Thursday, April 15, 2010

Anything worth doing ...

I have a natural propensity for just opening my mouth and letting the words fly! It's a mixed blessing, a sword that cuts both ways, but, that's how it is. While there have been times that I spoke too quickly and ended up with my foot in my mouth ... there have also been times where a milisecond of inspiration led to remarkable insight, discovery, awareness. It occurs to me that one story in particular is a perfect jump off point for " The Outside the Box Manager"!

I spent a significant part of the 90's working as a Realtor. I worked for a great company that was generous with their commisions, invested heavily in marketing, nurtured an all for one... one for all attitude amongst their team members, and offered top notch training! A fantastic environment for a newcomer to start a career in Real Estate! The broker for this firm was an educator by nature ... he delighted in teaching the new agents, and seeing the light come on in their eyes as they grasped a new aspect of marketing, or seeing their confidence grow as they got their first listing, sold their first house ... or made it through their first closing. The emphasis on training was heavy and ongoing, but, it paid big dividends!

It was at one such training session, wherein the Broker was trying to make a point about diligence... and striving for perfection in writing ads for our listings, when he hung a question out for all of us in the room ... " Anything worth doing ... is worth doing .... ... How? ". It was obvious he wanted one or all of us to say ... WELL!!! The rest of our group just kind of sat there, so I opened my mouth to give him the answer he wanted, but at the very last second I changed my mind and said loud enough for all to hear ... " POORLY! ". The dismay on this brokers face was overwhelming ... not only had I disrupted his meeting, I'd given him reason to doubt my very sanity. And to make matters worse ... I just sat there grinning at him! He managed to stutter and stammer out " ... no ... anything worth doing is worth doing well ... how can you say do it poorly "?

I still couldn't stop grinning, but I did manage a few backward verbal steps and explained ... " of course anything worth doing is worth doing well. However I would submit that, for the most part, anything worth doing is ALSO worth doing poorly. When a baby is learning to walk he doesn't do it well, in fact he's going to fall a number of times before he gets it right. When we're learning to dance we usually start off awkward and slowly progress toward gracefulness. Anybody who ever became a great cook probably took a lesson from a badly burned supper somewhere along the way ... in all these examples the first time wasn't done well, but, it WAS WORTH DOING "! I had to sit there and sweat for a second or two until ( thankfully ) one of the other Realtors at the table jumped in and said " that kind of sums up my first hundred or so cold calls ... ", followed by another who related it to his first listing presentation. It turned out that most of the participants in the meeting ( Broker included ) could relate to my offbeat interpretation of the old adage on some level.

I couldn't fix the fact that I had disrupted his plan for the meeting, but at least I managed to convince him that I hadn't lost my mind. And the little side trail I directed us to, off the path he was leading us down, proved to be a thought provoking and refreshing glimpse from outside the box.

Yes I am For Hire!

Contact Rick Thomas at 239 896-7020

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