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By Dr. Cliff Baird

RISMEDIA, Jan. 14, 2008–“If you do not allow your manager/coach to hold you accountable, you WILL NOT and you CANNOT reach your full potential.” Most of life is simple to figure out but it is often not easy to carry through on what we know we should do. This is especially true if it requires that we subordinate our ego. The counterintuitive truth, however, is that not until we are willing to allow someone who is already woven into the fabric of our lives to manage our natural weaknesses, will we ever reach our full potential.

I believe the final stumbling block that we all must overcome to become phenomenally successful is to acknowledge that we must be both managed and coached. Mediocrity is always the lifestyle of those who, for a variety of reasons, try to overcome their natural deficiencies by themselves.

I have been using the following three metaphors for many years to illustrate that we all have the tendency to gravitate to the line of least resistance. It is natural. Each illustration gives us some insight into what can really occur to someone who sets their ego aside and embraces this new perspective. It is absolutely to accomplish our destiny.

1. The Winding River
The reason a river snakes and winds its way through the mountains and on to the sea is that it is constantly looking for the easiest route. Just like us. The Hoover Dam gives us a clear example that a river can be interrupted and harnessed against its natural determination.

Once harnessed, it creates enough power that when it tumbles over the dam with extraordinary vigor and turns the turbines down below, it lights up the entire U.S. West Coast. As a metaphor, it magnificently describes the untouched capacity that exists within us all, but it is not available until we are willing to be harnessed and focused. Since it does not come naturally to many of us, we need the guiding but firm hand of someone, who is involved in our well-being, to keep us on track consistently.

2. The Flowering Garden
Gardens don’t grow flowers, gardeners do! The only thing that gardens do naturally is grow weeds. No matter how many years a gardener tends to his beautiful garden, if it is left alone for just a few weeks it will return to its natural habitat–weeds. Why? That’s what gardens do. Just like us. 3. The Plot of Ground: 100 x 100 Square
If we were lifted by helicopter to a plot of ground 100′ x 100′ and 2,000′ high in the air, we would most likely hover and huddle in a circle near the center. Why? We are afraid of falling off. But what if there was a fence 10 feet high with solid iron bars a few inches apart grounded in concrete 3 feet from the edge? Would you be a little more relaxed?

Definitely. Do you think you might be able to explore and even enjoy more of the area? It is exactly the same with personal accountability.

We will become more relaxed knowing that there is someone who will support us even in our own folly. Accountability is the fence that agents respond to. They will enjoy more of the territory. They will realize more success because they will be willing to face more emotional risks. This example shows our natural tendency to withdraw from any real or perceived danger or emotional risk. Agents do it everyday. You will enjoy more of your full potential when you are secure within the confines of positive accountability.

Cliff Baird, MBA, PhD, is a business therapist and real estate sales management coach, helping agents and managers for over 25 years. He recently introduced ReSTAR (Real Estate Sales Temperament and Aptitude Report) a customized, online recruiting program for brokers and managers.