operation when in fact their job should be creating leadership capability among their employees to increase the likelihood of continual success.

“The most difficult obstacle for an organisation can be persuading the leader who took the business to its current heights to step away from the limelight and enable others to shine even though it’s more likely to result in long term success.”

Vogel’s session will deliver key takeaways including how to determine whether a business has either positive or negative energy levels among its employees and whether there is a collaborative approach to the business compared to individuals who are focused primarily on fulfilling their own job function.

“It is easier than you think for successful businesses to lose focus,” added Vogel.

“Complacency can be problem, but so can capitalising on success where a business attempts to expand too rapidly and weaknesses become apparent which can all too quickly turn into gaping fissures leaving the company over exposed.

“Businesses can then find themselves in precarious positions and unable to absorb even slight fluctuations in the market.

“The best strategy for a successful business can be to switch focus, away from market share, for example, to delivering the best customer service.”

Exploring how success itself poses the biggest challenge for both the business and individual leaders, Vogel discusses how thriving businesses create leadership capacity across its organisation that sustains energy and performance.



Tickets are available to dealers and manufacturers, with a limited number of supplier tickets on sale.

To book, please contact Paige Phillips on 01733 395133, email or visit


Park Plaza, Riverbank, London


If you are not a registered user your comment will go to AM for approval before publishing. To avoid this requirement please register or login.

Login to comment


No comments have been made yet.