Magic Tricks Inspire Leadership and Growth In Northern Virginia and DC Metro Real Estate

In our Vistage meeting this week we had a very dynamic speaker by the name of Andrew Bennett. Andrew has a very interesting background and actually uses magic in his presentations to aid in engaging his audience.  He spoke about analyzing your business through the skills magicians use: appear, disappear, and restore.  Using slight-of-hand, Andrew evokes concepts: what in your company do you need to take on as a new initiative to grow your business,  what do you need to eliminate from your business that is unproductive or preventing growth, and what needs to be fixed – worth keeping, but hasn’t been tweaked to operate at full capacity.

The Magic of Andrew Bennett Blending knowledge of leadership, organizational culture, and mental management with magic.

Key areas we discussed were culture and employee engagement.  It all starts at the top and filters down to employees.  Look at how you use your words, how you inspire, develop relationships, develop your self-awareness, display your authenticity and utilize discipline; apply the appear/disappear/restore analysis to your business. Let’s look at each of these areas individually.

  • WORDS – Researchers say you have 60,000 thoughts a day – 57,000 were thoughts you had the day before.  What do you ask yourself so as to drive yourself to be successful?  Be intentional in your thoughts and in the questions you ask yourself.  To change your thoughts, change your words.  Think in terms of, “what I speak is what I create”.  Think about what you say to others and more importantly, to yourself.
  • INSPIRATION – the definition is “to breathe life into”.  Inspiration comes from the inside, so touch what matters to others – help them believe the impossible is possible.  As a leader, deliver the power of WOW.  Passion and hope come together and become inspiration.  Build on emotions and sense of accomplishment.  Think about what inspires you about your business?  What are you willing to suffer to get what you want? Why is that important to you and why does that matter to others.
  • RELATIONSHIPS – Your individual supervisors and the amount of communication they have with your people are critical to employee engagement – know personal things about your people to build trust – recognize other’s mannerisms to determine how can you help them.
  • SELF AWARENESS –  What we believe is what we see.  What do you see?  Who fosters these beliefs to encourage you to greatness?  How do my beliefs result in how I show up each day?  Pay attention to this area – how you show up is critical to the culture you are developing.
  • AUTHENTICITY – Transparency and vulnerability are your keys to authenticity.  Ground yourself in reality but be hopeful.  What are your challenges or struggles and how will you overcome them?  Be true to yourself and you will be authentic to others.
  • DISCIPLINE – do what I say, it is that easy!

Things to consider as you contemplate these topics:

  • What excites you about our organization?  Communicate this with others.
  • Who are your trusted allies?  Seek them out and ask for feedback.
  • Where are your blindspots?  We all have them and your trusted allies can help guide you through discovering them.
  • Deliver your message consistently but paint the picture in different ways to appeal to your team members.

As you move in this direction be passionate about what you do, help make a difference in other’s lives and build something greater than yourself through inspiring others to achieve more.  Get it?  Got it?  Good.

Now, go build something!

How will you make it happen?

In today’s business world we all have similar challenges – we want more sales, more clients, a larger database, more profit and the question is, “how do we make it happen?”  In my opinion, it all starts with relationships.  How you treat others, how you speak with others, how do you interact with others are all actions that you take every day that require continuous analysis.  Once analyzed, take the time to enhance and improve on these important skills to be successful. 

The analogy of – people do business with people they know, like and trust is an adage that goes back several decades.  What must you do to have this happen to you? 

First, be an excellent listener.  Be engaged, my eye contact, lean forward, and take notes – be interested, not interesting and people will respond in kind.  Remember their name – it is music to their ears. 

Next, avoid the “me” monster – ask questions, pause before responding, find common ground and build upon that common ground.  Take extra time with people, don’t rush people, ignore people or treat them poorly – this will have a long lasting negative impression upon them.  Remember, it is all about them – not you.  You want them to feel good about the interaction with you and want more.

Also, remember to be observant – recognize their style of dress, artwork in the office or home, memorabilia, pictures of places, friends or family, the car they drive, etc. that will give you clues about how they are as individuals.  These clues about who they are and what they enjoy will help you build upon your relationship with them.

Compliment them when appropriate.  People love to receive accolades for a job well done or on their personal appearance or style.  Be careful not to overdo it or it will come across as insincere.

Be positive and keep an open mind to learn something new every day.  By learning something new, you get the opportunity to teach or help someone else with their situation.

If you take these skills, couple them with dressing the part and build upon them with what my friend Hilary Fordwich calls the 5 C’s you will gain more business, get more referrals, have more profits and in the end, enjoy more success.  

Her 5 C’s are:

Communication.  Buy in your language, sell to them in theirs.  Never start emails with I.  Use their name often.  Be visual versus internal.

Candor.  Be open and honest.  If you make a mistake, admit it.  If you don’t know something, tell your client you don’t know but you will find out.  Be a straight shooter.  Do not use the following terms  – to be honest with you, let me be frank with you or to tell you the truth.  Being honest builds credibility and trust.

Concern.  Empathize with your clients.  It is about your clients and their needs not yours.  Show you truly care by going above and beyond the call of duty.  Understand their situation and where they stand.

Competence.  Know how to tailor your service to meet their needs.  Know your business, its trends, and the numbers and know how to communicate it with your clients.

Connection.  Find common ground to neutralize differences.  Ask the right questions both personal and professional ones to learn more about them.

The more you rehearse these skills, the more you incorporate them into your daily routines, the more you and your business will grow.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!


Joe Theisman…the hightlight of the RE/MAX Broker Conference

Joe What a performance by Joe Theismann – again!  Being a lifelong Washington Redskin fan, I experienced many of Joe’s outstanding performances on the field but at the RE/MAX Broker/Owner meetings in Chicago, he outdid himself with his speaking.  He inspired many of us, surprised many more with his message and his delivery when he spoke about how he overcame a major challenge – a career ending injury – and how we can overcome our challenges in our lives by thinking about the following items.


· Be a part of something unique and special

· Think about what you will do to make a difference

· Who is it all about – the answer is – it isn’t you

· Embrace change

· Have a heart to heart with yourself – what do you believe in

· You can’t be a major success until you realize you can’t do it all by yourself

· Don’t accept failure

· Think, what can I do to help the team

· Who is your team

· Do you want to make a difference

· You have to want more for yourself – what will you give of yourself to get you there

· Reposition your attitude, thoughts, etc

· What do you do with a challenge when it is presented to you

· Have a passion

· Do it with enthusiasm

· Ask yourself, how high is your ladder – why does it have a last wrung

· Why do you believe in you

· Give and accept recognition

· Become an excited student – make it your mission to learn something today you didn’t know yesterday – everyday

· Fear is a motivator – what are you afraid of

· Attitude carries you to attain your goals

· To survive, you have to have written goals and post them.  98% of people don’t have written goals

· How will you know where you are going if it’s not written down and visualized

· Give yourself direction

· Life is filled with educational experiences not failures

· Be committed to having the feeling you can get it done

· Have pride in you, your company, your brand, what you do and why, and lastly be the best you – everyday

· Be reliable, accountable, available, be customer service oriented, have the right goals, the right attitude and be motivated

As I mentioned, he was right on with many of his statements and comments.  So, the questions is, what are you going to do about it?  Review the bullet points above, write you answers down on paper, review them and get started in a positive direction and live a more successful life.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!