Fueling Sales by Driving Cultural Change

Mark Christopher Chevrolet

Selling 250 vehicles a month isn't a bad figure for a car dealership. However, Mark Leggio, owner of Mark Christopher Chevrolet, thought his team could be doing better.


Increase in Monthly Car Sales–550 Cars Per Month

5th Best-Selling

Chevrolet Dealer Nationwide


Ranking in Sales for California Auto-dealerships


Mark Christopher Chevrolet


Gen. Business


He realized he was sitting atop a fractured, under-performing organization. It wasn’t sinking, but it wasn’t growing either.

Aligning employees and their departments to accomplish the same goals was key to creating an optimistic, confident culture that encouraged upbeat conversation, and a higher level of self-regulation. By giving the Imagine 21® program to all 400 employees, Mark Christopher Chevrolet saw some great changes.

Owner Mark 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 modeled his former handicapping mentality. “If we had 200 cars sold after two weeks, I made sure we sold 50 the next two weeks.”

As evident by their success after working with The Pacific Institute, it was not 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 that was holding them back.

“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, their bottom line – stagnant under their 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 their main dealership is dwarfed by a 1200% sales increase, from 19 sales a month to 250, at a dealership they bought soon after starting their 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 company 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.”