Changes are Hard

He who rejects change is the architect 
of decay. The only human institution which 
rejects progress is the cemetery. 
~ Harold Wilson

I don't care who you are, change is hard.

Just hard.

It doesn't matter if you're trying to change, or having to changing. It's hard.

Just hard.

Whether you need to change, trying to change or having to change. It's hard.

Just hard.

If you say it's not, I'll say, as my brother Randy is fond of saying "you lie to your friends and I'll lie to mine, but let's not lie to each other."

Embrace the fact that change is hard and you'll be better prepared to handle the tasks it will take to change.

Because it's hard.

Just hard.

To that end....let's purposefully change in 2012.

And it'll be hard.

Just hard.

But that's ok. It's supposed to be.

A Baby's Hug

From an Anonymous author…..

A Baby's Hug ~

We were the only family with children in the restaurant.

I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter

And his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map. We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists.

This was Christmas time and we were eating before going next to the mall for Erik to see Santa. Frankly, it was annoying for Erik to be so interested in this man across the room.

'Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,' the man said to Erik. My husband and I exchanged looks, 'What do we do?'

Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.' Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The Old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby.

Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya patty Cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.' Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk. My husband and I were embarrassed.

We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his Repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments. We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot.

The old man sat poised between me and the door.

'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,' I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes.

His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a Time. I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, 'you take care of this baby.' Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone.

He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, 'God bless you, ma'am, you've given me My Holiday gift.' I said nothing more than a muttered thanks.

With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was Crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, Forgive me.' I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny Child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not.

I felt it was God asking, 'Are you willing to share your son for a moment?'

When He shared His for all eternity.

May we all remember the purpose of this season.

Steve Heston on Tebow, Trust and Results

Another great post from Guest Blogger - Steve Heston

“You can’t create a high-trust culture unless people perform.”
-  Craig Weatherup, former CEO of PepsiCo, as quoted in
The Speed of Trust; The One That Change Everything
by Stephen M. R. Covey
and recommended by Randy Watson

Tim Tebow is 7-1 as a starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos.

He “can’t throw,” “can’t read complex, high-speed NFL defenses,” “can’t make multiple reads,” etc.

He’s 7-1.

He can, and does, win.  He performs.  He gets results.

His teammates, interestingly enough, trust him.  Because he performs, but not just because he performs.

By all accounts, his integrity is impeccable, his intent (to be a winner) is clear and his capabilities have at least allowed him to be in a position to be in the NFL, so those cornerstones are set. 

But integrity, intent and capability aren’t enough over the long haul.  That’s significant today in our world, because we’re finally having “long haul” conversations again within the walls of this here place we spend our waking hours.

So, what are “results?”  To loop Einstein in to the conversation; “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.”

Covey frames it with six objectives:

1)    Play hard
2)    Have fun
3)    Be a good sport
4)    Be a good team player
5)    Learn something
6)    Win

Pages 114-117 give more depth, so in the interest of space, I’ll move to how Covey suggests we can improve our results;

A)   Take Responsibility for Results
B)   Expect to Win
C)   Finish Strong

Tebow’s Broncos have come from behind in 6 of those seven wins.  The loss, by the way, was a crushing defeat to the Detroit Lions (before several of the Lions got sent home for being thugs).  Tebow bore the responsibility for that blowout loss, and he’s deferred to the team (see #3 and #4 above) in the wins.  Those would be the wins he’s expecting, and the ones he’s producing by finishing strong.  With the teammates he trusts and who trust him.

Integrity.  Intent.  Capabilities.  Results.

The four things that make up the core of the One Thing That Changes Everything.  Trust.

Make something incredible happen today.


Counterfeit Credibility

Googling counterfeit brought up over 7 million hits; counterfeit behavior 948,000.

Counterfeit means; made in imitation so as to be passed off fraudulently or deceptively as genuine; not genuine; forged: counterfeit dollar bills. Pretended; unreal.

Credibility means; capable of being believed; believable: a credible statement. Worthy of belief or confidence; trustworthy: a credible witness.

Counterfeit Credibility then means that one's credibility, or credible statement, or credible witness is an imitation, deceptive, not genuine, and deceptive.

Normal counterfeit behaviors that destroys others trust in us, AND one's trust in oneself include:

An Amazing Post. Simply Stinking Amazing.

This is an "amazing" post. I say "amazing" because "amazing" is what my coach told me to say when I thought something was stupid, horrible, bad attitude.....or when I don't have anything good to say.

Keep Looking Over Your Shoulder

The step that most directly controls our success or failure is our
behavior - what we do or not do. Behavior means our actions.
How we act, what we do, each moment of each day...

- Shad Helmstetter What to Say When You Talk to Yourself

What did you do to be successful last week? Look over your shoulder? Literally. Look to see if you did what it took to succeed last week.

Assuming that you're responsible for generating income...Did you make a sale? Did you market well last week? Did you bring new people into your sphere of influence. Did you go out, meet people and tell them about your offer? What you're selling? Did you start new relationships last week? 

In days of old (ten years ago), most of us only started new relationships over the phone and/or face-to-face. These days, there's the social media aspect, email and other internet impact.

And, the guy that succeeds in these relationships will usually use many ways to touch his spheres.

Without Good Followers, There Are No Real Leaders

The Position Myth: "I can't lead if I am not at the top."
- John Maxwell in The 360 Degree Leader

Just a quick note this morning to remind those that follow this blog that in order to be a great leader...
  • you have to have great followers
  • you have to be a great follower
I've recently changed companies to join a team at US Home Loans. Our Mission Statement says -

Our goal is to be the lender of choice for the professional real estate agent and their clients in each market we enter as measured by all industry service level surveys reported. We will succeed by meeting the needs of our borrowers through exceptional communication and transparency throughout the loan process and conducting our business with absolute integrity.

US Homeloans' people will be the source of our competitive advantage. We will distinguish ourselves by creating an environment that fosters teamwork and innovation. We will utilize our employee's abilities to the fullest while at the same time treating each other with respect and dignity.

My ability to achieve this Mission Statement, my role as a Loan Officer, my success, my impact, is dependent upon how well I lead up, down, and around.

Cold Calling vs "Inbound Marketing"...

While there are undoubtedly some points of this video to argue against, including the language, the point it makes needs to be considered. 

And remember, things are a changing. We old guys need to be sure we know what we are up against!


Points-to-Ponder: Strategic Thinking Leadership

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to
entertain a thought without accepting it.


A strategy is a theory of how best to organize and invest resources and ways of working together (including organizational culture) to achieve goals. To be able to think critically; analytically and systematically is critical to being a successful and an effective leader.

Notice that Aristotle (above) did not say an "educated person" but rather a trained or educated mind. Hence, a disciplined way of thinking.

Focus! Almost Getting Derailed.

My mission statement states "I will endeavor to glorify God by making a difference and a reasonable profit."

Endeavor, glorify God, make a difference, make a reasonable profit; endeavor, glorify, God, make, difference, reasonable, profit.

All of that came forth with a client recently. This client, I'll call Susan, is a very high "I" or Sanguine personality. These personality types are typically unfocused, even to the extent of being extreme. Their strengths include high energy, talk to most anyone, works a crowd well and lots (LOTS) of ideas and stories.

A Sanguine weakness is "lack of focus." You can typically tell if you are talking to a Sanguine if he/she doesn't stay focused on the subject.  They can easily relate their ideas and or stories back to one focus point and will even rationalize why all the subject matters are important.

Fires Attract All Personalities, But....

Fires attract all kinds of people, but not everyone acts the same once they get close. Such was the case this week with the Pedernales fire. I live on the Pedernales River and was forced to evacuate, and though I did leave , I didn't go far. Cathy didn't want to watch, and didn't, but I was drawn back out of curiosity, concern, and just the general fact "it's a fire!"

Right People in the Right Place

This is the 3rd article in a series about the book Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan. But...with an emphasis on small business.*

Building Block #3: Having the Right People in the Right Place - the job no leader should delegate

Many Small Business Owners aren't equipped in their passion and skill sets to hire the right people for the right seat on the bus (see Good to Great by Jim Collins) and will tend to hire friends, family and others not properly "fit" for the position. Thus, the business owner needs to prepare him/herself to do it right. Here are some tips - 

Small Businesses Need Cultural Change.....TOO!

This is another article in a series about the book Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan. But...with an emphasis on small business.*

Building Block #2: Creating the Framework for Cultural Change

7 Essential Behaviors for Small Businesses....TOO!

Most management and leadership books are written by and focused on big business. That's understandable considering the big money attracts and develops talent so well. Yet, even these authors become "small" businesses when they become authors!

Blogger in 7 Minutes

I wrote Why Blog? recently and was surprised about the number of people who were surprised that I used the Blogger platform. Blogging can be a very important weapon in your arsenal. My platform choice for 5 years has been Blogger. It is simple, easy to use and quick to get up and running (see video).

Key to Change and Success is Spaced Repetition

I didn’t say repetition, I said spaced repetition.

-         Ken Blanchard in “Know Can Do”

Experts say that improving anything is 90% spaced repetition. I’ll repeat…. 90% of learning, changing and improving is not just about hearing, reading and experiencing it again and again and again, but hearing, reading and experiencing it again and again and again spread out over a period of time; days weeks and months.

In “Know Can Do,” Ken Blanchard, along with co-authors Meyer and Hue, lay out an incredible story about how to listen, learn, experience and change; these guys are true change agents.

Investment in People vs Technology

Are you paying as much attention to the improvement of yourself and your people as you are your technology and other assets?

What's Keeping You from Moving On?

Intentionality...a Guerrilla Marketing Competency

Keep Your Weapons Sharp and Tuned-In!

Clients report that the Marketing Calendar is their most precious business asset.

- Jay Conrad Levinson
Master Marketer and
author of Guerrilla Marketer



Trust can be a great thing. Search this blog for writings about trust, the Speed of Trust, Trust Matters, Trust in Sales and Marketing, the Speed of Trust in God's Eyes and more.

Need a speaker at an event?

We are available to talk about subjects related to posts on this blog, including Trust!

Danny Smith

Does God bless us when we honor Him? The business owner with increased wealth, or the healthy family, is tempted to think so. But what about the owner who has devoted her life and business to honoring God, sought Christian counsel in setting company policies. Yet, she's lost that business? Or the family that prays and seeks Christ's ways and has lost a child or parent way too early?

Is one more blessed than the other?

Read more

Sales People Need Reserves and Margins, Too

The real price of everything, what everything really costs to the
man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it.

 Adam Smith

Bryan Flanagan writes "sales professionals must build a physical, a mental, and a spiritual reserve. It's easy to run out of gas due to your daily selling activities. Therefore, you need to have something "extra" in your tank. This is where the reserve comes in."

Performing Daily Acts of Trivia

In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely

loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.
- Robert Heinlein

How about you….how do you engage in the changes in your business? Do you plan, set goals and prepare for changes? Or, are you in the more common camp of “go-with-the-flow.”

I call this the “ready-shoot-aim” method and actually know a few people who seem to do well in spite of themselves. That doesn’t work for most of us though. To be effective, we know we need goals and a plan of action, but we’ve set and missed so many that it’s gotten us down and we’re scared to set them again. In default we’ve taken to the go-with-the-flow or ready-shoot-aim methods and we’ve failed.
Experts say that by far the #1 reason goals are NOT achieved is this..

A Rambling Thanks

I've been asked, tweeted and emailed "what's up, no posts this week?!"

Thanks for asking. It is always nice to know that people are following you. On that note, I was inside my Google Analytics and found where I could see how many people follow me via RSS feeds and such as that. Cool!

So, where have I been? Planning, fixing and working. This has been a great week and I purposefully wanted to work on some other things and let the 52 Great Loan Officer posting stay as visible as possible this week. Some of that purpose got off-track with a problem upgrading my shopping cart and Blogger's editing issues.

On the note of reason I stay with Blogger is the fact that it is in "at least" viewer/read mode over 99.9% of the time. When it does have problems, like it did for around 24 hours this week, people could still get on the site to view/read. Very few other hosts can say that, and this is free (that's good high-impact/low-cost marketing...true Guerrilla style).

The emails, calls and SIGN-UPs have been great and I appreciate the responses. This is going to be a great addition to the behavioral characteristic study we are doing. Not to mention the book (that's a teaser to an announcement we'll be making next week).

To that end....thanks for questions, Tips sign-ups, registrations for the Guerrila Marketing workshop and overall followings.


My involvement in a national study of top loan officers has confirmed what I read in a 1994 magazine article; there are commonalities among this elite group of professionals.

Some of these commonalities are behavioral, while others are strategies and actions. We are sharing these strategies and actions with you at no charge.

Click the link below and sign-up for 52 weeks of "Great Loan Officer Tips."

Apply these 52 Great Loan Officer Tips and you will increase your income.

To that end....

Danny L. Smith
RP2 Development

Are Seminars and Workshops Worth the Time? Not Usually

The trick is the purpose behind our motives, agenda and behaviors.
- Anonymous

This post, much like the one yesterday, is a bit self-serving. Well, I guess most bloggers' posts are self-serving as are journalists and anyone that speaks or writes. Heck, most of us are just trying to push our agenda in some form or fashion no matter what we're doing; that's sales and marketing whether we're selling houses, widgets or trying to get a date!

What does that have to do with today's post? I'm not all just came to mind and I thought I'd share. Well, it does have something to do with today's post....I've been told recently, a few times, that people don't know what I do - thus, the advertising type posts recently!

To the question at hand: Are seminars, workshops and classes worth the time and effort it takes to attend? Normally NO. Of course, if you're attending just for the purpose of being in the room to get some CE credit, then they're worth it.

But, what about spending the time in a venue from which you'll really learn in such a way that it'll help you change?

Experts say that we'll only remember 10% of a 2 hour seminar 1 week later. The same experts tell us the average person can't remember the name of the seminar speaker we heard 3 months ago or even the subject last year.

But......people say RP2's workshops are different. They're collaborative, interactive and keep coming back at you for weeks afterwards. Our intent is to always to give you way more information than you can ever expect to learn; it really is like drinking from a fire hydrant! Then, from allllllll that material, you have plenty to pick from that matters to you now.

During the workshops we encourage you to bring forth scenarios, your real life situations that pertain to the matter-at-hand and let's build them into the process so you and others in the class can have take-aways that matter. We encourage you to interrupt and ask questions.

And afterwards? Instead of the time you spent being an expense, we've turned it into an asset by keeping you involved; for at least 4 weeks we send you emails, audio postcards and more workshop materials to insure your time in the live workshop was worth it. Most people tell us that not only were they able to build on their 2 top take-aways from the workshop, but they found additional tips and strategies in the follow-up that also increased their sales.

Our mission and goals, like yours, is at least partly about making money. I agree with Zig Ziglar when he said "anyone that says they don't think about money will lie about other things also!" In fact, our mission statement says "We endeavor to glorify God by making a difference and a reasonable profit."

That's what our workshops and the bonus follow-up is all about - insuring that what you pay for (even if you come to a sponsored event and it costs you nothing) makes a difference.

To that end....make a difference and a profit today!

Danny L. Smith

What if you trained your employees and they left? What if you don't?

a Zig Ziglar quote

You spend money on systems, new equipment, marketing, compliance, accounting, more new systems and hire more people. Yet, do you train yourself and your employees? Spending time and money for training gives you a competitive advantage. It is working smart. Do you work smart, or are you just working hard?

Statistics continue to prove that a company that provides continuous training will increase its productivity, trust, and the better overall results it will achieve. Companies that have continuous training programs rank over 70% higher in local and national best places to work surveys.

RP2 Development has a number of High Impact training classes you can take to stand out as a manager and leader. Here are 15 of those classes -
  • Building an Elite Workforce
  • Effective Communications
  • Motivating Employees
  • Goal Setting
  • Group Decision Making
  • Time Management
  • Priority Management
  • Employee Motivation
  • Generational Differences
  • Problem Solving
  • Ethics and Values
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Corrective Counseling
  • Building Effective Teams
  • Coaching Managers to Coach
Most of these classes are available in classroom, online training and collaborative focus groups. You can choose a combination of online and classroom settings. The classroom settings are 2-7 hours in length while the online training classes are 6-8 hours. The online classes are on-demand and can be taken in multiple settings.

Stephen M.R. Covey states "don't assume today's knowledge and skills will be sufficient for tomorrow's challenges. Getting better, continuously improving and increasing your capabilities is a must."

Working smart is a mandatory characteristic for getting and staying ahead. To learn more about these classes, contact Danny Smith at 512-773-6528 or Our web address is or

RP2 stands for Right People / Right Place and when you have the right people in the right place and they are always getting better, you will get Results.

Life Isn't a Straight Line, But a Series of Circles

We've just completed 4 months of the new year and I'd bet good money that few people you ask have thought much, if anything, about their goals. I've tweeted the following statement and the responses have been mostly sighs and gulps.

What are you doing in May, 2011, to accomplish your October, 2011 goals?

Setting goals is one part of achieving good results. Achieving good results is about aligning values, setting good goals, establishing plan and strategies, determining measure points, putting forth the work and having a robust evaluation and correction process.

The #1 reason goals are rarely achieved is the lack of alignment to a person's T.A.S.K.S. (time, attitude, skill, knowledge, style). #2 is an understanding of what it takes to properly setting goals to begin with.

Working through and clarifying your values is the first stage of a solid foundation for goal setting. To properly set a goal, the goal must be reasonable and must be set in accordance with a person’s time, attitude, skill, knowledge and style (TASKS); a goal can be set to increase or strengthen any of these T.A.S.K.S. points.

Goals can and should build upon each other and you have to have the necessary T.A.S.K.S to achieve those goals/results. If you don't have the time, attitude, skill, knowledge and/or style, then you need to getter better. Sometimes you'll set goals with an action plan that includes the necessary training, other times it will be through your evaluation and correction process that you'll realize you, and/or your team, do not have what is needed. That is time reset the goals and/or timeline.

Another key component to a solid foundation for achieving goals is recognizing your Core Ideology; comprised of your vision, mission and your values. During life’s triumphs, struggles and day-to-day living your Core Ideology is what helps ground your behaviors and thoughts so that no matter what path you find yourself engaged on, you stand true. It’s vitally important to not only define your mission and values but to put them both in writing, commit to these statements, and recognize when you find yourself detouring.

Put this written document in front of you, share with someone that cares, develop and write the big and small actions steps and take it one-day-at-a-time. Don't take big bites.

The more you evaluate and correct, the more you keep go around these circles, the more you'll succeed. The faster you go around the circle, the faster you'll achieve the goals.

To that purposeful and keep circling back to your goals and actions steps.



The Power of Words

Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant
the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.

- Napoleon Hill

Mark Hairston and I were on a Guerrilla Marketing coaching call this evening and the subject of the importance of "words" came up. Thanks Mark for remembering this YouTube.

Mark is a branch manager for AmericaHomeKey Mortgage in Austin and owner/trainer of Texas Mortgage IQ.

To that end....


Results - Steve Heston, guest blogger

steveheston's posterous
Steve Heston, Cedarburg, Wisconsin

If you were playing word association games with most people, the word "end" would be used a lot in affiliation with the word "results."

That's too bad.

Results are also, by definition (except when the headline reads "Joe died as a result of his injuries...") beginnings. Technically, depending on your Faith base, even ol' dead Joe could be off to a rapturous beginning, but I digress...

Results, therefore, are important, because we learn from them.

When I was 10-years-old, I got up in the count, two-strikes-and-no-balls, to Terry Nelson. Terry was 12-years-old. He looked like he was 8'7" tall and his arms looked like my legs. Actually, his arms looked bigger than my legs. Ok, Ok, his arms were, in fact, bigger than my legs, but I had little chicky legs when I was 10. And when I was 14. Pretty much until college, I had stick legs...but I digress again...

Where was I?

Ah, yes. Up 2 & 0 on Terry Nelson, the Babe Ruth of Fairfield, Iowa's Little League, circa 1971. "There is no way he thinks I'll throw another strike," I told myself. He did. On that summer evening, 1971, Terry Nelson hit a ball that either never landed or burned up on re-entry about five miles on the other side of the center field fence. The result of my inexperience, when weighed against his ginormousness and comparative wisdom, was a moon shot home run. Another result was that I never, and I do mean never -- threw three consecutive strikes to a good hitter again.

Later that year, Gary Gardner, the coach of the Little League All-Star team, refused to let me pitch in an All-Star Game. "Heston," he said, "You'll never be able to pitch your way out of a wet paper bag." The result of his arrogance came six years later, when I pitched my first no-hitter. As a high school sophomore. Against a team that he coached. Against a team for which his son (a senior!) was a first-team All State pitcher. I'm not sure that was the result he had in mind when he belittled me six years previously. I'm sure he thought his wilting critique was an ending. Instead, for me, it created the moment that I realized I could play after high school.

Results can be endings, I guess, if you want to just stop where you are.

But if going forward is your plan -- each and every result simply represents a beginning for what comes next. And, in this life, what comes next is all that matters.

If we look at results as endings, we tend to long for do-overs or second chances. If all we see in endings are missed opportunities, games won or lost, feelings hurt or mended, we're not getting the benefit of living. We're not learning, and if we're not learning, well, then, we are, by definition, at an ending.

Results are the beginning of learning, the yardstick of growth. When we accept and understand results, we start learning the big lessons. Learning is the fountain of youth, the spring from which a full life flows.

Results are the seeds that grow up to be tomorrow. The kind of tomorrow whose rear-view-mirror filters out the waste and keeps the useable lessons in focus. Results are beginnings. They're the ticket to whatever act of the play comes next -- and I want a front row seat.

Used with permission. Go to for more of Steve Heston

Drinking from a Fire Hydrant

Our age is not of the meditative man, it's a sprinting and shoving age with daily antidotes that spring into being and leap out from the newest counters.

- Norman Cousins

I've been told that attending one of my workshops, or just listening to me in general, can be a bit like drinking from a fire hydrant. Friend and colleague Bryan Anderson was out looking at commercial property (he's a Realtor) and took this picture. In the spirit of the drinking fountain's more directed flow, here's a re-cap of recent postings -

A Few Traits of a Great Leader
  • Judgment
  • Justice
  • Decisiveness
  • Dependability
  • Tact
  • Integrity
Great Loan Officers as Great Team Builders
  • Great Loan Officers know that Great Loan Officers have Great Teams
  • Great Loan Officers strive to be Level 5 Team Builders
  • Great Loan Officers work for companies that support Great Team Builders
  • Great Loan Officers know the key sales and marketing person is the one delivering their product or service and any given moment
  • Great Loan Officers know that good customer service is the sign of a good hire (and vice versa)
  • Great Loan Officers work hard at all Top 10 Characteristics of a Great Team Builder
  • Great Loan Officers are passionate about being a Great Team Builder
Top 11 Characteristics of a Great Teambuilder
  • Express a very clear vision and expectations
  • One set of rules for everyone, including themselves
  • Hire the right people, put them in the right place and train continuously
  • Delegate and enable others to develop and deliver results
  • Build trust through robust evaluation and correction
  • Enhances relationships by seeking clarity through what and how questions
  • Team members give open and honest feed-back with everyone
  • Hold themselves accountable and blames no one including themselves for failures
  • Uses various resources to uncover blind spots
  • Pushes themselves and their team to constantly get better
  • Catches team members in random acts of doing well
Missing or Broken Links in Leadership
  • Developing good followers
  • Constantly looking for blind spots
  • Failure to getting better; not learning or learning and not getting better
Pingings - Evaluation and Corrections
  • Pay attention
  • Ask questions, listen to answers
  • Be purposeful; have a mission and a plan
  • Don't be ignorant to what you're hearing and seeing
Personalities Matter
  • Conflicts can be a learning event
  • Conflicts are going to happen
  • Understanding personalities with others can make a difference in how you handle conflict
  • Conflict can be nothing more than misunderstandings due to personality differences
  • Personalities are shaped in part to generational differences
  • Taking a personality assessment can show you your temperament traits
  • Getting trained in how those temperament traits interact in different situations is valuable
Still a lot to drink, but all important and coming at you whether your purposefully swallowing or not. Be meditative about these subjects and purposeful about your getting better.

To that end....

Danny L. Smith

A Few Traits of a Great Leader

It's easy to figure out who isn't a team player. They'll constantly
remind the coach just how good they are.

- Brian G. Jett

A successful team is a group of many hands but of one mind.

- Bill Bethel
A Few Traits of a Great Leader
  • Judgment
  • Justice
  • Decisiveness
  • Dependability
  • Tact
  • Integrity
Examples of the Significance of these Traits
  • Significance of Judgment - sound judgement allows a leader to make appropriate decisions in the guidance and training of he/her team. Effective leaders exercise good judgment and weighs pros and cons accordingly to arrive at an appropriate decision and take proper action.
  • Significance of Justice - the quality of displaying fairness and impartiality is critical in order to gain the trust and respect of subordinates and maintain discipline and team cohesion, particularly in the exercise of responsibility as a leader.
  • Significance of Decisiveness - the quality of character which guides a person to accumulate all available facts in a circumstance, weight the facts, choose and announce an alternative which seems best. It is often better that a decision be made promptly than a "potentially" better one be made at the expense of more time.
  • Significance of Dependability - the quality which permits a team leader to assign a task to a team member with the understanding that it will be accomplished with minimum supervision. This understanding includes the assumption that the initiative will be taken on small maters not covered by specific instructions.
  • Significance of Tact - the quality of consistently treating others with respect and courtesy is a sign of maturity. Tact allows commands, guidance, and opinions to be expressed in a constructive and beneficial manner. This deference must be extended under all conditions regardless of true feelings.
  • Significance of Integrity - a leader's word is his/her bond. Nothing less than complete honesty in all of your dealings with subordinates, peers, and superiors is acceptable.

Other, and no less important, traits of a great leader include unselfishness, courage, enthusiasm and endurance.

Practicing these traits on a day-in-day-out basis is hard. Leaders and managers must be thoughtful and purposeful; think and act strategically.

You'll be the same five years from today as you are today except for
what you listen to, who you associate with and what you read.

Zig Ziglar

I have a few "truths" I live by and this one from Zig lives out as real as any. Jim Collins (of the Good-to-Great fame) has stated in that the most important leadership books are biographies of great men/women and history. Historical data from last year, last decade and beyond shows that we have to be purposeful and get out of our own way to have a chance at the results we strive so hard to obtain.

Learn and change.

Great leaders continuously train themselves and their teams. To learn more about building high performance teams, contact me at 512-773-6528 or

To that end....

Danny L. Smith

Top 11 Characteristics of a Great Teambuilder

Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.

Andrew Carnegie

Building a highly functioning team takes effort and discernment. Great managers and leaders know they will either live or die by how well their teams function as individuals and a group.

Here are the Top 11 Characteristics (think of them in a never ending circle) -

(this was originally a Top 10 list but has been accurately ammended!)
  • Great Team Builders have and continue to express a very clear vision and expectations of themselves and their team
  • Great Team Builders have one set of rules for everyone including themselves
  • Great Team Members hire the right people, put them in the right place and train them continuously
  • Great Team Builders delegate and enable team members to succeed, develop and deliver the results
  • Great Team Builders build trust through a robust evaluation and correction system
  • Great Team Builders enhances the relationship with everyone on the team and clients by seeking clarity through what and how questions
  • Great Team Builders build teams that give open and honest feed-back with each other and the team leader
  • Great Team Builders hold themselves accountable and blame no one including themselves for failures
  • Great Team Builders uses various resources to uncover blind spots
  • Great Team Builders are always pushing themselves and their team to get better
  • Great Team Builders catches team members in random acts of doing things well
Great teams are built because they've replaced or fixed the missing and broken links of poor followers, blind spots and continuously changed learners.

But it takes purpose. Put the pieces together and be purposeful with your passion and people.

To that end.....

Great Team Building is a CHOICE.


Missing Link(s)..or Broken?

I look back quite a bit to evaluate and correct my path going forward. Partly, I'm looking for blind-spots. Looking back this morning and I see I've been all over the place; leadership vs management, loan officer commonalities, strategic thinking, goal setting, career questions, blame vs accountability, a couple of book reviews, listening vs hearing, marketing vs selling, Rubbermaid's processes, what Bill Gates didn't say, steweardship, Jack Welch about Green being ok but there needs to be profit, pain-perserverence-character-hope, dress for dollars, looking over your shoulder, wearing blue shirts, do-this-don't-do-that, the pictures-in-our-head...and on-and-on-and-on.

Three times this pass week I've read or heard about "the missing link;" reading about leading, reading about learning and once in a discussion about out-bound vs in-bound marketing.

I think the links are more broken than missing and here's my version -

There are three. One is about Following. We hear about leaders, leading and leadership until it has grown old. Everyone has their version of what is a good leader, or the difference between leadership and managment (how come it's not manageship?). The book "Courageous Follower" is one of my Top 5 Business books.

The second link, broken or missing, is about blind-spots. We think because we can learn so much about processes, strategies, marketing, selling, goal setting, what drives customer service, what makes a good team, how to get more profits, how to build a better widget, on and on and on...we think all this is going to make us better. But we don't pay enough attention to our blind-spots. And we don't even know we have blind-spots unless we're told we have them (that's why they're called blind-spots).

I keep harping on the book "Talent Masters" and Charam/Conaty's opening statement about managing people as well as we manage our money. "Talent Masters" and "Execution" (another Charan) book are also in the Top 5.

Read "Talent Masters" and "Couregous Follower" and you'll get a bit of what I'm saying here -

And the third is learning too much, not any/enough and not using the learning to "get better." By "get better" I mean CHANGE. This one is probably broken and missing!

No matter how good the leadership, we need to be good followers (and have people that follow well). We all need to look around, ask for help and uncover his/her blind spots and Learn Well. None of this is easy, but neither is getting consistent good results.

So...What is your biggest Challenge? (I bet it has to do with people)

What have you been doing about it?

If it's not working.....What are you going to do different?

To that end....


PS....this posting started out about the loan officer/salesperson's missing link. Maybe it still is.

Pingings - Evaluation and Correction

Do not quench the Spirit. Test everything; hold
fast to what is good. Flee from what is evil.

1 Thessalonians 5: 19-21

Do not quench the Spirit...test everything....hold fast what is good...flee from what is evil. These are words to seriously read, ponder, and pray on. Peter is talking about the same Spirit Jesus referred to when He said He had to leave so the Spirit could come. I ponder and pray on that and I'm drawn to how the Spirit must groan in; He groans is because He sees and feels us going against God's will and He is trying to correct us.

As I ponder and pray about this verse, I have to assume that anyone who believes in Christ wants to follow Him well. To do anything well takes practice and practicing well takes a good discipline of evaluation and correction. Practicing Christianity well is different only in the aspect that it is the most important aspect of an evaluation and correction process, or discipline.

Many authors have touched on this discipline including Jim Collins with the Hedgehog (Good to Great) and Dennis Bakke's "robust evaluation and correction" (Joy at Work). Years ago I heard Max Anders, senior pastor at Grace Covenant Church, give a sermon where he talked extensively about looking back over your shoulder periodically to review how well your walk with Christ had been.

I like the "robust evaluation and correction" thing, but with some twists.In the Navy, I was on a submarine and though a radioman (dit dah dit dit), I was a bit intrigued with sonar. Sonar is primarily passive and active. Active is the type you hear about in movies when the captain orders for a "ping;" the sonarman sends the single pulse (ping) out and then listens for the return. He can then evaluates the distance from the target. Passive sonar is simply listening for threats. In either case, once a sound is recognized, the captain would evaluate and take the necessary action. We would be out at sea for weeks at a time and someone would be in the sonar room at all times....listening and paying attention.

Practicing Christianity well requires a good discipline of listening, paying attention, evaluation and correction when those pings come back at us, whether invited (active), or passive (uninvited). Some behaviors to practice -

- Pay attention to what is going on around you at all times.

- Ask questions about how you are doing - listen to the answers

- Be purposeful about your life; have a mission and a plan to carry it out.

- Be aware that everyone has blind spots, including you and you can't see them from where you are at that is why they are called blind spots.

- Pray for the Holy Spirit to talk to you and be involved in your valuation and correction - this is where the real ROBUSTness kicks in. The bible tells us He is groaning inside us , wanting to help. We just need to listen and pay attention.

- Don't ignore pingings you hear coming through your hull.

Lord God, I pray that I listen to you today. I pray that I pay attention to where I am and what you want me to do - right here. Give me the wisdom and discernment to recognize the corrections that need to be made in my life. Help me to accept those evaluations and move towards the corrections. Help me to uncover and correct the blind spots. You are good and gracious and your mercy is boundless. You never said our lives would be easy and I pray that I am listening and paying attention to my surroundings, that I allow the Holy Spirit to work in my life. Blessed by your name, that I honor your name. Amen

To that end.....

Make it a great Sunday


( the practice of "spaced repetition," this is an edited re-post from

REALLY? Personalities Matter at Work?

Conflicts with people? Not sure the cause? Do you even care to learn or is your tendency to just drive through....or around the problem?

Conflicts are going to happen. Period-the-end. How you handle them are driven in part by your personality and temperament. Characteristics of our personality/temperament can be a major cause of disruption and bad results in the workplace.

This is the first time in American history where four generations of workers have been employed side-by-side and this factor adds to the personality/temperament problems. Most of us don't know, some don't care, why we are the way we are. Yet our core personality was developed at an early age and has gone through transformations since. If you are a baby boomer, you saw the creation of television, the liberation of women and a huge shift in the workplace - away from the traditional workforce. A Boomer's bent is to define himself by his job.

Gen-Xers experienced the creation of the personal computer, fax machines, mom going to work and tend to define themselves by their hobbies.

The big development during the Millenial's (Ys) upbringing has been the creation of the information highway. Your tolerance for many things is hard to understand by traditionalists, boomers and many Xers. You define yourself by your inner peace and self-talk.

Accepting and understanding our differences can make a big difference in the workplace. A profile assessement, such as the DISC is used in many workplace settings.

The following chart gives a simplistic relationship to how DISC temperaments are in Meetings (notice the word "want") -

Again, simplistic but strategically think about these factors as you interact with your co-workers today.

What challenges are you having? What is your biggest challenge? What are you doing about it?

Go back to a recent article in this blog on Strategic Thinking and Building Elite Workforces and think about those articles in relation to these temperaments.

To that end....

Their Role in The Meeting
D’s want to be the leader in the meeting.  They will tend to take charge, whether that is appropriate or not.  They want to walk away with results and a delegated list for others.
I’s want attention.  They will volunteer to be in charge but will tend to be disorganized and focused primarily on the social aspects of the meeting.
S’s do not want to go to meetings.  They will tend to sit in the back and hope to not have to talk.
C’s will bring an agenda to the meeting, even if that is not their role.  They want to stay on task and walk away with a plan.