Rivalry happened naturally for Kevin, Ed, and Don— they are friends who sell loans for the same mortgage company. But it wasn’t until they changed the face of competition that their careers took off.
At the close of their first year working together, each had achieved notable levels of success. Kevin closed 102 loans, Don closed 132, and Ed closed 119—all above average for industry standards but all short of personal expectations. Then Ed had an idea. Instead of worrying about end-of-the-year bragging rights, why wouldn’t the three help each other take their businesses to the next level? Forget the annual competition for a moment. Didn’t they all want to grow their business? Wasn’t that the most important thing? This then was how they could do it. They were, after all, friends before they were coworkers.
They put their heads together and came up with a system by which each held the other accountable for setting and meeting weekly sales goals. They granted each other permission to ask for updates and they carved out time for sharing strategic advice. The system became part of their weekly routine and before long they had reason to celebrate.
Just six years after initiating the strategy, the trio accounted for 65 percent of their company’s profit. In that year alone, Kevin closed 283 loans, Don closed 362, and Ed closed 394, thus proving the maxim that three heads are better than one.
Competition can provide positive pressure but accountability is more effective. When you want to increase your productivity, tell someone you know about it. Give them permission to ask for updates and offer candid advice whenever they see fit. This is especially effective if your accountability comes from the inside. Whenever possible, set up mutual accountability with a colleague whereby each holds the other to meeting his or her goals.
Accountability produces the leverage necessary to follow through with your aspirations. The right kind of leverage is much more than motivation or hope; it is the essential link between what you desire and what you do, between your dreams and your destiny. The people with whom you share your aspirations must be the dream stokers in your life; they must be dream makers; they must be people who have hearts for seeing you succeed and hands for helping you do so.
Cease to sell alone by reaching out to others who will help you succeed on a level far greater than you can by yourself. Become more vulnerable in accountability relationships so that you can be more valuable in client relationships. Multiply your partners so that you can multiply your propensity for success.