By Gino Blefari
This week my travels first found me in Minneapolis for a HomeServices of America, Inc. board meeting. As soon as the meeting ended, I flew into Omaha, NE to get together with the “Mavericks” that evening. The Mavericks is a small think-tank group of CEOs that meets every six months to exchange ideas and help each other grow. Each meeting is hosted by a different company; this one took place at the brand-new office of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate and was organized by Broker/Owner Vince Leisey and his incredibly helpful staff.
During our Mavericks meetings, we hold a peer review on the host company, which translates into open-minded discussions about the culture, systems and overall operation (including profitability) of the brokerage. In true Mavericks fashion, we debate progressive ways to solve problems and propose innovative, forward-thinking solutions.
I especially like that our group is called “Mavericks” because the word itself gets to the heart of what we do: A maverick, by definition, is “an unorthodox or independent-minded person,” or, to use a familiar business term, someone who regularly “thinks outside the box,” and that’s exactly our goal. We seek to disrupt the status quo, to dislodge the ordinary and to dismantle all the things that objectively just aren’t working in order to build a business both lasting and sustainable.
Sometimes, as leaders, I think we are so focused on how we can individually influence success that we forget to lean on the knowledge and expertise of others. You’ve heard it before but I’ll reiterate it again: Don’t focus on improving your weaknesses. Focus on strengthening your strengths. Whatever you don’t know, find someone who does. Whatever you can’t accomplish, find someone who will. Collaboration is the stuff of real success.
But don’t just take my word for it. As Andrew Carnegie once said, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
So, what’s the message? Work smart, work hard and work together because success can’t—and shouldn’t—happen alone.