When the weather outside is frightful

Most of the schools in Middle Tennessee are closed today due to the forecast of apocalyptic rainfall.

It’s not so much the rain that’s the concern . . . It’s the VOLUME of water that’ll be deluging the creeks and Rivers and the low points. One might wonder why we Nashvillians can’t seem to figure out this “water Management” thing. One valid excuse is that there is SO much property development of houses, apartment complexes, and commercial buildings, the water drainage routes are ever changing.

When I was in the Army (Combat Engineer), our most formidable foe in terms of clearing clear paths for mobility of personnel and vehicles/equipment was NOT the enemy . . . it was WATER. When water flows, it will always follow the path of least resistance . . . and if that path is obstructed, the water will accumulate until it’s raw FORCE either overcomes that obstacle or finds another way which often is what results in the destruction of man-made structures (Roads, Dams, Buildings).

We humans learn humility from excessive water events. These are among the most wide-ranging in-discriminatory, mass casualty, destructive happenings known to man. Others that come to mind are hurricanes which add the element of high winds to the force of water . . . and earthquakes which shake the world and . . . and create tsunamis which are . . . HUGE surges of WATER.

Water is essential to sustain all life!

It’s not the water’s fault that all this destruction of man-made stuff happens.

The destruction occurs because we humans build stuff in the water’s natural way of travel.

Water reminds us daily of it’s power – A small roof leak can silently create HUGE damage in a house . . . and a huge volume of water can pick the house up and take it down-stream.

So . . . other than teaching us the importance of respecting the value and force of water, what can we learn that will help us in our personal and professional lifes?

What’s your ToDo list look like? Does it seem to never have an end?

How about your goals for each day?

If you fall behind on you “plan” (Goal is to write and send 15 Handwritten notes), do you “roll” the undone ones over to tomorrow? If so, how’s your blood pressure as you see your obligations accumulate? Does it seem that the faster you go (harder you work), the behinder you get?

It doesn’t have to be this way . . . You can fix all this by giving yourself permission by removing the obstacle of rigidity of the plan. Just as when you’re on a diet and you gorge yourself on “bad food” which you know you cannot un-eat, you simply commit to return to the regimen the next day . . . It’s not useful to starve yourself next day as punishment with “Roll-over calories”.

Don’t fall into that trap of creating conditions for your todos to accumulate until that list becomes insurmountable. Just pick yourself up, brush yourself off, re-evaluate your daily goals and adjust accordingly, and climb back on that horse.

Sensible “Volume of flow management”

Holding the Accountability Holder Accountable

I relentlessly preach the importance of being held accountable.

There seems to be some unwritten code that forbids the “followers” from holding the “leaders” accountable. I guess this is a perk of being the “BOSS”, eh?

So . . . who, then, DOES hold the “leader” accountable?

What leaders out there are willing to be vulnerable enough to allow their “subordinates” this power?

As CEO, Principal Broker, trainer and coach, I reckon most folks consider me to be THE “Leader” of our “Vital Few” tribe of exceptional real estate sales professionals. I DO have accountability to my monthly Forum Group (5 business owners) and to my 1:1 weekly accountability partner, and I’m now realizing that missing a fine and poignant nuance regarding the accountability relationship.

For this relationship to be optimally effective, the relationship must be reciprocal – that is . . . holding each other accountable rather than “the masses being held accountable by the BM/WOC (Big Man/Woman on campus).”

Stay with me here . . . The most effective accountability relationship happens when the playing field is level. For this to be possible, we need a shift of mindset such that EVERYONE is a LEADER. Hierarchical standing is not (should not be) a factor in this relationship because, by definition, “accountability” is simply the act of enforcing completion of promises made. The minute we introduce authority standings, we poison the brew – and “Everyone’s a Leader” becomes “Leaders and Followers” . . . Followers are less likely to be willing to hold Leaders (their Bosses) accountable for fear of retribution.

I’ve had a recent “awakening” regarding this. For several months, I have had “Daily Exercise” under my “Self” role. Here at Pareto Realty, we have Monday morning accountability meetings using a very cool setup (Zoom Video Conference and Trello boards). It’s going well, and we are all “feeling the burn” and are finding ourselves getting more done in less time . . . It’s building momentum for everyone . . . but not I . . . because I’ve been violating this “Leadership Mindset Principle” . . . I lead these sessions, and not once has anyone challenged ME on my promises . . . so I have been able to avoid the commencement of a regular exercise routine for all these months even though I have promised EVERY week to do so.

This week, I decided that it is neigh time for me to correct this foible by holding myself accountable . . . I joined the YMCA Tuesday – Did some research on a good beginning routine yesterday – and I did 30 minutes of stretching and “Body Exercise” (Push ups, Toe touches, crunches, squats and squat thrushes), and I’ll start going to the gym next week and work with a trainer to get into a regular 3 Day/Week routine with weights, steps, running, swimming, bicycling such that I have some form of exercise every day for at least 6 days/wk.

I hereby relinquish whatever presumed authority status I have and proclaim myself just another “Vital Few” member of Pareto Realty . . . and fully expect the team to hold my feet to the fire WRT my promises.

Sequestering yourself from solicitors

When in your place of business doing your thing called “work”, interruptions of any kind are counter-productive, right?

So . . . why do we allow them?

My prescription for optimal personal and professional performance calls for 2-3 hours of FOCUS at a high level of INTENSITY during that time when we are most mentally sharp.

This must become a daily regimen . . . a discipline mandate that is the driving force for projecting our “force” (influence) out “there” where our work improves the environment for those we serve . . . including our own self.

Absent this daily routine of intentional focus, we are less effective and more vulnerable to damaging distractions.

The world around us is conspiring to steal our attention. We must be strong! First, we must “train” all of those people closest to us (Yes – Even spouses, best friends, important clients, work associates) such that they understand why we must have this sacred period of time each and every day in a hermetically sealed space that is safe from interruption and/or distraction. We might even invite THEM to do the same so as to improve their own human experience precipitously as we do.

This can be uncomfortable because it requires us to establish boundaries which others may challenge with comments like: “WELL! . . . and I thought I was important to you!” Keep this image handy for those times when facing this “objection.

OK! Now we have those most important folks in our worlds on board with this dastardly plot to preserve our precious time for intentional focus . . . What about the other 8 Billion +/- on the planet? How do we keep them from violating our safe space?

This begins with the probable uncomfortable stance of potentially less tolerant barriers because all those other people have not (yet) been “trained properly” about the importance of sanctity of this “alone time” that is so necessary for our success to build. The truth is that most of these folks DON’T CARE about your need for daily uninterrupted contemplation and/or lead generation and business development because they have AGENDAS that do not welcome or include your unavailability. Solicitors are trained to get their foot in EVERY door. They are trained at a high level to be THE quintessential disrupters/interrupters . . . In fact, they cherish the advantage that SURPRISE affords them. They swoop in out of the thin ether and ATTACK when you’re least expecting and so focused that you don’t sense them coming.

We gotta do things like close our office door with a note on it like this:

So . . . establish clear boundaries, pledge to carve 2-3 hours of intentional focus time each day, and enjoy the sweet fruit of getting more done in less time with less effort.

Capiche?

PS . . . I said more about this in this morning’s http://BarrysDriveTime.com

How do you know if you are winning?

All of us have different ways to measure our success.

For some, it’s fulfillment, Happiness . . . a feeling of accomplishment.

Some others are all about the numbers (Business-centric) . . . Number of calls dialed, conversations had, conversions to appointments, then conversions to client, then closings (Volume, Gross revenue, Profit).

Then there are those folks who gauge success by their level of status, fame, & notoriety as being THE expert in their field of business in their unique SOI (Sphere of Influence).

Ah yes – Some measure success based on what other people are out there saying about them.

Of course, there are myriad other ways, and each and every one of them is just as valid as all the others as long as they result in motivation to continue moving forward with glee.

What if you DON’T know?

I believe this is important to know . . . what “turns you on” WRT to being enthusiastic about creating your art and mastering your work?

So . . . Are you winning?

Freedom Shock!

Thor got loose last night . . .

Thor is the innocent looking one on the left.

He’s got a great, loving disposition.

Looks can be deceiving!

There’s a veritable hellion imprisoned in that calm and endearing presence.

90% of the time, he oozes with love and affection.

The other 10% of the time, he’s capable of rending destruction on anything and everything within his reach.

The eerie part of it is that he can accomplishment this physical havoc without making any noise whatsoever in literally a fraction of a minute (or so it seems).

After having to experience this mayhem multiple times, I became certain that Thor’s mission in his ever shortening life-span (JK – I wouldn’t really kill him) is to destroy everything of value to me.

For sure, he is a Master teacher of me on the importance of non-attachment . . . Letting go . . . Loving unconditionally . . . and pure unbridled passion.

All of this manifests explosively any time Thor gets loose from his leash while we are taking our walks.

Last night was one of those performances writ large. In a fantastically executed feat of misdirection, Thor seemingly managed to propel himself in 3 different directions for a split second immediately followed by a full on LAUNCH in a 4th direction thereby yanking the leash out of my hand. It took him no longer than a nanosecond to disappear over the ridge.

Darkness was falling, and I knew that, if I were to give chase, Thor would turn it into a game . . . so I took the other 3 dogs inside, poured myself a cocktail, and sat on my deck to wait for his return. I was oh-so-hopeful that Thor would return . . . Last time he did this, his leash was ensnared on a tree and he was stuck and vulnerable to coyote attack . . . took me 2 hours with a flashlight to find him deep in the woods.

30 minutes passed . . . I waited patiently . . . another 15 minutes (and another cocktail), when I heard Thor coming down the ridge heavily panting . . . He slogged his worn out self onto the deck and collapsed at my feet. He had gotten the most out of his 45 minutes of FREEDOM.

What I have described vicariously through Thor’s adventure is a classic case of “FREEDOM SHOCK”

Not unlike that Freshman heading to college . . .

We all have our own “shackles” (Boundaries that restrict our desired freedom)

In those times when we are able to escape these shackles – let our hair down – dare to be unrestrained, how do we handle this sudden rush of liberty?

Who is there to keep us safe as we careen into oblivion?

Here’s a thought . . . Better . . . How can we intentionally prepare ourselves to “behave appropriately” when these moments of freedom show up?

I say: “Practice Practice Practice” . . . that is . . . quit taking yourself and everything and anyone around you so damn seriously.

Know that YOU have the keys to your shackles and can (and should) free yourself any time you wish.

What I wish for you is that you get better with orchestrating useful freedom in your own life.

The more you practice, the less of a SHOCK it is when you unchain.

Next thing ya know, you’re following your passion (and not living the life you think other people want you to live).

Oh! If those people judge you for being your authentic self . . . could it be they’re not the right people?

hmmmmm

Thanks for the lesson Thor!