Look 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 in
"What to Say When You Talk to Yourself"

What did you do to be successful last week? How was your "marketing behavior?"

Look over your shoulder? Literally. Did you do what it took to succeed last week? Did you make a sale? Did you market well last week? All sales people are different, but unless you've develop a good internet attraction, or have an incredible referral system, your system probably depends upon bringing new people into your sphere of influence. Did you go out, meet people and tell them about your officer? What you're selling? Did you start new relationships last week?

Look back through your calendar and complete filling it out for last week. What am I talking about? Just do this -

1. open your calendar
2. start filling out everything you did last week.
3. go back through the call log on your phone.
4. this will take some time, but it is a great exercise of what you are spending time on
5. log everything
6. do it again tomorrow morning to see what you did today

Are you spending time doing what you need to do to succeed? You can't get the check if you're not marketing, and if you're not marketing you aren't getting new prospects. If your business depends upon new prospects, you can't prospect if you're not in front of people. You can't make that sale tomorrow, next week or next month if you don't meet people today.

Oh! You don't want to look back, you just want to look forward? Then I'll be bold enough to say you're goinng to make the same mistakes over and over again.

The purpose of "looking over your shoulder" is to uncover blind spots and begin establishing a robust evaluation and correction system. Blind spots are called blind spots for a reason. Figure out where they are and do something about them.

Ask yourself: what could you have done 7 months ago to help your situation today? What could you have done last month to help sell something today? What could youhave done last week, or yesterday to help today?

So, do that TODAY to help yourself tomorrow, next week, next month, next year.

To that end....fill out you calendar today and look back at it tonight and make a difference today in your future.


P.S. - If you are struggling with your marketing and not sure why, I suggest taking a good inventory of YOU. The SMARTS (Sales Marketing and Representative Traits Survey) will give you insights into proven behavioral characters important to a Sales and Marketing professional. The assessment and coaching session to is $150.00. This includes an ABC profile assessment – Regular Price is $250.00.

Dress for Dollars

I'm off-site with a client today, on my iPad, and will probably need to clean this post up later. But here goes....

Flanagan points out there are "two keys to appearance:"

1. Dress appropriately and
2. Stay dressed

While he has much more to say in "So, You're New to Sales" I'll just move on to my own points;

1. Because you never stop prospecting, and selling, always dress appropriately
2. You can dress appropriately and be dressed down headed to the store, out to play, etc
3. Don't look stupid
4. If you ran into a client at Home Depot, would he say "nice guy, I'm glad I'm doing business with him." Or would it be "you've got to be kidding me. I can't believe he dresses like that" (and remembers nothing else about your encounter).
5. The older generation probably has more money that you do and they want the people they do business with to look sharp (they think it relates to quality of work)
6. Always be prepared to go network with new people
7. If you depend upon others to refer business to you, will what you are wearing offend them?

I'm of the Boomer generation and taught years ago by a business mentor to wear "a darker colored suit, white shirt and a tie with bit of red in it." Cathy tells me that a blue shirt calms the ticked-off look I seem to have and I have learned it makes me more approachable.

Last night I went to an amazing open house at Supreme Lending's beautiful corporate office. The invitation mentioned the appropriate dress was "cocktail attire." To be honest, I can't imagine showing up any less dressed, but undoubtedly this was necessary in today's culture.

Yes, I'm biased and stereotype and all the other things that make me seem old and blah blah blah..but, are you willing to risk your income just because you don't want to play dress-up?

To that end.....

Jack Welch on......turning Green into Green

Jack Welch spoke this week at Oklahoma State University's Spears Shcool of Business and these are some highlights of a story posted in the Tulsa World.

  • Don't run from the media.
  • Legal advise to keep quiet in a crisis is worthless.
  • "We played business like it was a sport. You make a game of it, you field the best team and weed out the weakest."
  • "The weeds you've got to pull out if you're going to build a beautiful garden."
  • He admitted that he basked in "reflected glory" of his best employees' achievements.
  • While the layoffs of the past few years put millions of people out of work, many have become self-employed and have access to even greater success if they offer great ideas and work ethics.
  • Green is good, but green doesn't turn green into green (money), it doesn't turn out to be a helluva good business.
  • The whole idea is to grow jobs. The main social responsibility for a company is to win.
  • More than anything, companies need to be consistently improving
  • You don't want to surprise people with variation, but find ways to get better.
Good stuff from a man who gave new meaning to increasing stockholder value, but also had a rigurous training, evaluation and correction process to help people get better.

We'll talk more about that next week as I circle back to Talent Masters.

To that end, make it a great day.....


oh...you can find the complete article I took the highlights from at Tulsa World.

You are not always selling, but you are always prospecting

You can have everything in life if you'll ever want
if you help enough other people get what they want.

Zig Ziglar

In the '70s I first heard this claim Zig Ziglar made and I'm realizing now that I likely misunderstood his audience. Nevermind, for now, what I thought he was talking about but consentrate on what he definitely meant.

Zig was referring to professional sales people selling their products and services to people who have a desire and need; help enough of those people get what they want and you'll get yours.

Now, to another contradiction; you are not always selling, but you are always prospecting. I know I'll get a couple of emails about "well, where's your EVERYONE IS A SALESPERSON, EVERYONE IS ALWAYS SELLING?"

I just want to deal with the prospecting thing for now, though we are selling when we prospect, but let's keep it in context.

How big is your prospect list? Are you thinking "prospect" when you make calls, go to networking luncheons, etc?

Bryan Flanagan in his book "So You're New to Sales" states the following as the simplified version of prospecting:

You understand your products and services. You believe you have something to offer the prospect. You have a firm conviction your solution is better than what is being used at the present time. You believe your advantages are valuable to the prospect. You want ot share these advantages with your prospect.

Flanagan goes on to say "that's really all that prospecting is. Yet we tend to complicate it. Don't complicate it...keep it simple. It is as simple as this: you believe that you have a solution to a problem and you want to communicate that solution to a person you've never met."

It's Monday! Let's prospect well today.



Right People in
the Right Place
thru Consulting,
Equipping, and


Click on image for a great deal on a great book 


Pain, Perseverance, Character, Hope

Thanks to guest blogger Gary Seale for this article. 

He who heeds discipline shows the way to life,
but whoever ignors correction leads others astray.

Proverbs 10:17

No matter what you prefer to call it, we all experience difficulty in life. From the most simple and mundane such as struggling to full alertness in the morning to trauma induced by unexpected tragedy. Yes, terrorists do fly airplanes into buildings and kill innocent people. Strife, hate and murder lead to conflict and war. Frustrated goals and delays lead to internal strife that boils over into external anger.

And it seems no matter how mature we are, or no matter what mechanism we use to cope with pain, it creeps up and grabs us periodically without asking. Make no doubt that a great deal of personal pain is self-induced by our failure to see the world as it actually is. In each and every human lies the capacity for great good and charity as well as self-centered bias and hurtful acts of violence. The pain of unmet expectations and unexpected situations demands that we find a solution or capitulate.


So how do we handle the inevitable adversity that is destined to crop up on our road of life?

Turning to God with your problems is the essential element in Godly dependence. The first step is prayer coupled with perseverance. And the first step in perseverance is understanding that pain and adversity rarely last for a long period of time. There is light at the end of the tunnel that spells relief. However, the pain that is current must be not only endured, but capitalized upon to produce strength for the future. Just as a weight-lifter must press himself beyond the level of his current capacity, you must walk through the adversity rather than around it to gain the benefits. This means addressing every issue with diligence and attention to detail, understanding that repetition builds expertise.

To have the strength to push on through the current adversity requires that you have a vision of the future. The future holds more promise, challenge and reward as a result of your existing pain. This vision of rewards is one of the key aspects of perseverance that must be grasped by the individual. Without a prospect for the future, we all eventually wither on the vine and no longer put forth the effort necessary to weather the current storm. For the believer, the ultimate hope for the future lies in the confident expectation of a grace filled eternity with God. In the rare circumstance that earthy pain will not pass with time, allow those circumstances to drive you to a deeper dependence on God.


As part of the reward for persevering through the pain caused by adversity we gain character. The character that is gained has several different elements. One of these elements is wisdom. In this particular context, wisdom should be defined as the knowledge to make Godly decisions today that will produce excellent results over the long term.

The other aspect of character is the knowledge that you have not simply survived trials in the past, but you’ve successfully persevered through those difficult times. This knowledge will serve to bolster your confidence when it begins to wane in the heat of battle. Character also means that you do not compromise your principles to achieve relief during a difficult time.


And finally we reach a state of character produced by pain and perseverance that allows us to have a genuine hope for the future. This definition of hope is not one of wishful thinking, but one of confident expectation that our perseverance and character will pay off in a peace during times of adversity and deep joy in times of prosperity. This level of hope provides the energy to tackle the difficult issues and find creative ways to solve problems.

Finally, the hope that comes through perseverance and character comes. Realizing that some daily set backs are inevitable and do not spell disaster is a big part of hope. It is also important to come to an awareness that there are few earthly guarantees, only opportunities. Hard work and focus are critical to an ongoing successful undertaking.

Gary D. Seale
Commercial Agent
Howe Insurance Group
Austin, TX

Thanks Gary for an excellent article. Gary is a commercial insurance agent, public speaker and author of Business Principles from Proverbs.

What Are You Selling? Who's Your Customer?

The purpose of a company is to create a customer

Peter Drucker

Being distinctly aware of "what you are selling" and "who is your customer" is extremely important to your success. Yet, I know from experience that it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint. That's due in part to the overflow of information and messages that permeate around us.

We're told to have a vision, mission and/or purpose. Seminars on best practices tell us to create something bigger than ourselves, and I agree. But bring it home. Bring it down to the grassroots; you have to pay very specific attention to knowing, being sure about "what" you're selling and "who" is your customer.

Ronald Skelton posted on Twitter (@RonaldKSkelton) that marketing raises awareness but selling is getting the check. That's specific and a salesman needs to know that difference.

If you are in the mortgage loan officer, do you make dreams happen? Or do you sell mortgage loans? Did you take a application yesterday? Insurance agents-do you give peace of mind, or sell policies? Did you write a policy yesterday? Social media consultants, attorneys, executive coaches, accountants, IT businesses, financial planners; what do you sell? Who is your customer?

Everyone, every team, every company, every manager, every executive and every board must do a better job of understanding who the customer is and how to create sales. The revision of Drucker's book The Five Most Important Questions You'll Ever Ask About Your Organization states that if Drucker were alive today he would say "a company's most important purpose is to create fans." Maybe so, but it is right along side creating a customer and a customer is the one writing a check. I know, you want to customer fans writing the check and you can't have fans without first writing a check. Or maybe you can.

Just be sure you're getting checks and keep this out in front, right along with your mission statement. Know your mission, know what you're selling and know who your customer is.

It's Friday, I pray that you wrap your week up well.

To that end.....


Right People in
the Right Place
thru Consulting,
Equipping, and

Busy, but Not Having Fun - Part 2

Leaders need to learn the capacity to not add to their
anxiety but rather to channel it into adaptive responses.

Ira Chaleff, author of Courageous Follower

Continued from Part 1

Over the next week I had two more meetings with Tom's team and observed calls from Susan and her assistants as well as interaction with other clients. During this time we ran assessments to further understand strengths and weaknesses in Tom's team. I also found out that Susan's business, while 50% of Tom's volume today, had been only 30% six months ago. Two previous employees had left Tom because of the climate in the office and had taken a good portion of the business with them.

Tom was making money but he nor his team was having fun. His passion and desire to not only get the job done, but get it done right and treat everyone well in the process was to be commended. As I shared with Tom what I "felt" to be the cause of the problem (my Déjà vu was surreal), I proposed a process that would give him a detailed and objective analysis. The process itself would show his team and clients his commitment to their business; the results would give us a road map as to how to improve his office climate and allow Tom to broaden his client base.

Tom engaged me in 20 additional hours over a three week period. The process I'd proposed included additional interviews and online surveys/evaluations with everyone connected to his office:  clients (including Susan), past borrowers, support people at his home office and title companies. Sometimes people just think things will never change. But hopefully, the fact that Tom recognized this was a real problem and was spending money to correct it would calm down Tom's team and we would not have any more undesired exodus of employees and business.
To be continued......

Problems or Challenges?

Houston, we've had a problem....
James A. Lovell, Captain, US Navy, Astronaut

I need to revisit the example I've used as the basis for much of my teaching; not learning new things as much as uncovering what you already know, and who you are, and putting that to the best use first.

That example is a scene from the movie Apollo 13, after the infamous Houston - we've had a problem!, when the group of scientists and techs were rushed into room with a very large table. Remember that scene where a bunch of stuff was dumped from a box onto the table and they were told to figure out how to FIX the problem up there (pointing up), with this (pointing at the mess of random objects).

That's all they had to fix the oxygen leak and get them crew back to earth; the contects of the box. Of course, the scientists and techs couldn't actually fix the problem, only figure out how to fix it and then communicate that "how" back to the astronauts and hope the crew could duplicate it and the fix was actually right.

Good management and leadership is similar in many ways; identifying what you have to work with and making it work over and over again. This is accomplished by really knowing your people and what they are truly capable of doing, That and having a good evaluation and correction process.

Implement, practice, evaluate, correct and start the process all over again. Good followership and leadership is about having these four things in a never ending circle.

And the issue on Apollo 13....that was a problem.

To that end....

Right People/Right Place thru
Consulting, Coaching and Equipping

Busy, but Not Having Fun - Part 1

There is a compelling business case for trust
and you can get good, or better, at it.

Stephen M.R. Covey

Tom was having a hard time keeping his staff calmed down about their top producing client. The staff, a processor and 2 assistants, had about all they could stand of the Realtor, Susan, and her assistants' daily badgering. Yet, Susan's team of Realtors did send them 6 - 8 loans per month (1/2 their business) and had for over 2 years.

The phone call to me seemed to be a last-ditch effort to try anything. After an hour of listening, asking questions and listening some more,  I asked everyone "what causes you to want to keep this relationship?"

The uncomfortable look on everyone's face told me more than the stammering answers. I had to finally ask "does at least one someone get laid off without this business?" Of course the answer was yes, yet it took everyone's effort to be ready for the multiple calls every day and there was no time to go out and develop new accounts.

More questions helped me to understand that Tom and his team sent regular (had even tried daily) updates to the team of Realtors. Still the calls came asking about every minute detail of every file. The Reatlors' assistants had even said "it is my job to call you on every loan every day and verify what is going on."

Quick calls by me to underwriters, title companies and other Realtors using Tom revealed his team's reputation to be excellent. I had little doubt that this was not a lack of talent, attitude, skills or knowledge on the part of Tom and his team but a lack of trust on  Susan's part and the fact that she believed her team's constant follow-up was why they were getting good service.

Over the next 2-3 weeks, I'll periodically tell the story of how Tom and his team turned the situation around, stopped the phone calls, decreased Susan's expenses while increasing his overall business and profits.

To that end.....


8 Step Marketing and Action Plan

While every business needs a big picture Marketing Plan, I call this a DAILY marketing and action plan because it is daily that you get things done. Actually, it is moment by moment we get things done, but that's too tightly wound for some of us and just might cause me to go back to bed some days.

On a daily basis, answer these questions (in writing helps) -

1. what is the purpose of today's plan? What is it I'm attempting to accomplish?

2. what are the benefits of the service and product I'm selling? How does the customer benefit by buying from me?

3. who is my targeted audience today?

4. where/what is my niche? How am I going to set myself apart from my competition today?

5. what marketing weapons am I going to use today? What weapons do I use and need to sharpen and be more focuses with?

6. what is my "identity" today? What 3 or 4 adjectives best describe you? (this needs to be consistent, but you should be improving)

7. what is my budget today?

And finally, the 8th step to ask at the end of the day -

8. Can I carry put action to this plan? (evaluate forward) How well did I carry out my marketing plan yesterday? Last week? Last month?

Identify what you are doing well. Identify what you aren't doing well. How can you improve? Use TASKS Based Goal Setting disciplines to help you learn, improve and change.

This marketing plan/list is best used if treated as a circle of 8 things to come back to everyday as you work towards short and long-term goals.

To that end...make something great happen today.

The Pictures in Our Head

Doug Sherman, in his Bible Study, Your Work Matters to God, states "we believe that the workplace is today the most strategic arena for Christian thinking and influence. Moreover, until we become godly workers, we have little hope of becoming godly husbands, wives, parents, or church members. For unless Christlikeness characterizes the 60-80 percent of our lives spent at work, we simply are not living Christlike lives."

The most strategic arena for Christian thinking......hmmm. Have you ever thought much about your thinking being strategic? How about your thinking, do you think about your thinking? Thinking about thinking is not something most of us today think about. Think about it for a minute or two.........hard to do isn't it? How about talking about your thinking, or another's thinking?

How dramatically is your thinking influenced by what's going on around you? Think about how much your thinking is influenced by the thoughts of others, because the mind is hungry for more information and is looking to be influenced. Are you aware of how your thinking is changed? How critical is your thinking?

Prior to the invention of radio, tv, internet, and even the mass production of newspapers, the spoils and triumphs of what flowed from another's thinking a much more celebrated event. In reality, the recepient was much more aware of the absorbtion and how his thinking might be changing. He or she had time to be critical about it.

Thinking about thinking - talking about what we think - arguing about thinking is something philosophers have done for thousands of years. It wasn't that many years ago when people would travel for miles and miles to hear a simple speech and then stay to discuss their thoughts in local bars and meeting houses. Today, we get our information in bits and pieces, yet, as if from a fire hose; there is more information coming in one week's worth of the New York Times than the average 19th century American had available to him/her in a lifetime.

Thinking, critical thinking, and getting one's message across to others has always been an important part of those intent upon critical thinking. Ben Franklin would write letters to his own newspaper under fictitious names just so he could express his thoughts about what he thought and he would then write the rebuttals to further spin the thinking. He claimed years later that he did this in part to develop opinions within his readers' thoughts.

So what does this have to do with life, work and being the right person in the right place? Everything. Everyone is bombarded with news and information they don't ask to receive; from emails randomly read to story lines of favorite tv shows, but received and processe it is. How you handle that information, purposeful or otherwise, helps determine the thinking that leads ultimately to who you are in the future. What do you say when you talk to yourself? What you take in will mold what you say to yourself and that comes out in your behavior to others.

Close your eyes, right now and think about the pictures in your head.

Writer, journalist, and progressive thinker Walter Lippmann, in the mid 1900's, wrote extensively about the tendency of journalists to generalize about other people based on fixed ideas. He argued that people—including journalists—are more apt to believe "the pictures in their heads" than come to judgment by critical thinking.

The pictures in our heads is what we tend to believe and these pictures are formed from what we watch, hear, and read. And what most of us watch, hear, and read, is accidental; not purposeful.

So, what does this have to do with our influence, Christian or otherwise? Everything. If we are not purposeful about what we watch, read, and hear, our thinking will not lead to practicing Christianity and if we aren't practicing Christianity, we aren't influencing others towards God's glory.

And if we aren't influencing others towards God's glory, then what are we influencing them towards?

What do the pictures in your head look like today, and what are they going to look like in 5 years, in 10 years? Are you purposefully drawing those pictures or letting others?

To that end....

Note: this is a edited re-post from http://godandworkmatters.blogspot.com/ on 11/06/2010

"Communication Connection" by Guest Blogger Gary Seale.

Welcome Guest Blogger, Gary Seale. Gary provides sales outsourcing services and is the author of the book Business Principles from Proverbs.

Recently I have been reading a John Maxwell book called “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.” One of Maxwell’s premises is that we have to know our audience and their level of understanding to truly communicate. It is all too easy to deliver information on our level of comfort and miss the intended audience all together.

I first learned this concept in a Toastmaster’s International program in the early 1990’s. The impact of their philosophy and receiving feedback on my speeches made this an important concept to keep in mind. This is true no matter what level or size of audience you speak to. From a six year old to a Phd from MIT, we all need to position our choice of words and illustrations to truly communicate.

Mastering Mondays

I said on Monday that I would be writing on Tuesday about Mastering Mondays. Ha. Tuesday and Wednesday came and went; I'm still trying to get through my Monday's dailies.

John Beckett in his book of this same title, Mastering Mondays, sums it up:

In my short lifetime, man has spit the atom, conquered polio, walked on the moon and shrunk the globe through the Internet. But millions of us have yet to master Monday.

A few years ago, in pursuit of a woodworking hobby, I read an article about different men's ventures into their full-time woodworking (career!). One question the interviewer asked was, "what do you like most about your job?" One guy's answer intrigued me:

I love the fact that every morning, with coffee in hand, I go out to my workshop, open that door knowing that I have some things to accomplish, but also know that there is no telling what I'll work on that day. I just let what interests me the most be my guide.

It must have intrigued me, and I still remember it 10 years later, because of how it really screws with my head. I'm that way all the time, EXCEPT for the "knowing" and "loving" parts. I start the day typically knowing that is likely to happen, but with blind determination that I'm going to get certain things done.

Cathy and I (my bride of almost 25 years) were discussing some things yesterday that led to my Workforce Readiness assessment. This thing tests you against the DOL database and gives you an idea of what careers you could possibly succeed in based upon multiple characteristics. The image below depicts part of the report and shows that I'm what I'd like to say "balanced."

Cathy simply looked at it and commented well, you can either do almost anything, or nothing. What are your thoughts?

My look told her my thoughts and the fact I'm still trying to master Monday on Thursday should tell me something.

Hmmm. Let's see....my highest is realistic. Let's go with that one for today.

Blessings, Danny

Bad Weather Processes - How Well Did You Perform?

One of the 4Ps for finding the right company to work for is Processes. How a company plans and executes that plan for bad weather conditions is important and likely an idea of how well they handle other problems.

No doubt there are problems in the plan that comes out when "living" the process. But the companies that can claim their processes as a competitive advantage are the ones that evaluate and correct very well.

What processes did you see work well during the recent bad weather? How well do you think you'll perform tomorrow?

I love to hear your stories; click on the 4ps tab above and add comment at the bottom or email me at danny@rp2development.com.

Ronald Reagan, the Packers and the Interview

"He who introduces into public office the principles of primitive
Christianity will change the face of the world."

- Ronald Reagan, first inaugural address as
governor (1967), quoting Benjamin Franklin

Yesterday was an eventful day; Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday (or would have been..not sure how to properly couch such), a GREAT Super Bowl, and a live interview between Bill O'Reilly and President Obama. Quite a bit one can ponder and reflect on.

We'll go with Ronald Reagan for now. I watched the televised celebration of his birthday, listened to the speeches and a bit on his library/museum renovation. (Seeing his library is on my non-existent bucket-list)

It was interesting to watch the different networks and how they handled this event; I'm not sure CNN really knew what to do. Their choice of commentators was very interesting and I guess they just felt they needed to make a big deal of the celebration, but not sure what really to say. Or how to act. It came across flat and unemotional.

Not like President Reagan at all. I've read 4 books about him so far and expect to read a few more. My favorite is God and Ronald Reagan by Paul Kengor, Ph.D. This book came about when Dr Kengor began research for a chapter in another book he was writing, found the material too overwhelming for a simple chapter and thus put the first book down to write this one.

Dr. Kengor wrote an excellent read. And for the critics and melancholies he supplied lots (LOTs) of endnotes.

"There is a purpose to this...This has happened to you at this time
because your country and the world need you."

- Mother Teresa, to Reagan on his surviving
near-assassination, June 4, 1981

To that end....

PS...tomorrow - Mastering Monday

Twitter....errrrrr Text Dialog

In a late night exchange of texts (w/@BrandonDady) - edited.....

Brandon - I'd be interested to know why you choose the assessments you choose, and why you prefer assessments for different positions

Me - The key is much like a hammer or wrench, or any tool, it's how the tool is used

Brandon - "so I took an assessment, now what?!

Me - Most are pretty worthless past the first 10 minutes. You have to learn to use it to change something

Brandon - There's a thousand assessments out there. You'll gain more interest if you educate people on how an where, since it is so saturated. I bet you there is a massive amount of companies that either force it, or never understood value

Me - there's 3,000 companies with multiple assessments each. But, in most cases, the assessment is really just a diagnostic tool

Brandon - ok. But it'd be interesting to poll how many companies actually use them, follow through with them

Me - very few because they haven't been trained how to use them past the hiring stage

Brandon - I say this because from what i've heard you say, most have never used them properly

Me - most don't understand how to use assessments correctly, nor have they been trained. Assessments are considered to be static tool by most people

Brandon - k. Let me sleep on all that, but I have more questions and want to brainstorm.


This dialog has three distinct parts; why assessments, what assessments, how to use assessments.

Why? Assessments, used correctly, will get better results.

What? There are some that are job dependent, others job specific.

How? This is BY FAR the most important aspect of assessments. Most companies have not been trained on how to use an assessment past the initial review; in a drawer never to be used again.

This is like buying a router (tool type), studying it enough to make a decent cove around the top of a table and then putting it up. The assessment is a diagnostic tool that can be used to help not only in the hiring, but more importantly after the hire, when the company is spending money.

Using the assessment tool correctly will help an employer turn the W-2s in to stock certificates.

To that end.....

A Testimony to Teamwork

The President and CEO of DHI Financial Services, Randy Present, spoke at the Austin Mortgage Bankers monthly meeting/luncheon on Wednesday.

Randy's humbleness, humility and appreciation for his team/co-workers is striking. DHI is the financial (mortgage and title) arm of the largest homebuilder in the US and he could have talked about a lot of things, but he chose to focus his attention towards his team and the overall good people in the mortgage industry.

Taking questions from the one hundred plus attendees, you could tell from his answers that he is very well read and his knowledge base is extensive about relevant data about the industry, our country and the times we live in.

Yet, he kept coming back to his team of people.

The message was about the people, and he left you wanting to hear a bit more.

Excellent luncheon and thanks to AMBA President Mike Carroll for inviting Randy to speak.

To that end...

What is a Collabortive Focus Group?

I've been in various types of groups, for many different reasons and when I think of "groups" I don't get that excited. But then, I'm not a group type person and besides, there sure seems to be a lot of wasted energy in groups; some groups are called "meetings."

Lincioni wrote the excellent book Death by Meeting a few years ago and I might right one someday called Death by Group.

Two groups I'm involved in right now are BNI-360 and CBLG. They are both referral type lead groups and while the CBLG group is just getting off the ground, if it can come close to being as effective as the BNI-360 group, I'll have hit two homeruns. The weekly 1 1/2 hour meeting, along with some follow-ups, is time and money well spent; amazing energy and group of individuals....no death, all living.

So, what does this have to do with Collaborative Focus Groups? EVERYTHING. A Collaborative Focus Group is designed to be engaging and results driven. Participants will gain life changing information (though parts of it is "back-to-the-basics) , collaborate with others on that application, and robustly evaluate and correct their results.

The group IS NOT a peer-to-peer group in the typical peer-to-peer sort of way. The group will be made up of individuals at various stages of their careers, multi-generational, and in varying positions within different types of companies.

As a CEO of a 700+ organization I've learned as much from those way down the org chart as I have from peers; probably more. I'll take anyone with an interest and heart in getting better and talking straight; no matter his/her age or rank.

Blindspots? We all have them and a Collaborative Focus Group, with its multi generational/positional make-up is ideal for exposure and learning how to work around or through them.

For more about RP2's Collaborative Focus Groups see the tab above.

To that end....

T.A.S.K.S. Based Goal Setting

Less that one generation ago, we were a society that feared and resisted change. We’ve now morphed into one that accepts change not just as unavoidable, but most do little to prepare for the consequences.

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 goals 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.

So, how does one properly set and stay engaged in achieving goals?

Is Educating My Client Good For My Business?

My initial is Yes....if, if, they want to be educated. @RonaldSkelton posted on Twitter recently "Work with clients that appreciate your product or service."

So, I start thinking up ways to find out if someone wants to be educated, or do they just not know they want to be educated. How do I know if they will appreciate my coaching if I don't try and educate them a bit first?

That sends me down my mental flow chart to what questions do I ask to see if they are interested? Is this a good approach at all?

Did I mention something yesterday about not liking selling?

This cold Northern wind that blew in around 2am this morning is about to blow my house down the hill and into the Pedernales.....I hate selling and my warm bed is calling me back.

I hate selling. But I love educating.

Still going back to bed.

To that end...


Right People
-   Right Place