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Embrace Continual Improvement
Core Value #5
Embrace Continual Improvement
I couldn’t think of anything better to bring you in this season's In House than one of my favorite Core Values of our great and historic real estate company. Embrace Continual Improvement.
Picture for a moment what our world would look like if growth never occurred. In the simplest form of the word that would be quite a sight. Babies as far as the eye could see and no one to help them grow into the person and people that they were created to be. But what if we carried that same thought past the physicality of growing and viewed the process of growth that occurs in the mind. This growth has a much greater capacity in that it not only has the ability to shape the present but more importantly, the future.
The most powerful concept and idea that any person will ever attach to is the concept of Continual Improvement. This concept is not merely an idea but should be classified as a universal business principle that has incredible weight and power in our lives. A universal principle should be seen as a controlling factor in in any outcome and the more it is known and understood, the more it can be leveraged for one’s benefit. Consider gravity. No matter what I believe about gravity it is holding my feet to the ground right this second. If I don’t know about, or choose not to believe in gravity, it is still holding my feet firmly to the ground. There are several other principles and laws that will allow me to counteract the effects of gravity. Knowing and understanding these laws and principles will allow me to use these forces as an advantage as opposed to them becoming a hindrance or impediment in my life.
Author Jim Rohn has said that we are the average of the 5 people that we spend the most time with. Let’s carry that further with the idea that you are the average of not just the 5 people but of the 5 sources that you learn from. This is principle number one that I’d like you to connect with. Make a list of the 5 places or sources where you spend the most time and you will find that your thinking will not have the ability to go beyond those things. For most people in America the list is pretty easy to compile... Television, Social
Media, Movies, Internet Games, Magazines. More people can tell me who is married to Brad Pitt than could list the 3 major parts to any business that must exist for it to succeed or the top 3 things you can do to organize your day and minimize stress in your life. But we live each day wondering how is it that some people seem to have success and we seem to be stuck in a rut.
If I told you that you could accomplish incredible things in the world, would you believe me? Why is it that many people feel that they are relegated to be average? Why do we end up feeling like just another person lost in the shuffle of life doing the same things every day, over and over and over again? At 51 years old I have to wonder how many times I’ve brushed my teeth by now. Perhaps one of the most significant obstructions to stepping out of the ordinary and attempting to attain the extraordinary is the common opinion, that perhaps, I already know everything that I need to know. But imagine for a moment that this belief was eradicated from your mind. Picture waking up in the morning with the feeling that you did not know what you needed to know to survive the day. What would you do? How would your day, week, year and life change? The problem is that once you believe you know everything, you can’t learn anything. If you believe you know most of what you need to know to be successful then you will seek to learn just a little bit. Leaders are learners... to the extent, they believe they need to. Spend a day with the most successful people in the world and you will see a stack of books on their nightstand by their bed... they are forever learning, a belief they only know what they know and need to learn more.
That leads us into the introduction of another universal business principle that will change your future. The problems that have been created in our lives cannot be solved with the same thinking under which those problems began. New knowledge and information is necessary to effectively resolve those issues. People tend to look at problems in life and business from one of two perspectives. The first is to throw our hands up in the air and bellow about the miserable hand that we’ve been dealt and to give into the depression of our bad luck. The second is to understand that practically every issue that we face can be solved if we go on a mission to find the knowledge and information that will lead us to the solution.
I love what Richard DeVoss says about success. “The only thing that stands between a person and what they want from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible.” What are you willing to believe about yourself and what are you willing to try to do to make it where you want to go? Most of us understand what wisdom is but are we willing to make the choice to set aside the time necessary to attain it. Wisdom is defined as ‘the body of knowledge and principles that develops within a specified society or period’. If I asked you if you wanted people to consider you to be wise, of course the answer would be a resounding yes. So what is the path to attaining this wisdom? That is entirely up to you.
Let me tell you a little about where I started to give you a look into a path that has led me to great successes. I owned my first business at the early age of 30. I had a partnership where I was not the majority owner. I learned a valuable lesson, Always be the controlling partner! My next business I had majority ownership!. It is highly successful. Without that first failure, it’s likely the second would NOT have been. When my first business was failing, I threw my hands up and said “I just can’t do it.” Like My Dad always said, “... CAN’T never could, because it never had a chance. If you believe you CAN’T, you are right. If you believe you CAN, you are also right.” That would mark the last time in my life that I ever believed that I couldn’t do something. My thought process became more positive. I came to believe that in every situation I may not currently know the solution to my problem, but all I really need is new knowledge and information. If I am willing to pick up a book, then I can attain that knowledge and move forward instead of remaining stuck in the same place for many years. I made a promise to myself that I would read and seek out knowledge and wisdom,
and the subjects chosen, were from the issues that existed in my dailylife. Psychology. Business/Marketing. Sales/Spirituality. Leadership. The capacity for your life is limitless when you decide to take control and choose what you will put into your mind and when you will do it. It is an impossibility to make this choice and for your life to stay the same. You will grow and attain the life that you will build with what you have chosen to put inside your mind.
When I made the decision to start learning to be the person that I desired to become, I developed a new desire for reading and surrounding myself with the people that could help me achieve what I wanted in life. One of the first books I read was, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, which primed my mind to start thinking differently. I moved forward to one of my favorite authors, Andy Stanley. In his book, Visioneering, he details the idea of preparing for the success you would like to achieve even before any opportunity has presented itself. One of my favorite quotes from Andy is, “Direction, Not Intention, Determines your Destination... You cannot get to California from the Midwest by going east, unless you want to fly around the world.” All of the best intentions will never get you to where you want to go in life. This is why many of us end up fighting what we feel like is an uphill battle to achieve success and never fully find what we are looking for.
How many people can you name that are highly successful doing what they want to achieve? How many of those people are you around on a consistent basis for you to learn from? “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” Although frequently credited to a Navy Seal Commander, we can originally attribute this quote to the Greek lyrical poet, Archilochus. What quotes do you have written on the walls of your office? How do you keep your mind focused on the right things? Who are the five people that you are spending time with and learning from? What are the five sources that you are choosing to draw from as the foundation for your future? Pick up a pen right now and start writing. Put in place the plan for your future by changing your current surroundings and situation. This is the only way to break the cycle that you have been stuck in for most of your life.
So how does the cycle of change begin? First, it starts with changing your mindset. Make the decision to learn everything you can so that you can be the best at what you do. Fully internalize and believe what Jim Collins said, “Good is the Enemy of Great.” That belief will prime your mind and set your intentions into action. Second, make a plan. Set your schedule daily to include time for personal growth. Morning or evening doesn’t matter. Just choose the time that you are most alert and ready to absorb something new. Third, find people that are ahead of you on the path and walk with them in the same direction. Continual Improvement is not a fad or a passing trend. It is a way of life that you will implement to achieve the confidence and success that you’ve always wanted. Make the decision to start your journey today. I can guarantee that you will love the results.
IMPACTING OTHERS TO PROSPER
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