Monday, February 1, 2010


Have you ever paused in your day, and wondered why it is we spend so much time protecting the ‘self’ when most, if not all, of our success or joyful moments are due to one concept … leverage?  That in fact the accomplishment of bold dreams depends upon how effectively we leverage inspired teams of people.  Some pundits profess that all success comes through people.  I contend that all success comes through leveraging people and resources (I am not using the term ‘leverage’ as ‘manipulation’ or ‘using’ people).  When we act alone we have the benefit of only ourselves - our limited field of vision, intelligence and experience to guide us.  However by inspiring others to join us, we leverage their gifts and talents to ‘increase the power of action’ exponentially.

Simple concept … yes, but why do we spend so much energy in promoting the value of ‘self’ instead of inspiring others around a common goal or mission?  Ample examples exist … watch championship teams compete against teams less successful (especially basketball).  What becomes painfully obvious is that people who have not truly bought into this simple concept of ‘team’ approach the game like five people playing one-on-five.  Conversely, watch the great Boston Celtic, Laker or Spur teams and you begin to notice players moving in choreographed unison.  In business, great corporations oftentimes ‘team sell’ not out of need or deficiency, but from a place of strength and contribution.  Even small business ventures, i.e., realtors, tend to improve their production when they develop highly functioning teams who are truly committed to a common theme or goal.

Recently a friend shared a book with me written by Pat Williams (cofounder of the Orlando Magic) entitled “Extreme Dreams Depend on Teams.”  The foreword is written by Patrick Lencioni, whereby he states:

 “In a world that emphasizes the individual, where graduation speeches and Hallmark cards urge us to go out into the world and accomplish anything we set our minds to, something often gets lost: our very human need to enlist the help of others and to give help in the same measure.
As human beings, we were made for teamwork.
This is not to say that individuals should not dream big dreams.  There is probably no replacement for individual aspiration and determination when it comes to the initiation of an idea, a plan, an ‘extreme dream.’  But when it’s time for that dream to take shape and that idea to grow and become a tangible reality, there is no substitute for the power of teamwork.  The dream of the individual needs a group of selfless people to come together behind that dream, pool their diverse talents, unify as a team, and make great things happen.”

What stands the test of time, beyond all the accolades, are not the efforts of the individual, but the accomplishment of the team.  People working together accomplish far more than the sum of their individual efforts and abilities.  Why?  Because they are committed to something bigger than themselves … that is truly the beauty of the vision and our journey!

Nothing novel here, right ... so why don't more organizations remember this simple lesson ... why do organizations and individuals continue to think ‘individualist’ (the infamous “I” syndrome) in their quest of greater profits or business development.  Why do managers look for an individual to point the finger at when an issue comes up or set backs occur?  Is that the fault of an individual, the team or the system?  When something needs to be accomplished do we look from the perspective of "I" or do we engage the "We"?  Do we spend most of our time pushing the bolder up hill by ourselves, or do we spend the time assembling and inspiring a team to hoist the bolder into place using pulleys and levers? 

Another perspective on this theme is when individuals or organizations go to their service providers to pay for events or other initiatives … not because they wish to form strategic partnerships, but simply because they don’t want to incur the cost or the hassle.  They often come from a place of entitlement or ‘what are you going to do for me’ perspective.  This is hardly ever about team, but instead comes from the place of 'what have you done for me lately?'  These individuals and organizations spend far too little energy in developing an inspired and motivated team committed to a common vision or mission.  A more powerful question to ask is ‘how can WE partner up to create an opportunity that benefits all of us?’

Several months ago Keller Williams Coastal Properties embarked on a rather comprehensive 'game changing' vision.  An integral part of this bold vision was the development and nurturing of selected ‘strategic partnerships.’  When we initiated these partnership conversations, the service providers were surprised that we were not looking to ‘fund an event or other short term tools', but something much broader in scope.  As the discussion unfolds we continue to work out how this broader definition of ‘strategic partnership’ looks, and how to leverage the strengths of our individual parts for the accomplishment of a common business vision.  The affect of this approach to partnerships has brought a greater depth to the initial vision that will yield far greater opportunities for all people involved.  We are morphing the Company into a multi-faceted service organization that offers clients a wide range of services from real estate, financing, insurance, investments, construction, media and financial services.  Ah, the true value of team and leverage!  Leveraging a real estate brokerage company into a multiple million-dollar operation involving several businesses will only occur as we continue to develop our strategic team.   One or two people will not be able to create this vision – it will take the inspired action of dozens of people both in and out of the Company to create and sustain this initiative.

Have you ever wondered ‘how am I going to work through this issue’ or 'how am I going to realize this opportunity in the market?'  Well instead of thinking that your solution will only come through your initiative or hard work … dare to think differently … think how you can build an inspired collaborative team or partnership.  Ask how you might leverage people and resources to build a better vision that is good for all.  Just a thought ….

I hope you enjoyed the reflection, and take the time to consider how you might develop strategic partnerships to accomplish your vision.  Most importantly, I hope you make it a GREAT day and week!!  If you wish to read all the other Mojos written for you, then visit:  As always, I welcome your feedback and if I can be of service to you or your friends, please let me know or visit us at  And, thank you for your continued support and inspiration … each of you are a cherished gift that enriches my life in ways you will never understand … Thank you!!  Jim Peys

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