Thoughts on Leadership: Healthy, Wealthy, Wise and Minimize

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me first working from my Northern California office and next in San Diego for the HomeServices of America, Inc. CEO Leadership Conference. The conference brought together leaders from our HomeServices of America companies to discuss financial updates, ideas for growth, diversity and inclusion initiatives and more. We also reviewed company scorecards because when performance is measured performance improves; when performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates. The conference will wrap up tomorrow with Tom Ferry, top real estate coach and speaker and founder/CEO of Tom Ferry International, delivering a presentation on “leaning into change.”

And on the subject of change, with each new year, I review and revise my life plan. In fact, completing and editing a life plan is the subject of my upcoming University session at the 2020 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Convention in Nashville. Each year, I give my plan a theme and this year the theme is healthy, wealthy, wise and minimize.

 When you’re running a company, it’s important to centralize your goal-accomplishment and execution efforts around a central theme. For example, our theme for the 2020 Sales Convention is LIVE IT. A simple but effective and powerful theme will keep everyone on track and on the same page.

I’m focused right now on the last word of my 2020 theme – minimize. The phrase may seem counterintuitive to growth but by minimizing or eliminating the unnecessary from your personal and professional life, you’re making room for only the essential components to thrive. It’s hard to discuss minimal living without mentioning Marie Kondo, whose KonMari method of organizing has taken the world by storm. In her best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” Kondo explains her simple approach: When tidying up, critically ask yourself: “Does it spark joy?” If it does, it stays. If it doesn’t, you’ve found something that is excessive and in the way of a more calming, minimal life.

A March 2019 article published by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business dissected the KonMari method and applied it to the workplace. Decluttering doesn’t have to be a physical act like cleaning up your desk or office space, although that’s helpful. It can also be about decluttering your mind. Quoting KonMari consultant Amanda Jefferson, the Wharton piece explains: “Clearing out mental and physical clutter opens up enormous space and clarity … at its heart, KonMari is about … stopping to take stock of what’s truly essential to fulfilling your mission and then doing the hard work to eliminate all the other noise.”

As the saying goes, it’s the hard that makes us great, so don’t expect decluttering of your office desk or clearing your mind to be an easy endeavor. Wharton Executive Coach Erin Owen recommends a digital decluttering, too. This might include auditing the apps on your phone to delete those you don’t use, cleaning your inbox so it’s back to zero new emails or unsubscribing to newsletters you no longer read.

Owen also says leaders can utilize the “sparking joy” parameter to identify the best possible tasks for team members to execute on. Perhaps you have a brilliant sales professional who doesn’t enjoy writing proposals—this simply doesn’t spark joy—and another team member who enjoys putting together proposals but finds no joy in make the sale. Prioritizing tasks based on joy-sparking could make your team more efficient and minimize the non-joy-sparking elements of someone’s day.

So, what’s the message? For today’s post, it’s twofold: First, decide if you haven’t already on your overall theme for this year. Second, if you want to be part of my theme for 2020—healthy, wealthy, wise and minimize—then take these next few days to analyze those mental and physical messes in your life you can de-clutter and rearrange. Just by eliminating even one small thing, you might find greater happiness or spark joy not only for yourself but also for those around you.

Thoughts on Leadership: The Science of Your Brain

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me first at our HSF Affiliates headquarters in Irvine, California to attend alignment sessions—global and domestic for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and domestic for Real Living Real Estate—where I shared our system of execution and goal-accomplishment with prospective brokerage teams. Next, I traveled to Nashville and it’s here, on the location of the 2020 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Convention where I find myself now.

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THOUGHTS ON LEADERSHIP: ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE NEW YEAR

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Hawaii, recharging, resetting and putting the finishing touches on my 2020 goals while keeping my calls and actual work to a minimum.

In fact, here’s a practice I employ from the book “18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done” by Peter Bregman: Set your alarm clock or phone to go off every hour during the day … that’s eight 1-minute check-ins. When the clock goes off, it’s your reminder to pause, reflect, recharge, recalibrate and refocus. And that’s what I’m doing in Hawaii.

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THOUGHTS ON LEADERSHIP: HAPPY HOLIDAYS

By Gino Blefari

This week I’m in Northern California, working right up until the holidays to ensure a merry and bright new year for all of our brands. The holidays are such a special time with friends and family, and as far as leadership goes, St. Nick happens to be an iconic leader. Why is he such a shining example of leadership? Here are 12 reasons:

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THOUGHTS ON LEADERSHIP: NETWORK, CELEBRATE, CONNECT

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Northern California. On Monday, I met with technology experts who are helping our organization tackle the complexities and subtleties of putting together an effective technology plan. In a world driven by technology and competition, it’s important for non-biased experts to recommend a path forward for our company. They examined what we’re doing without agenda or predisposition and we were able to have constructive conversations. The combination of business and technology is an art rather than a science and having the right people in the room allowed for creative collaboration to flourish.

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THOUGHTS ON LEADERSHIP: WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN EXCELLENT ORGANIZATION

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me first in Orange County and next in Washington, D.C. where I had a chance to attend Long & Foster’s Company Executives and Senior Leadership Meeting. In September 2017, HomeServices of America, Inc. announced the acquisition of The Long & Foster Companies, Inc. According to the REAL Trends 500 report released that same year, Long & Foster ranked as the largest independent residential real estate brand by volume and the second-largest independent brand by units.

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THOUGHTS ON LEADERSHIP: DEDICATED TO DECEMBER

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Southern California, where even though the scene isn’t quite a snowy winter wonderland, you can feel the festive holiday spirit everywhere.

The month of December is a precarious time for many leaders; it’s often when they see an expected drop in the efficiency of their teams and sometimes, in themselves. But it’s just when the going gets fir-tree tough that the tough have to get going.

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Gino Blefari and Dwight Clark

THOUGHTS ON LEADERSHIP: IN GRATITUDE, WITH THANKS

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me working from Northern California, where I’m preparing to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. Even though Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I woke up feeling particularly grateful for the incredible team I work with – from the staff members to our leadership to our network broker/owners to our agents. You deserve to be thanked today and every day for your hard work and dedication.

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THOUGHTS ON LEADERSHIP: TIME MANAGEMENT

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me first in Bloomington, MN for the HomeServices of America Marketing/IT Conference where I spoke about leadership and Wildly Important Goals (WIGs). Today, I recorded a podcast with Amy Vetter, a keynote speaker, trailblazing technologist, CPA and yogi. Her philosophy melds mindfulness with management to help leaders across the world generate more business, create balance and find bliss.

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THOUGHTS ON LEADERSHIP: YOUNG AT HEART

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Maui, presenting on mindset and the creation of a positive routine to a Young Professional Network (YPN) group of real estate professionals.

Young leaders are an important facet of our real estate industry, and we should foster their development at every turn. In fact, young professionals must be taken seriously because they are quite literally the future of real estate. The brightest young leaders today are all digital natives, they grew up with technology and a cellphone in their hands. Through social media, they also know they’ve got a platform to share their opinions and do so readily, which creates transparency in the workplace and a formidable chance for them to revolutionize obsolete business practices. Writing for Forbes, contributor Kate Harrison says: “Young leaders don’t make it complicated, and they recognize the daily opportunity to share their voice and spread change instead.”

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