One thing we have always admired about you is the way you lead your team and the culture of your team. Can you describe your team for me?
It’s funny you say that. In the beginning, we had so many people that bought into the culture more than the team and the standards. I now realize that it is important to create a culture that is a family environment, and I still have to hold them accountable. It took us a long time to find that balance. We’ve finally worked out how to maintain a culture of productivity, and a culture that believes in something greater than themselves; that anything is possible.
What was your team like in the beginning?
We didn’t have a culture at first. Ricky and I both think that if people like me then I’m a great leader and therefore there is a great culture. We quickly realized that if our culture is based on our feelings of how people think about us, we are in trouble. It turns out, people liking me is not a great sign. If people always like me then I’m not being a great leader.
From there we went to focusing on productivity, but when we looked at our team not everyone was producing and they were still on the team. Honestly, not much changed until we made a commitment to be very open about our faith in our business. We decided to post online and share openly who we are and started to attract the right people who are in alignment with our culture.
Now when we bring on new people, they shadow before joining our team. We have a shadow day every week. A new prospect will join us from 8-12 and shadow what virtual office looks like. They see everything. Our team prays every morning before starting.
When we put our faith on the front lines we found a culture of individuals who believe in something greater than themselves. When everyone thinks the same way, there is no cap on what we do. It’s different when you have a culture that is not calling people out, it’s calling people up.
How do you balance the family and faith culture you talked about and productivity?
I think of expectations differently than I used to. We shadow, people come in, Ricky will talk with them. We put them with different people on the team and then they spend time with me. I go over expectations, their first 90 days, and I ask them about their expectations going into this partnership. I will say to them, “here’s what mine are. Either this aligns or it doesn’t.” If it does, we run through the first 90 days. I go deep on finding out, how do you win with me, lose with me, and vice versa.
I then print that out and attach it to their file. When something is going wrong, I bring it back to the conversation. I’ll say, “Remember when we talked about this? I want to go back over that…” Expectations are a constant conversation. When an expectation changes, we have a conversation. I have no hesitation to update, expand, or build our expectations.
I also know that expectations go both ways, sometimes they may be wanting more from me. I’ll ask them, “When we went into partnership, we agreed to this… and also… in what ways am I not living up to your expectations?”
It sounds like you are really clear on what you expect. What are your nonnegotiables?
Number 1 for us is participation. I expect all team members to be at lead gen, at team meetings, and interacting with each other. I also don’t mess around with lead gen. Every agent, no matter their production level, does their lead gen in the office. We are looking for 6 appointments booked a month, with 4 agreements taken, 1 escrow a month in your first year and 2 a month in your second year.
How did you adjust to moving virtual?
We are virtual right now, and the first adjustment we made to being virtual was creating virtual lead gen hours. All of our agents are required to be in the “office” from 8am – 12pm to lead generate and lead follow-up together. We all dial into Google hangouts and I ask everyone to have their cameras on. That’s the time we are together, we are a community. I try to have fun and create chemistry, community, and synergy across a screen. It’s funny, our entire team will log in to Google hangouts and some will stay on until 7:30 at night. We are constantly connected to each other, even if it is through a screen.
What else do you do to create your culture?
Besides being in the office and actually seeing each other daily, we have a couple of other things. I realized at some point that I needed to be able to check in with people beyond their one-on-one. I created a daily greatness recap. Every day each agent reports their win of the day, their greatest challenge, and a screenshot of their production. This was really helpful for me because I could see people having the same challenges and know what they needed from me. I could also get information like when are they finishing their day? Are they working too late or finishing too early? It gives me great feedback.
What do you wish you knew when you first started?
If I could go back, I would allow people to earn opportunity instead of giving it to them. We give opportunities now based on production. The more you produce and the better you convert, the more opportunities you are given. At each level, you earn more lead sources and/or warmer leads.
You’ve worked with YPP for a couple of years now, what is your favorite thing about working with YPP?
It’s coaching to the brain of a human. It’s different from what I’ve done before, it is customized. You are a human being that thinks and operates. This is like human optimization, it’s not a mold. It’s about how do I help this person optimize their human experience to be the best version of themselves that they can be. How do you take the vessel you are and understand yourself at the highest level you can in order to help yourself and others.
I have so much more grace for people now, it allows me to lead with a different ear. You are not your behavior. I lead at a different level. I think now, this is the path God put me on. How do I, through the experience I create with my team, help them live the best life they can? How do we all get better as a result of our partnership?
What inspires you?
I love the NBA, they are so impressive. Have you ever noticed that in basketball when you fall down, you never get yourself back up? Watch it. When you see teams on the court and a player falls, their teammates help them get back up and when you get back on the court, everyone high fives you. I started to ask myself, how do we celebrate success and failures consistently? How do we create a culture where we pick each other up? Where they are in it for each other as much as I am in it for them? And, how do we create the same adrenaline rush here? The adrenaline in sports is crazy, I need them to have peak performance here. This is what caused me to focus on creating a team that gave instant feedback and encouragement, it’s them, not just me.
What do you do for yourself that allows you to be 100% every day?
First thing I do every morning is put my feet on the floor, throw my hands in the air and say, “Yes! Today is going to be an amazing day! Thank you!”
I believe that I have to focus on the journey I’m on and my evolution. There are people who don’t wake up in the morning. I’ve been given the gift of today, who am I to sit in a corner when other people didn’t get to today?
I also have a morning routine. Every morning I grab my coffee, pray, journal, and read. When I don’t do that, I don’t feel as good. It helps me take what I’m learning to help other people grow. If I don’t feed my own brain, it’s like I’m being inauthentic to help people do the same. I look to grow through everything; how could I grow through this?
From a brain perspective, I know I can get myself through anything. If I just exercise the gift of the brain I’ve been given, I know I can get myself into something really fast.
How do you do it when you’re not feeling great?
I do the gratitude alphabet. When I am super hi-jacked, I list everything I’m grateful for from A to Z. It’s impossible to be angry and grateful at the same time. If I’m being honest, I probably do this 2 times a week.
What is a book you think everyone should read?
Jim Rohn- The Four Seasons of Life. What I love about his teaching is that everything comes back to spirituality. It’s about how what you reap is what you sow. I read it every year in November.
Radical Candor is a great book to help you lead others and lead yourself.
If you could put anything on a billboard, what would it be?
An unexamined life is not worth living.