Taking Action Archives - JPAR
Ask Why – Five Times

Ask Why – Five Times

Have you ever had a tough decision to make in your real estate practice?

As the CEO of your realty enterprise, have you ever delayed a decision and looked back and said, what took me so long to take action? Think about it:

  • To delay is to make the right decision harder.
  • Indecision is a decision… not to decide is a choice.
  • Decisions are made whether we make them or not.
  • Time is our enemy and time ALWAYS wins.

The desire to make the best decision can paralyze us. In truth, there really is no way to know which the best decision is. Every decision will have consequences, so what we end up doing is comparing the consequences. This is all well and good, but it makes for an unclear decision. It doesn’t actually get anything done.

Think about it, from experience we know it is much more useful to consider whether a particular decision will be effective or not. By studying critical situations, we can quickly learn the keys to success in decision-making skills.

I’ve studied military personnel and Gary Klein has studied firefighters and medical personnel, all professionals who make decisions in life or death situations. So many times, these first responders just don’t have time to weigh every pro and con. They are asking themselves about the effectiveness of a particular option.

Based on instinct, if they think it will work, they go for it.

If at any point along the line they realize it is not working, they choose a different route that they think will work. Then they do that. They will cycle one option at a time until they find one that works. They improve their decision-making skills with experience in their area of expertise, so their first option is not random. It is the one most likely to work.

So, we can conclude it’s much more useful to be effective and get the job done than to spend endless hours trying to determine the best decision.

Leonard Bernstein famously said:

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.”

What I’ve found working with myself and others, decisions are delayed by fear of making a poor choice. Fast Company, wrote a great article on the 4 Common Traps That Lead To Bad Decisions. In summary, making good decisions is as much about recognizing and avoiding traps as it is about evaluating available options. What are those traps?

  • Anchoring – Research suggests that our minds give disproportionate weight to these first impressions, and we end up with a bias centered on that perception
  • Overconfidence – We have an innate tendency to be overconfident in our judgments, especially when we think we’ve made all the right choices so far.
  • Confirmation bias – We become attached to our opinions, instincts, and points of view and try as hard as we can to find evidence that supports them.
  • Sunk Cost Trap – It’s easier to keep throwing good money after bad in the hopes that your bad decision may turn out okay. It rarely works that way.

How to move forward? Follow your instincts and ask why 5 times!

Ask Why 5 Times

Sakichi Toyoda, the Japanese industrialist, inventor, and founder of Toyota Industries, developed the 5 Whys technique.

The method is remarkably simple: start with a problem and why it occurs, you drill down to its root cause by asking “Why?” five times. You make sure that your answer is grounded in fact and then ask the question again. Continue the process until you reach the root cause of the problem, and you can identify a counter-measure that will prevent it from recurring.

Follow Your Instincts

Research shows that people who make decisions quickly, even when lacking information, tend to be more satisfied with their decisions than people who research and carefully weigh their options.

Some of this difference is simply in the lower level of stress the decision created, but much of it comes from the very way our brains work. The conscious mind can only hold between 5 and 9 distinct thoughts.

That means that any complex problem with more than 7 factors is going to overflow the conscious mind’s ability to function effectively – leading to poor choices.

Our unconscious, however, is much better at juggling and working through complex problems. People who “go with their gut” are actually trusting the work their unconscious mind has already done, rather than second-guessing it and relying on their conscious mind’s much more limited ability to deal with complex situations.

So, what decisions do you need to make about your real estate business today?

What’s holding you back?

Here is what I know:

  • To delay is to make the right decision harder.
  • Indecision is a decision… not to decide is a choice.
  • Decisions are made whether we make them or not.
  • Time is our enemy and time ALWAYS wins.

What’s your choice?

 

The Quantum Leap Strategy

The Quantum Leap Strategy

Consider this:

  • Today’s smartphone has the same computing power as the whole US government in 1983
  • 3D printing is the only technology where a more complex object doesn’t cost more to make
  • The average lifespan of an S&P 500 company has gone from 67 years to 12 years today
  • Autonomous driving cars will prevent 30,000 road deaths in the US alone

Exponential Growth

Exponential growth does not just apply to technology, large or small firms. Exponential growth applies to you and me.

One of the most influential books I’ve read. The book is just 36 pages long yet is packed with practical insight and action creating motivation. It’s called You Squared by Price Pritchett.  It is basically an instruction manual for taking a quantum leap in your business and life.

Pritchett states “we don’t have to be content with incremental, gradual change through the application of hard work.  Rather, we are capable of an explosive jump in performance at an accelerated rate, and it requires less effort.” How?

Here is a summary:

Quit Trying Harder – Trying harder only produces incremental gains.  A quantum shift is an elegant solution requiring less effort.

Ignore Conventional Approaches – A quantum leap requires an abrupt change in behavior. It requires finesse over effort, simplicity over complexity, a new paradigm and a fresh perspective.

Think Beyond What Common Sense Would Allow – Quantum leaps require “uncommon sense.” Rethink your thinking.  Violate the boundaries of the probable.

Suspend Disbelief – Act as if your success is for certain and proceed boldly.

Focus On Ends Rather Than Means – It is crucial to have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish.  Solutions will appear. Draw the map as you go.

Rely On Unseen Forces – When you focus on the clear picture of what you want to accomplish and move confidently toward it, unexpected and unknown resources materialize.

Choose A Different Set Of Rules – You can never avoid risk, you can only choose which risks you will take.  Risk believing in yourself.

Trust In The Power Of The Pursuit – Dreams begin to crystallize into reality when they are pursued because the world behaves differently when you go after what you want.

Seek Failure – Unless you are willing to fail, you will never have the opportunity to test the limits of what you are capable of accomplishing.

Get Uncomfortable – Quantum leaps jerk you out of your comfort zone.  If you aren’t experiencing discomfort, the risk you are taking probably isn’t worthy of you.

Open Your Gifts – There are unused gifts waiting to play a role in your quantum leap, open them.

Fall In Love – Create a dramatic dream that goes beyond the ‘reasonable’, and then allow it to become your “magnificent obsession.”

Make Your Move Before You Are Ready – You don’t prepare for a quantum leap, you make it… and then you fine-tune as you go.

Look Inside For The Opportunity – Everything else that’s needed comes from inside you, not from anything outside you.

If you choose to take the leap, I invite you to consider what area of your business is holding you back?

Maybe it’s hiring an assistant; maybe it’s outsourcing that new digital ad campaign you desire but don’t have the skills or time to pursue; maybe it’s delegating your files to a transaction coordinator? Whatever it is, one or more of the principles Pritchett presents, I suspect resonates with you, so…  just do it!

Take the leap… and see you and your business take a quantum leap.

 

Unexpected Allies In The War Against Failure

Unexpected Allies In The War Against Failure

When you undertake a project, a new initiative you’ll hit predictable resistance. It may sound strange, yet some of the most unlikely personal tendencies will actually help you be more successful.

Consider some of the odd champions on your side:

Passion
Picasso painted with passion, Mozart composed with it. A child plays with it all day long. You may think that you’ve lost your passion, or that you can’t identify it, or that you have so much of it, it threatens to overwhelm you. None of these is true. Fear saps passion. When we conquer our fears, we discover a boundless, bottomless, inexhaustible well of passion.

Blind Faith
Is there a spiritual element to creativity? Of course, there is. Our mightiest ally (our indispensable ally) is a belief in something we cannot see, hear, touch, taste, or feel. Resistance wants to rattle that faith. Resistance wants to destroy it. Don’t let that happen.

Stupidity 
The three dumbest guys I can think of: Charles Lindbergh, Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill. Why? Because any smart person who understood how impossible the tasks that they had set out for themselves would have pulled the plug before they even began. How do we achieve this state of mind? By staying stupid. By not allowing ourselves to think!

Don’t think. Act.

You can always revise and revisit once you’ve acted. But you can’t accomplish anything without action.

Stubbornness
Once we commit to action, the worst thing we can do is to stop. What will keep us from stopping? Plain old stubbornness. We don’t have to be heroes to be stubborn. We can just be pains in the butt. Make sure you’re in until the finish.

Assistance
If resistance is the shadow, it’s opposite–assistance–is the sun. Attempt to pull others into your project. Assistance is the universal, immutable force of creative manifestation, whose role since the beginning of time has been to translate potential into being, to convert dreams into reality.

Friends and Family
When art and inspiration and success and fame and money have come and gone, who still loves us–and whom do we love? In other words, don’t leave those you value most behind in pursuit of your goal—this is a true failure.

What’s the Lesson?  
Go out and follow your passion with the blind faith that allows you to stupidly pursue that passion with a sense of stubbornness that prevents you from stopping… all while being a light to others drawing them in and allowing for their assistance because at the end of the day they will see that passion.

 

 

4 Step Post-Conference Guide

4 Step Post-Conference Guide

Professional conferences are an unparalleled opportunity to build your network, get new ideas, deepen connections and get out of your routine and shake things up.

Yet so many of us fail to act… why?

Because you probably went home with loads of information to digest and a feeling of being overwhelmed. So plan a post-conference action plan that empowers you.

The key is taking ACTION.

Here are 4 steps to maximize your conference investment:

1. Network post the event – Don’t forget those connections you made. Close the loop, follow up and build relationships for referrals, accountability and more.

2. Leverage your social channels – How can you communicate your time investment to show potential customers your commitment to excellence and serving them at the highest levels? Make your public posts about serving your customers and potential customers better.

3. Organize your notes into a checklist for the items you are committed to act on and share them with an accountability partner, mentor or coach. Do you have a checklist? A checklist not only helps you get more done, but your brain loves them. According to research summarized by best-selling author Maria Konnikova, here are some of the reasons why:

  • Your mind seeks organization. Lists tap into our preferred way of receiving and organizing information at a subconscious level; from an information-processing standpoint, they often hit our attentional sweet spot.
  • When we process information, we do so spatially. For instance, it’s hard to memorize through brute force the groceries we need to buy. It’s easier to remember everything if we write it down in bulleted or numbered points.
  • Your mind wants to categorize. We can’t process information quickly when it’s clustered and undifferentiated (like in standard paragraphs). A list feels more intuitive.
  • Your mind wants to know how long this will take. The more we know about something—including precisely how much time it will consume—the greater the chance we will commit to it.
  • List completion is self-reinforcing. We recall with pleasure that we were able to check something off the list. This makes us want to go back to the list for another dopamine hit.

Do your brain a favor and break down what you learned and your action steps into a series of checklists.

4. Take action NOW! – Don’t wait! Nothing good happens when you wait.

So there you have it, 4 steps to win the post-conference game.