By Gino Blefari
This week I was in China with Earl Lee, HSF Affiliates LLC CEO, presenting to a group of 800 top-producing agents at the 5i5j Group Conference.
The market in China has had an unprecedented run, and I was asked to speak about the U.S home-buying and selling process, the qualities of a successful agent in America and the best strategies for connecting with clients and colleagues.
Even though I spent 14 hours flying to China to share my perspectives, I was distinctly aware I was there to learn: from the passionate agents themselves and from the bustling Chinese economy. While in China, I also remembered the ancient teachings of Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu, whose lessons of decisiveness, introspection and leadership told in The Art of War I always carry with me.
It’s no secret that The Art of War is much more than a 2,500-year-old How To for military minds. Its principles have been espoused by managers, entrepreneurs, politicians and even on the gridiron by Super Bowl champions (New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick famously promotes its principles to his players and coaching staff).
The Art of War has widespread appeal because, at its core, the text is about strategic decisions instead of waging war. “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle,” Sun Tzu wrote. The connection between its principles and a competitive approach to achieving success in business should become obvious. For Sun Tzu, the art is not in the fight but instead in avoiding the fight. Therefore, a leader must be skilled and confident enough to plan and protect. Leadership, according to The Art of War, is described as an exacting endeavor unmarred by ambiguities or apprehension.
I saw these qualities in the faces, actions, energy and mindset of the 800 agents I met in China. Their enthusiasm for their craft and devotion to the real estate industry provided me with real-life lessons as important as those taught in The Art of War.