Friday, September 30, 2011

Passion Party #398 - Commitment

Ever since my first sales job, I always felt that I could do the manager's job better than the person I was working under. But I didn't want to be a "manager". The manager's job was on the "dark side":
- it took more hours
- it took commitment
- it involved hiring and firing, monitoring and penalizing people.
I didn't want that job. I didn't want my "work" to become my "life". My dad had spent his whole life building a company, and I wanted to live “life”, not live “work”. I had the perception that in the “us vs. them” world, I would rather be on the side of freedom, rather than management.

Then in 1995 I was hired as a loan officer for a national bank that was moving into California. Two weeks after I was hired, the manager quit. A decision was made not to hire a new manager. Our division of 20 loan officers would just hand our files into the wholesale loan division, and hope for the best.

It was then that I made a decision: I would become the Retail Loan Manager.
After 8 years in the banking business I knew I could be a production manager, but until then I never had the desire. I remember saying that night to my wife, "I am going to be the manager".

The next day when I walked into the bank, everything seemed different. The way I interacted with people was different. The way I felt was different. Even the way I walked seemed different. Before I approached the wholesale operations manager to apply for the job, I was already acting as if I had the job.

I had made a commitment to mortgage banking.
I had made a decision to lead.
I knew I could do it, and that I would do it.

After a few weeks of negotiation, I officially had the job, working side by side with the wholesale ops manager. She went on to become a great friend and mentor.

It was the commitment and the decision that made the difference. It was the start of my becoming a leader.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Passion Party #397 - My Fear / My Hope

My fear is that I take on too much
My fear is that I don't know how to say "no"
My fear is that I will lose the feeling of closeness
with my wife
with my sons
My fear is that I will run the wrong direction
and leave my greatest possibilities in the dust
My fear is that there is not enough time to get done all I want to do.

My hope is that love will prevail
My hope is that we can live in peace
My hope is that I will lead with collaboration
My hope is that I communicate so clearly that decisions become easy
My hope is that work becomes easy and effortless
My hope is that I find balance in my life today
My hope is that today I Live - Laugh - Love - Let Go

Monday, September 19, 2011

Passion Party #396 - Know Your Market

Are you a supermarket
or a convenience store?
Are you selling a Bentley
or a Smart Car?
Are you something for everyone
or everything for someone?

When you know your market
building a business is easy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Passion Party #395 - Ruthless Vs. Rigorous

The world is filled with ruthless people
They will slash and burn to maintain or build power
Its "My way or the highway"
and "Crush the competition".

I choose to be rigorous, not ruthless
laser-focused on the job that needs to be done
not wavering in belief
that I will not only survive, but thrive;
working in collaboration with others,
inviting competition
because I know the comparison
will only make me look better

I am not wimpy
I am rigorous in my desire to get things done:
comprehensive, thorough and complete.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Passion Party #394 - Problems Vs. Opportunities

For about three years I worked as a manager in the mortgage business, first as the manager of retail mortgages for Fleet Bank, and then as a manager of a boutique mortgage broker in Santa Monica, CA.

Near the end of the three years I found that my job was similar to herding cats.
Managing loan officers was a challenge;
if things went well it was because of "the market"
and if things went poorly it was "my fault".

I realized that I was spending most of my time
managing other people's problems.

After a discussion with the owner of the brokerage firm, we came to the conclusion
that I was missing a huge opportunity.
I would be happier (and wealthier) if I spent my time building my own book of business from my 10 years in mortgages, rather than spend my time motivating people that did not want to be managed.

Managing problems may have made me a good manager.
Building on my opportunities has given me a great life.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Passion Party #393 - The Best Way To Succeed

Find someone doing what you want to do
Analyze their success
- what are the elements of what they do?
- how do they market it?
- how did they get from A to B to C?

Then, be curious
don't be afraid to poke it and
see what happens
Don't be afraid to make it novel
or more fun
Don't be afraid to
organize for joy
as well as efficiency.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Passion Party #392 - The "Not To Do" List

Doin' in, Doin' it, Doin' it...
Just like Toad,
in the "Frog and Toad" books,
I start most days making a To Do list
Then I spend the day
going down the list
crossing things off to create
a feeling of accomplishment.
But the next day there is always another list
of things to do.

Doin' in, Doin' it, Doin' it...

Today, for a change
the To Do list can wait.
What if, just for today,
it becomes more important to focus
on what Not To Do
to improve my life?
What would that list look like?

Do Not obsess about my job
Do Not get into arguments with employees or clients
Do Not overeat at lunch
Do Not forget to tell your family that you love them
Do Not spend 8 hours sitting at your desk - no matter how many things
are on your "to do" list

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Passion Party #391 - What If It Works?

Very often
when we get the Big Idea
the thought that stops us is
"What if I fail?"

But there are actually two kinds of afraid:
afraid of things that might fail
and afraid of things that might work.

I think my fear is
fear of failure,
but I know failure. I have experienced it and know what it feels like.
The bigger unknown is usually
"What if I succeed?"

What if my Big Idea works,
thus changing everything
opening up a new set of
problems, relationships and scariness?

Will I be ready
when this big unknown called success
knocks on my door?