Thursday, January 22, 2009
Us vs. Them is a great strategy.
I entered an informal contest in our office to see who could get 25 listings first. I am having a great time. As I was researching this subject I read several papers and blogs that fall on both sides of the competition argument. Many say that competition is bad and demoralizes the losers. This is a very Marxist approach to the idea. Others say that competition is good. I believe that capitalism and competition are good things and Adam Smith, the economist, knew what he was talking about. The problem I have with the ‘competition is good’ crowd is that they are all talking about a specific company or software product or specific industry. I was much more interested in learning about why I felt so good about the idea of competing against fellow Realtors and friends in a listing competition. I am really enjoying the competition and I have jumped out to an early lead. However, I am afraid if someone in my office does not step up it will be real easy to lose enthusiasm for this endeavor.
What that says to me is that competing is fun as long as the competitors are evenly matched. As I was thinking about this idea, that the competitors should be evenly matched, I then realized that we all feel better in an ‘us versus them’ environment. Creating an ‘us vs. them’ environment makes it easy to unite a group against another. A united group of competitors in a highly competitive environment is what all leaders are working towards. All participants benefit from being evenly matched and highly competitive.
After reading Tribal Leadership I learned that initially we are all in the ‘I am good and you are not’ mentality but that does not keep us motivated and growing. If we can find a way to move into the ‘we are good and you are not’ mentality we grow together as a united group and we compete at higher levels than we could have individually. Increased satisfaction, rewards and growth are the outcomes for evenly matched competitors. Find a way to create an ‘us vs. them’ environment, choose the competition wisely and watch your sales take off.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Great Story, I had to pass it on.
One day Solomon decided to humble Benaiah ben Yehoyada, his most trusted minister. He said to him, "Benaiah, there is a certain ring that I want you to bring to me. I wish to wear it for Sukkot which gives you six months to find it."
"If it exists anywhere on earth, your majesty," replied Benaiah, "I will find it and bring it to you, but what makes the ring so special?"
"It has magic powers," answered the king. "If a happy man looks at it, he becomes sad, and if a sad man looks at it, he becomes happy." Solomon knew that no such ring existed in the world, but he wished to give his minister a little taste of humility.
Spring passed and then summer, and still Benaiah had no idea where he could find the ring. On the night before Sukkot, he decided to take a walk in one of he poorest quarters of Jerusalem. He passed by a merchant who had begun to set out the day's wares on a shabby carpet. "Have you by any chance heard of a magic ring that makes the happy wearer forget his joy and the broken-hearted wearer forget his sorrows?" asked Benaiah.
He watched the grandfather take a plain gold ring from his carpet and engrave something on it. When Benaiah read the words on the ring, his face broke out in a wide smile.
That night the entire city welcomed in the holiday of Sukkot with great festivity. "Well, my friend," said Solomon, "have you found what I sent you after?" All the ministers laughed and Solomon himself smiled.
To everyone's surprise, Benaiah held up a small gold ring and declared, "Here it is, your majesty!" As soon as Solomon read the inscription, the smile vanished from his face. The jeweler had written three Hebrew letters on the gold band: _gimel, zayin, yud_, which began the words "_Gam zeh ya'avor_" -- "This too shall pass."
At that moment Solomon realized that all his wisdom and fabulous wealth and tremendous power were but fleeting things, for one day he would be nothing but dust.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
Killing a mammoth ensures that you have enough food for the family and that the kids will grow up strong. The problem with mammoth hunting is that you can not do it on your own. If we are going to kill a mammoth we must have help. It is important to make sure that we make friends with others that also like the taste of grilled mammoth. It probably would not do to hunt mammoth with friends that like sauteed rat or boiled greens. If we are going to risk our lives hunting food then we may as well hunt the best food. If we want to be successful then we probably should learn from the best and hang out with successful mammoth hunters. We will probably start wearing the same furs and using the same weapons as the best mammoth hunters. Next thing we should do is go on a few mammoth hunts. We may not get one every time but each time we will learn and get better. Soon, we will have a highly successful mammoth hunting team.
Setting huge goals and surrounding ourselves with others that have similar goals and are willing to help us, is huge. Stay away from those that do not have a taste for mammoth, they are likely to try to discourage you. Stay focused on how good the mammoth will taste.
My mammoth for 2009 is 100 closed real estate transactions. Anyone want to help me kill this mammoth?