Archive for August, 2010

Thursday Thoughts: Communicate with Power

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“The art of communication is the language of leadership.”
                                                                                         -James Humes
 
Communication is a leader’s most powerful tool. You could possess all the knowledge and experience possible in your field, but without impeccable communication skills, you’ll have trouble leading effectively.
 
In fact, when senior executives and CEOs all around the country are asked to list the most important skills a leader must possess, the answer consistently includes good communication skills.
 
Powerful communication is the work of great leaders. These skills create and support the understanding and trust that’s necessary to encourage others to follow. A manager accomplishes very little if he or she is having trouble communicating with the team.

An example of a well-known executive leader who exudes the power of excellent communication is Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz. This is a man who knows not only what he stands for, but also is able to communicate those values in an effective way that leads to significant results. He knows how to make an emotional connection with his listeners, and that connection creates an incentive for them to follow.

The three communication qualities that help Schultz stand out as a top-notch persuasive business communicator are:

  • Emotional connection: As I mentioned above, Schultz excels at tapping into people’s emotions as well as their minds to get the most out of them. Everyone can relate to stories. The ability to use stories to get people to see your vision is a powerful leadership quality.
  • Passion: Schultz is great at identifying his own passions and expressing that message to employees and colleagues. When you are passionate, you naturally are excited, energetic and enthusiastic. These are qualities people like to see in others – and if people like you, they are more likely to do business with you.
  • Inspiration: Schultz provides inspiration to employees and colleagues by painting a picture of a world that is made better by his company’s service. Inspiration creates a connection that people remember.

Sounds pretty simple, right? Each of these qualities can be used in your own workplace.

It all starts by stopping to ask yourself: how effective is my communication?

Powerful communication skills are often something we take for granted. In your next real estate transaction, consider that it does not matter what you know about anything if you cannot communicate with people. Leaders need to be sensitive to how and what they communicate to others with their actions and words.

How you communicate the message often is more important than information itself. Learn to communicate better and you’ll find yourself leading more effectively. 


Wednesday Wellness: Good Sleep, Good Life

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Something to love about summer time is weekends filled with activities, friends, late night BBQ’s and basically, burning the candle at both ends!

The caveat as I realized first hand this past weekend is lack of sleep! So much fun, so little sleeping hours!

Well, as we all know, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, you can experience grogginess, irritability, lethargy, mood swings, lack of alertness and even weight gain!

I also read many fatal car accidents are linked to lack of sleep.

There’s no surprise, however that what and when we eat can either help our sleep or hinder our sleep.

There are certain sleep enhancers, such as tryptophan, melatonin and lavender, that are worth exploring if you need natural sleep aids, and there are certain foods which, if eaten mindfully can also help get in a better night’s sleep.

I found some great links to help navigate through helpful and hurtful foods and liquids towards or away from a great night’s sleep:

Enjoy!

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/4/t042400.asp

http://nutrition.about.com/od/foodfun/a/foodsandsleep.htm

http://www.caring.com/articles/five-foods-that-help-you-sleep

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/1-food-that-can-help-you-sleep-and-5-that-might-not-1118410/

Here’s to a restful night!


Monday Mojo: Dog Bone…Live Wire…Gypsy

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After putting on full body armor and getting on a bike that resembles something from a Sci-Fi movie, they put you and your bike on a chairlift that brings you to the top of one of the highest mountains in Tahoe. You get off the chairlift, strap on a full face helmet and start down the mountain on runs with names like Dog Bone, Live Wire, Gypsy, etc.

My 13 year old son takes off attacking the mountain, racing down the trail, flying through the air, and going over boulders and around turns like they don’t even exist. He is FEARLESS and does it EFFORTLESSLY. As I try to keep up with him going down the mountain I am everything but fearless and effortless. As I squeeze the hand grips like I am trying to strangle them, the only thing going through my head is my mortality. “Just don’t crash.” With the exception of a few sore muscles and minor crashes, I am happy to say I experienced no major wipe outs or broken bones. Funny thing is my son never crashed once. I don’t think he even came close.

So what is the lesson of this extreme sport? Attack whatever you do with Passion, Fearlessly and Effortlessly. If you do, you will do better, go faster, suffer fewer setbacks and reach your full potential.

When we are young our lives are all about growing and going for it. It is all about new unfamiliar experiences. Every day you wake up as a kid you are being pushed and encouraged by your parents and teachers to go for it. However, at some point in life, society puts the brakes on all of this growing and going for it. It plants the “play it safe, don’t go for it, what if you can’t” in our brains. All too often as we get older we let our fears and caution hold us back from CRUSHING IT! Unlike a kid we get too worried about what happens if things don’t work out instead of focusing on what will happen if they do. So if we hold back and worry about what will happen if things don’t work out, we will experience major wipe outs and broken bones. On the other hand if we attack with fearlessness and do it effortlessly, we will fly and CRUSH IT!

So how do we do go back to having the mindset of a kid? How do we go back to being FEARLESS? Make sure we are spending more time with kids and with people who go against the status quo. Spend time with risk takers, people that go for it and attack life. Remember we are all the average of the people we spend the majority of our time with. Be aware of who you are spending your time with.

Make it a great week as you attack the Dog Bone, Live Wire and Gypsy of your life.


Cool Apps: Dropbox for Seamless Syncing

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Par for the course in real estate sales is the mounds of contracts and files that pile up. And of course, you’re pressed for time and need to access these contracts while juggling a thousand other things and in your car all day.

Google Docs is pretty good for this. But if you need a little more under the hood then Dropbox is a fantastic option since it lets you sync between devices and platforms (attention: dual Windows and Mac users), while also enabling online access.

Think: anytime, anywhere access to your contracts and super easy file sharing. Think: you can drop a file in your Dropbox drive on your laptop and then pull it up on any smart phone later. Think: you can reduce a few dozen emails to your clients to a simple shared folder where you constantly update contracts and other files and communication.

And it’s free for up to 2 GB of storage – $9.99 per month for up to 50 GB (higher pricing tiers for even more storage).

Dropbox’s shared folder feature can be a lifesaver for agents who are tired of the constant paper shuffle back and forth via email. And with the added privacy of the service, you can feel more secure using this feature with your clients’ sensitive information.

Also, can you say automatic backup?  Yes, automatic online backup without you having to think about it.

Dropbox has been around for a few years, now with more than 4 million users. One thing you’ll notice after using it for awhile is that its users are kind of like Apple fanboys – raving fanatics. One of these users wrote a great article on LifeHacker about various ways to use Dropbox beyond your basic file sync. Use the service to sync passwords across PCs, control your computer remotely, or to access portable applications from any PC. Now that’s gettin’ geeky!

The company’s referral program probably helps in creating loyal users too. For every friend you refer to the service, you and the friend each get 250 MB of free storage added to your account.

So if you’re desperately searching for a way to simplify your life’s many files, devices and locations, try Dropbox. Then maybe you’ll be the next to discover a cool use no one’s even thought of yet.


Thursday Thoughts: Leaders understand the importance of execution

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In the book Jack Welch and the 4E’s of Leadership, Jeffrey A. Krames explains that exceptional leaders share four characteristics:

They have energy.

They energize. 

They have edge.

They execute.

Which do you believe Welch sees as most important? Yep, you guessed it:

“The first three E’s are definitely essential; however people who execute effectively understand that activity and productivity are not the same thing. The best leaders are action-oriented, focused on getting outcomes, and know how to convert energy into action and results.”

Extraordinary leaders who know how to execute and get the job done are the ones who ultimately fulfill their goal of building a competitive and successful organization.

The creation of the Ford Mustang is a great example of excellent execution. Lee Iacocca, then the general manager of Ford, was the powerhouse behind this new car. But before Iacocca could make the Mustang a success, he had to discourage Henry Ford II from developing a car called the Cardinal, which he was convinced would be a flop with a new generation of car buyers.

Eventually with his straight talking, Iacocca convinced top management to drop the Cardinal and clear the path for the Ford Mustang.

The company was still hesitant and did not want to be a part of a new-product disaster. Worse yet, managers feared that this new Mustang would lower sales of other Ford cars. Iacocca was undiscouraged and remained convinced that the car market would flourish with the release of the Mustang.

He put together a team to capitalize on his dream and vision. He pushed the team to design this car in just 14 days. The Mustang was released in April 1964 and Ford showrooms were flooded with people. In the first two years, Mustang generated net profits of $1.1 billion – clearly a stunning success.

“He pushed incredibly hard, making his vision a reality. And he succeeded beyond anyone’s imagination by delivering eye-popping profits (execution).”

We can see that this portrait in execution shows how a leader with a capacity for execution can make the right things happen.

So stop and take a look at yourself and your career. Ask yourself, do I want to deliver results? Am I a consistent performer? How hard will I work to get things done and develop an execution culture? Commit yourself to this and you’ll make execution a critical ingredient in your success.


Wednesday Wellness: It’s never too late

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How often have you heard, “I’m not going to change my habits, I’m too old, I’m too set in my ways.” Or how many times have you told yourself, “Ahhh, it’s just too much work, it doesn’t matter if I start changing my eating habits or exercising differently, I’m too old for it to make a difference anyway.”

From my chair, often I hear folks get defeated before they begin. They’ve already talked themselves into believing that no matter how hard they try, they can’t make much of a difference in their health. Really? How can “not that much” be a bad thing? Wouldn’t it be better to think you can make a small change (anything) every day, adding up to years of better health?

Well, enter two amazing clients I have had the pleasure to work with recently.  Dell and George. They are a married couple and wanted to become healthier; together. Dell wanted to lose a few pounds, know which foods are healthier as well as becoming more flexible and mobile. George wanted to “lose his pooch” (cutest thing I’ve heard in a long time) and eat foods to help his memory in addition to becoming more flexible and mobile. The kicker is George will be 90 in 2 months and Dell is young and vibrant at 86 years of age! What an inspiration to see people completely open to changing their health and knowing (not hoping) that improved fitness and nutrition will extend their lives and live with enhanced quality.

I’ve been working with them for just over a month. George has lost his pooch and Dell has lost several pounds as well, which has motivated her to continue not just with weight loss, but with adding vital nutrients and flexibility into their lives! In addition, they are exercising more frequently and are not just losing weight, but feeling better, moving more and making much much healthier and easier choices. They’ve motivated their children as well!

Whenever I think of them, I am completely inspired to continue on my own healthy path. We need more Dell’s and George’s in our lives to challenge our traditional boundaries and to open our minds to long and healthy mindsets!

Next time you feel you are “too old” remember that if George can lose his pooch at 90 and Dell has cut out her favorite fast food treats and replaced her menu with healthy low sodium choices; maybe you will realize you are quite young and change can be easily made!


The benefits of being an Intero agent

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Just recently I went to a seminar – a Mike Ferry Seminar.  I don’t usually attend seminars, it’s just not my thing.

Gino encouraged me to go and I thought – it can’t hurt.

My first day of the seminar the room was full of people, something like 4200 attendees. And wouldn’t you know it Gino had arranged for Intero to have front row seats reserved with our names on them.

So where everyone else had to stand in very long lines to get whatever seat was left in the room. We had the front row. Nice!!

Everywhere I went, people would say “Are you with that group that sits up front? You sure are lucky.”

We had bracelets to let us into the class every day.  I put mine on loose because it was a nuisance. On the second day, I lost it.

I thought, no problem they will just give me another and marched right up to customer service. They said “Sorry we just can’t help you, the cost for an additional bracelet will be $250.”  I turned around and just figured it’s time go home. Oh well.

I texted Gino and he came out of the seminar and went directly to Matt Ferry. Matt turned around to customer service and said “this is one of Gino’s people – you can give her another bracelet.”

So I was able to get in and attend the rest of the awesome seminar.

Thank you Gino – I am glad to be one of your “People.”


Monday Mojo: The Pain of Discipline or the Pain of Regret…Your Choice

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“I have watched The Secret DVD at least 50 times.”
“I listen to self-improvement CD’s and read self-improvement books everyday.”
“I have been focusing on what I want and have a great attitude.”
“I read your MOJO every week.”
“I am a believer, but it just does not seem to be working…I am still stuck in that same old rut!”

I tend to hear this over and over again, and what everyone is doing is extremely important to getting what you want in life, but you may be missing a few very important components. First and foremost, YOU NEED TO BE INCREDIBLY DISCIPLINED AND WORK YOUR BUTT OFF!

Getting what you want in life is a lot like being healthy and physically fit.  Being healthy and physically fit is not complicated, is it?  All you have to do is eat right and exercise on a regular basis. Simple enough…right?  Then why is half of our society obese, unhealthy and out of shape? Why is it our country’s number one killer? Because although it is not complicated, it is hard work and requires a lot of self discipline.  So once again, YOU NEED TO BE INCREDIBLY DISCIPLINED AND WORK YOUR BUTT OFF!

Another major factor which stops us from getting what we want is not being able to let go of what we already have – including those bad habits or lack of good habits.  It’s letting go of all those bad routines, habits, foods, TV, and in some cases people you are currently spending time with.  After you have made the decision to let go – YOU NEED TO BE INCREDIBLY DISCIPLINED AND WORK YOUR BUTT OFF to not give in and go back to the same old bad habits! Because getting what you want is as much about letting go of the old as it is about letting in the new.

I hear people talk about how they do affirmations, build dream boards, meditate – but then their day-to-day actions do not reflect their affirmations.  I can’t tell you enough how important it is to be INCREDIBLY DISCIPLINED AND WORK YOUR BUTT OFF.  Today’s society dumps so much negativity into our world every day it’s tough not to just give in. It is on our television, in newspapers, in magazines, exudes from our associates at work, our friends, and unfortunately in many cases in our families.

So, take a personal inventory of those things and people in your life you need to change, and change them! Then BE INCREDIBLY DISCIPLINED AND WORK YOUR BUTT OFF with a good attitude while keeping focused on what you want.

BANG!!!  Now you are on you way.

This is not something you can dip your toe in and try – you have to dive in head first and go for it like your life depends on it. Because it does!

It is your choice, live with the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.  It’s a pretty easy choice, but very difficult to do.

GO BIG!