So, what skills that I learned as a nuclear plant operator in the Navy transfer into what I hope will be my new career as a real estate agent? Well, probably none, but when you consider the abilities that came with those skills and have added much to the person He is building (often despite my efforts more than because of them), there may be some that add to the possibility of succeeding in my new career. It has been an 'interesting' trip so far and I'm sure with the folks I have come to know at Go Realty it will continue the same.
On the surface there seems to be no direct correlation between operating a nuclear plant on a ballistic missile submarine during the Cold War, and succeeding in the real estate field; however as I've thought about it there are aspects of my service that does equip me to succeed:
The person I am now has been building for some time and all that I will be has yet to be revealed as I am, as are we all, a work in progress (Philippians 1:6). I look forward to sharing my journey (past, present and future) here with you and welcome suggestions. Shalom.
"You've gotta dance like
there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth."
--William W. Purkey
I am subscribed to TED.com; a site where you can watch speakers on topics ranging from the practical to the sublime, but none have impacted me more than a presentation recorded at a conference in San Francisco that featured Diana Nyad, a powerful woman who on September 2, 2013 became the first person to swim from Cuba to Key West, Florida. This 64 year young woman, on her fifth attempt, did something no one of any gender or age had been able to do and, as she points out over and over again during her presentation, she did it with a team. Tears filled my eyes as I listened (over and over) to this magnificent woman refer to two of my favorite speakers of an earlier time; Winston Churchill and Teddy Roosevelt.
At one of the darkest moment of World War II, during the Battle of Britain when England stood alone against the to that point undefeated German military machine, spoke to a group of school boys what has become to many his most resounding, if brief, speech:
“Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
The phrase “…never give up…” resounds through the speech given by Ms. Nyad and, as it did for those school boys and the men and women of Great Britain in those dark days of the war, so it echoes within my own heart stirring within me a desire to move on, to dare greatly and again, as Ms. Nyad put it, to reach for the horizon not with a guarantee of attaining to that goal, but for the journey itself, to allow that journey to shape you into a better person than the one who started it.
There have been nay sayers, some whom I love and respect greatly, who have suggested I give up, I walk away from my dream. They see how this journey has already impacted me both physically and psychologically and would have me spare myself any additional harm. I’ve thought of it, of perhaps reaching for a different role in my chosen field, something that I could do and enjoy. But each time I consider such a course it seems yet another voice whispers to me, “…go on, keep at it…” Am I delusional? Perhaps; maybe I’m kidding myself and I should be content to sit at home and keep house for Kathy and continue with my various volunteer activities. On April 23, 1910, Theodore Roosevelt spoke on the topic of “Citizenship in a Republic” at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. His words still echo down the years as I face my own fears as well as my detractors, particularly a specific part of that speech:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
There is no guarantee of success, but to surrender to what many (including myself at times) feel is the inevitable outcome seems contrary to not only my faith, but to those who have come alongside me for this journey. Yes, as with Diana Nyad, I too have a team who support me. Without them this journey would not have started and yet no matter how this journey ends, I know they will still be with me. As Ms. Nyad quoted Thoreau, the person I am becoming through this journey, this trial will not be the same as the one who started it. With the support of my team and the help of my Savior, I will reach toward that horizon and grow into a better person for the effort.
Last night I attended a meeting at the Go School in Cary where Zach Schabot introduced us to Chris Smith who shared with us what Simon Sinek referred to as “The Golden Circle” in his book, Start With Why. In all areas of endeavor, whatever it may be, far too often we think in terms of What product or service we are offering and How we will provide that product or service, thinking only of making money as the Why. This, Mr. Sinek and Chris Smith believe, is both typical in life and totally wrong. Visionaries of all manner and fields from the Wright brothers to Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs all reversed the paradigm and therein lay their extraordinary success.
In his recorded presentation on T.E.D. Talks, Mr. Sinek speaks of leaders such as the Wright brothers, Dr. King and Steve Jobs being able to understand the Why behind their endeavors and gather others of like minds that would, as Sinek put it, work not for a paycheck but for a passionate belief in what the leader was trying to accomplish. Using these three men and their dreams (one remark Sinek made was that Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech was not “I have a plan,”) Sinek illustrates how thinking “…thinking from the inside out…” will produce success. One example he used was that while there were many others concerned with the racial injustice so prevalent, many of whom were at least as good as Dr. King as orators, it was Dr. King who brought together hundreds of thousands of people on a hot summer day in Washington D.C. without the aid of the Internet, but only through others identifying with his passion and dream to bring about change in our society.
Understanding Why, that is starting with what is central to the thinking of these and other great leaders throughout history; it is, as Mr. Sinek puts it, the “…gut reaction…” to something, that indefinable something that we so often characterize as leading with the heart or soul. When we understand the Why and can communicate that to others, particularly those of like mind, greatness will follow. While others of like or even greater ability fail, leaders who understand and can communicate Why will succeed. Why is the impetus that gets us out of bed, not a paycheck, not to make or sell anything but a cause, a passion that will inspire us to dare greatly! Whether in correcting a wrong suffered by any particular ethnicity, or launching a technology firm that would eclipse all others, leading the way in developing successful powered flight or reimagining what a real estate company should look like, those leaders who can clearly focus on the Why and gather to themselves those who ‘get it’, will be a change agent in whatever field in which they work.
That is what has brought me to real estate in general and Go Realty in particular. The thinking behind Go Realty is not typical and the emphasis on service to the client as central to their purpose (the Why) has enabled them to launch their business and grow it in a way that is amazing to many who continue to do business the traditional way. Go Realty has a saying, “We’re not your father’s real estate company” and that is all too apparent to anyone who has either visited the company’s web site (www.gorealty.biz) or visited any of the offices in Cary, Durham, Garner or Holly Springs. I hope to become an agent with this family, for family it is, but in whatever role that is possible, I love working with the folks at Go Realty because their heart, their passion, their reason to get out of bed each morning is something that I feel deeply.