It has always struck me how analogous the behavior of high performing sports teams is to that of high performing sales teams. If you have any questions as to whether this is true or not, please consider the following.
- In both situations, highly talented individuals are asked to contribute to a team effort
- Both are highly rewarding in terms of income, but due to spin off success, high performing teams typically earn more than high performing individuals alone
- Both scenarios require high ego-driven individuals to respect and support overall team goals
- Both situations present challenges for leaders and managers in creating perceived value for their agents and staff
To me, the conversation always comes back to accountability; accountability to self and accountability to the team. Just think about the interviews that were aired during this most recent World Series. In fact, if you recorded the games go back and view them again. What you will hear, time and again, is a high performer crediting teammates for their personal success. If you stop and think about this for just a moment, it is a really striking development and testament to the fact that high performing athletes understand what Warren Buffett meant by the following statement.
“It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction” – Warren Buffett
So the secret to winning, whether a World Series of baseball or any campaign in business, revolves around one simple notion – the ability to hone and develop one’s personal skills and success, while at the same time helping others around you to succeed as well. This is an art that was formerly a fundamental part of the fabric of American business, which sports modeled itself after. Today, it all too often seems to be regarded as a nice, yet antiquated idea. This must change!
By the way, It is interesting to note that only two teams (one in professional baseball and another in college football) do not display player’s names on their jerseys. Can you name them?
To Leaders and Managers
Great managers like Vince Lombardi, Tom Landry, or Joe Girardi create cultures where high expectation and a high degree of accountability is the accepted norm. These leaders also understand that all interactions need to form a two-way street of accountability. At times in our business, leaders unwittingly discount their own value by allowing communications and accountabilities with their “team” to become a one way process; always heading in the leader/manager’s direction. Of course agents provide productivity and hence dollars to the company and no one could ever dispute the critical nature of that contribution. But leaders are equally critical in this mix. After all, it is the leader who;
- Creates a sound culture
- Coaches agents to higher levels of productivity
- Uncovers opportunities in the marketplace
- Distributes company leads equitably
- Helps in the negotiation of transactions
- Provides marketing guidance, and
- A myriad of other things that have value to agents and company alike.
It is time we all realize how much we all truly need one another. It is time for all of us to understand how inextricably we are all connected with each other’s success. This applies to agent teams, the entire collection of agents within a brokerage or our entire industry for that matter. Given the pressures we face from organizations outside our industry who continue to wedge their way into our relationship with consumers, let the valuable words of Henry Ford serve as an anthem for how we can win every World Series of real estate.
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success”