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1000 LB Bombs, Trust and Commercial Real Estate

It’s important and necessary to trust a lot of different people in the military – especially when you’re fighting a war.  I developed an amazing level of trust with my teammates in the Special Forces, which allowed us to operate at an extremely high level in difficult situations.  It was much more difficult (but equally as important) to trust our host nation counterparts – the Afghan National Army (ANA).  It was always a possibility that they were playing both sides and working for the Taliban, but it was a calculated risk that we had to take every single day, and something that you became comfortable with.

It’s important and necessary to trust a lot of different people. Click To Tweet

When I think about trust and war, these were always the two things that came to mind: trusting your teammates and trusting your Afghan counterparts.  Until reading Stan McChrystal’s blog post, Are You Grounded in Trust?, I hadn’t realized how much trust is involved on the battlefield – I took it for granted.

Real relationships are built on trust, and trust cannot be established during a firefight.”

– General Stan McChrystal (Ret.)

Our team could do pretty amazing things, but when you’re outnumbered 20 to 1 and being attacked from 3 sides, a 1000 LB bomb(s) courtesy of the U.S. Air Force is assistance that you welcome with open arms.  But with a 1000 LB bomb comes an amazing level of trust – you trust that the bomb itself was properly built, that Boeing didn’t screw-up the JDAM guidance kit, that it was loaded onto the aircraft properly, and that the pilot overhead isn’t going to drop it on top of you.

I remember tail fins breaking off JDAMs as they plummeted towards their target, thus making them unguided bombs.  I remember the ground shaking violently underneath me as bombs landed danger close.  And I remember the Dutch Air Force nearly killing us with a rocket because of their own negligence.  The level of trust that we put in complete strangers was pretty amazing, but trust is fragile, and can be lost in an instant.  We never used the Dutch again for air support after they almost killed us – it wasn’t worth it.  It didn’t matter how badly we were outnumbered and needed support from above, they lost our trust.

The level of trust that we put in complete strangers was pretty amazing. Click To Tweet

I’m built in a way that I want to do everything on my own, because I believe I can do it better than anyone else.  I spent two and a half hours last Tuesday creating a marketing package for an office building that I represent, and it sure looked good once I was finished.  But it was a poor use of my time – instead of selling real estate, I was designing a glorified brochure.  As brokers, that’s not what we get paid for – instead of walking down the hall too see my marketing guy, I did it myself.  Wrong answer.

“...marketing just to keep busy is worse than nothing at all.” Click To Tweet

Seth Godin said that “…marketing just to keep busy is worse than nothing at all.”  One of my goals for 2015 is to let go of the reins when it comes to “non-money making activities” – it’s difficult for me, but a must.  You can’t simultaneously run-and-gun on the ground, while dropping 1000 LB bombs from the air.  I have a great marketing guy, and you probably do too.  Trust in that, and focus on what you’re paid to do and what you’re really good at – selling (or leasing) real estate.  And if you’re not wasting time on marketing, you’re probably wasting it somewhere else – figure it out, and change that.

If you’re not wasting time on marketing, you’re probably wasting it somewhere else - figure it out, and change that. Click To Tweet

 

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