Thoughts on Leadership: How Do You Actually Achieve Your Goals?

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me in the Pacific Northwest – Seattle on Tuesday, Portland on Wednesday and Eugene, Oregon on Thursday for awards ceremonies with agents from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Real Estate Professionals, led by president and CEO Jason Waugh. As I celebrated the achievements of these teams across the Pacific Northwest, I was reminded about the importance of taking time to understand the mental dexterity necessary to accomplish your goals.

Have you ever stopped to think about achievement? Have you ever wondered why one person becomes successful—rich in opportunity, income, friendships, family and professional connections—while another person seems to constantly flail or worse, exists in a state of career stagnation? Some might think it’s just luck or circumstance that decides how successful a person can be. But as experts widely agree, there is no chance when it comes to success.

Dating as far back as Aristotle, when most people believed in the idea of fortunes singularly dictating their future, the great philosopher put forth the idea that proper knowledge is knowledge of the cause. Aristotle believed in reason, in the notion that these causes can explain everything that happens in the world. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states: “Since Aristotle obviously conceives of a causal investigation as the search for an answer to the question ‘why?’ and a why-question is a request for an explanation, it can be useful to think of a cause as a certain type of explanation.”

In the realm of Aristotelian causality, the question still remains: What causes one person to be successful while another person is not? Researchers say success is the result of the psychological framework that structures your every thought because your thoughts ultimately determine your actions. In a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, 350,000 business professionals were asked what they think about most of the time. The top 10% surveyed—the “successful” professionals—said they think about the kind of income growth they’d like to achieve and specifically how they’re going to achieve it. The unsuccessful survey respondents said they think about what they don’t want, what they don’t have and who was to blame for the unwanted state of their existence.

As the study explained, when you revise your thinking to envision the positive completion of your goals, your thoughts go to work helping you achieve them. When you focus on the negative, your goals remain unfulfilled. Your thoughts determine your actions. What you think about every day is sketching the real picture that will become your actual life. If you tell yourself you can achieve anything, you will perform the actions necessary to make it happen.

It’s widely understood your thoughts are a result of your self-concept, which in psychological terms is the collective beliefs you hold about yourself, your capabilities and the condition of the world around you. Each person experiences the world as a culmination of his or her self-concept, so each person experiences the world in a completely different way.

Self-concept is broken into three parts:

  1. The ideal self. This is the combination of all your goals and aspirations throughout your entire life. The ideal self is the very best version of yourself and it’s the version successful people see themselves becoming, no matter what. There isn’t a setback or challenge that can ever stand in the way of a person who has a clear vision of his or her ideal self.
  2. Self-image. This is how you see yourself and think about yourself at the present moment and it determines your productivity, output, efficiency and ability to accomplish your goals. Have you had a big meeting and prior to the meeting pictured yourself nailing the presentation or commanding the room with such confidence and poise, every objective you wanted to accomplish comes to fruition? Then, when you do step into the actual meeting, these thoughts become reality and you really do ace it. This is your self-image at work. Unsuccessful people imagine themselves failing. Their mind goes directly to the worst-case scenarios. Successful people imagine themselves succeeding … and then they do.
  3. Self-esteem. This part of self-concept is about how much you like yourself. When you have greater self-esteem, you are more positive and happier, which is a state that is highly contagious, so you attract and retain more positive, happy people around you. People like to be around those with optimistic, upbeat attitudes and see them as high-value individuals; your worth in the world increases just because you believe in your ability and potential.

So, what’s the message? Over the next few weeks I want to dive deeper into the thinking behind achievement to determine exactly how we can re-shape our thoughts to proactively revolutionize our personal and professional lives. Every single thought that escapes our minds lands somewhere as a real, tangible action and affects the outcome of our goal-attainment. By changing our thoughts, we can change our ability to succeed.



Thoughts on Leadership: The Value of Friendship

This week my travels find me back in Hawaii for another close friend’s wedding. (Congratulations, Justin Moles and Natalie Ventimiglia! On a personal note, I’ve been friends with Justin’s dad since third grade.) In this tropical island setting, surrounded by love and aloha, I’m reminded about the value at the very center of the value pyramid: friendship.

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This week my travels find me in Hawaii, where I had the privilege of officiating the marriage of my good friends Jun Lee and Adam Brooks. Beyond being a great person and close acquaintance, Jun also happens to be a professional golfer at the Cinnabar Hills Golf Club in San Jose, CA. She was personally trained by Hank Haney, Butch Harman and Paul Runyan.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Owning Your Goals

By Gino Blefari

“Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.” – Jim Rohn

This week my travels find me in Dallas at the MidAmerican Energy National Sales Meeting. I was invited to speak by Ed McGreen, president of MidAmerican Energy Services, LLC a Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company. It’s been an honor to share my knowledge with such inspired and dedicated sales professionals who thrive on goal setting and more importantly, owning those goals to completion.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Accountability and Team Performance

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Washington, D.C. for the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo held each year in our nation’s capital to provide an opportunity for NAR members to take an active role in advancing the real estate industry, public policy and the association at large. In between meetings I also visited a local Real Living brokerage, Real Living At Home, and spoke to the dynamic team, sharing my eight principles on success and conducting a class on time management.

But tonight as you read this, I’ll be attending the RISMedia Power Broker Awards, where the first-ever Real Estate Newsmaker Awards will be bestowed to several leaders in our industry. These leaders exemplify an outstanding ability to garner positive headlines, a direct result of their effectiveness in creating change. Congratulations to our own Teresa Palacios Smith, VP of Diversity & Inclusion at HSF Affiliates, (pictured in photo above) and Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices of America, Inc., for receiving this prestigious honor!

Additional honorees include: National Association of REALTORS® Chief Executive Officer Bob Goldberg; Howard Hanna Real Estate Services Chief Executive Officer Helen Hanna Casey; RE/MAX Boone Realty CEO and National Association of REALTORS® 2018 President Elizabeth Mendenhall; Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty General Manager and Chief Creative Officer Joseph Rand; and HomeSmart International Founder and Chief Executive Officer Matt Widdows.

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What to Know If You’re Just Starting Your Real Estate Career

By Josh Stephens

The time has come. You just finished another episode of Million Dollar Listing and decided that you are ready for a career change. You want to become a real estate agent. Why not? It looks to be easy, lucrative and a lot of fun.

However, the top 1% of real estate agents you see on television are not great examples of what it’s like for everyone in the industry, especially those in their first year as agents. In fact, the amount of people that fail within their first year in real estate far exceeds the amount of agents who succeed. The reasons for this vary but ultimately, it is because of the individual’s understanding about what it takes to be a successful real estate agent.

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Thoughts on Leadership: How to Lose, How to Win

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Irvine, CA at our HSF Affiliates headquarters for alignment sessions and meetings with the team. As we prepare for our upcoming Sales Convention in San Antonio, I can’t help but catch a bit of the Olympics buzz going on across the country as I watch world-class athletes get ready to race. The Olympic competitors are all shining examples of leaders—hard working, focused, motivated and committed to a single Wildly Important Goal: Winning the gold.

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Thoughts on Leadership: High-Performance, Great Success

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in San Diego for Darren Hardy’s High-Performance Forum, a private master class engineered specifically for entrepreneurs and business leaders committed to building high-growth, high-impact and high-performance companies. I’m fortunate to call Darren not only my friend but also my mentor, and I was able to spend some quality one-on-one time with him during our lunch break.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Wildly Important Goals

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in St. Charles, MO at the Whitmoor Country Club for the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Alliance Real Estate Golf Tournament benefitting the Sunshine Kids. Before we hit the green, I met with the Alliance Real Estate team to talk about 8 principles of success and the 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX). I’ve visited the brokerage many times before and each time I’m reminded that Alliance Real Estate has forward-thinking leaders at its helm: CEO/Owner Andrea Lawrence; President/Co-Owner Kevin Goffstein; and Executive Vice President/Co-Owner Bob Bax. It was evident from this meeting that the company is poised for even greater success in the St. Louis marketplace.

After our meeting it was off to a day of golf, and everyone—including actor and Sunshine Kids Executive Director G.W. Bailey who was in attendance for the event—had one goal in mind: Raise money for the Sunshine Kids.

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