Friday, October 24, 2008

On Being a Better Bozo

After 23 years as a real estate sales manager, I am proud to announce that I have moved from being an Unconscious Incompetent to the great status of Conscious Incompetent. Now I know what I don't know and certainly what I have not known for the last two decades.

In all honesty, I wasn't far off but not quite there. I remain a work in progress, but the key word is "progress".

About two years ago, the management group in our company began intensive training on teaching scripts, business oriented coaching and interviewing tracks for experienced and inexperienced agents. This has changed my whole outlook on the job.

Along the way, we were taught to plan out and work a formal schedule and post it outside our office doors so that our agents always knew what we were doing, where we were and if we were available. As elementary as this sounds, it has done me a world of good. Unless you lay things out before you, everything seems overwhelming and especially if they keep adding to your work load. You feel that you just keep getting farther and farther behind. I teach scheduling to my agents and yet, never held myself as accountable as I expected them to be.

I like holding myself accountable to each day and what has to be accomplished. I rarely get off track and the new skills that I have obtained have made the parts of my job that I lacked confidence in, so much easier.

Historically, agents deciding to "slow down" opted for management. ( I don't know whose job they were watching.) The term " Bozo" came from Steve Friedman with whom I have trained several times through the years. "Most managers are bozos" was always Steve's mantra and he was right. In today's environment, agents need active, intelligent and hard working managers who expect as much out of themselves as they do their agents. If we teach structure, we need it ourselves. If we teach scripts, we need to know them and to use them ourselves. If we teach prospecting, we need to be prospecting for recruits ourselves.

This is the hardest and yet, most satisfying career I could ever think of having. I am grateful for the opportunity to do it and most of all, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn to "Be a Better Bozo". With apologies to Steve.

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