THOUGHTS ON LEADERSHIP: FROM STAR TO SUPERSTAR

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Las Vegas for Mike Ferry’s Superstar Retreat. Like him or not (and if you don’t, that just means you don’t like hard work), Mike Ferry has probably taught more successful agents in the last 40+ years than any trainer in the industry and certainly has had the biggest impact on my career. With Mike, it boils down to common-sense business. Work hard. Be proud you’re a professional real estate salesperson. Be confident. Never cower from your success.

Mike may be a little bit harsh, somewhat controversial and he’s definitely direct but anyone who follows him—as thousands have—go on to become some of the top-producing real estate agents in the world. He teaches you how to run your business like a business. He’s also become a strong advocate for brokers and operators, understanding how hard it is to run a real estate branch or company.

Mike’s Superstar Retreat is all about delivering real estate agents with the necessary tools and tactics to be the most successful, best agents they can be. It’s a no-nonsense conference meant to increase productivity through accountability, discipline and execution. (In fact, I heard a great quote onstage Wednesday morning: “Create the production to fit the lifestyle you want. Don’t reduce your lifestyle to fit your lack of production.”)

The theme for this year’s Superstar Retreat was Building and Maintaining Top Production in a Changing Market, and covered four main topics: prospecting, listing, objection-handling and perhaps most important of all, mindset enhancers to keep mindset strong.

One way to maintain a positive, strong mindset is to not go at it alone. In fact, Mike was my mentor and accountability partner for many, many years. We had a weekly accountability call where I had to report on what I accomplished every week and if any of you know Mike, you know he would not tolerate “excuse-itis.”

Another reason an accountability partner is important is because he or she can assist you in avoiding the dreaded crutch of complacency. There’s a line I often recite: “I call complacency the most insidious disease in the world; it just sits there on your shoulder and tells you whatever you’re doing is OK.”

Why is complacency not only bad but also inherently deceptive? Because it’s basically a lie that keeps us operating at the status quo, which in effect, is never enough to go from being a professional star to a professional superstar. (Another favorite saying applies: “Once you think you know it all, your slide to mediocrity has already begun.”)

If complacency is one of the worst traits to possess as leaders then persistence is one of the best, and when coupled with goals set high, persistence leads to accomplishment. I’ve been going to Mike’s Superstar Retreat since 1986 and I return each time because I know how important it is to rid myself of any lingering complacency by being surrounded with top performers. The agents who attend the Superstar Retreat are driven to push themselves beyond the limits of what they think they’re capable of achieving. Low expectations lead to complacency. Mediocre goals lead to complacency. A lack of motivation or an unwillingness to change leads to complacency and Mike doesn’t stand for any of it. Neither do the top, top producers who sit in the audience at his events. “Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher,” explains Mike.

So, what’s the message? To eliminate complacency from your life, spend time with leaders who are simply doing more and doing it better — like those who attend Mike Ferry’s Superstar Retreat. Find an accountability partner like Mike who is direct and who will hold you accountable to continuous improvement. Remember, casualness creates casualties. A non-complacent mindset requires taking risks, persisting amid challenges, exercising common-sense business practices and fostering a future-thinking mindset that doesn’t settle on the laurels of your last win. As Mike says, “Have high goals and keep pushing yourself to succeed.”

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