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  • Are You a Manager or a Great Leader?

    Guest Post By: Kitty Barrow


    leadership1-248x300Favorite pieces of leadership advice when running a 1000+ team was “You can’t do for 1 what you can’t do for 100”

    Think about that. Think about your business and what you are doing for your team members today.

    Write out that list and now put on your thinking cap. What can you do to systematize this so that you aren’t running around putting out one fire at a time?

    Recently, I was working with one of my amazing coaching clients who is a future Area Manager with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Karli Spahr. She is growing to a 23 person team and has brought in 7 new people in a few short months in 9 different branches. In order to get people trained and successful, she is working on a systematic way to ensure they are all getting the right training in the right order and that they know where to look for help if she isn’t available. Here are a couple of issues that she is dealing with and how she decided to deal with them. I hope this helps you think of ways to deal with what is stealing your leadership time every day as well. Comment below with your ideas.

    Issue #1: New loan officers constantly coming to her with questions about different loans.


    1. Put together an onboarding system that includes a chart showing the entire loan intake process from start to finish and who will have the answers in different areas.

    2. Compile a list of the most commonly asked questions and add them to the training material.

    3. Partner with more experienced loan officers for certain types of questions.

    Issue #2: Loan Officers scheduling meetings for her to go with them to visit real estate agents at all different times during the week.


    1. Share her schedule with everyone the week before with the times she is available for going with people and they are to sign up first come first serve.

    2. Create a script and outline for how to meet with real estate agents and words to use. Train on this so that they learn how to do it for themselves.

    Issue #3: She plans her schedule every week, but she never gets to keep to it because people are always calling her and popping in to ask questions.


    1.Do a sales meeting where she teaches them what she has learned in coaching about time management and setting a weekly schedule.

    2. Share her schedule every Monday by 8 a.m. with her team.

    3. Let her team know that this is her schedule and when she is available and what they need to do if they have a question when she is not available and what constitutes an emergency that would be cause for interrupting her schedule.

    Since we have been coaching together, we have been working on a ton of issues just like this that bother sales leaders every single day. Why do that? So you, as the leader, can make the time to do the things that will have a significant impact in growing your business and your people. Instead, so many sales leaders spend their days running on the hamster wheel and wondering why they are frustrated and overwhelmed.

    It’s not hard to be a manager, but to be a Great Leader who runs a well-oiled organization that positively impacts your clients and the lives of your employees, it takes a lot of thought and preparation. So which are you today, a manager or a Great Leader? If you’re not a Great Leader, what are you going to do today to change that?


    Kitty Barrow is a Senior Partner and Executive Sales and Leadership Coach of Southwestern Consulting. She specializes in creating successful systems that are easily duplicated. Her motto is “Keep Things Simple for Stress-less Selling.” Kitty has trained thousands of sales professionals in companies such as Wells Fargo, MassMutual, New York Life, Xerox Global and Allstate.

  • How Bad Do You Want It?

    Guest Post By: Jay Wang

    Some want it badly, whatever “it” may be for them, success, a goal or a win. Some don’t. Others say they do but can’t seem to make things happen.

    Why is it that some people do and some people don’t? I do know, it just seems to work that way. A better question, however, might be what does it look like to want it more?

    Here’s some insight. My good friend, mentor and role model Rick Takahashi is constantly asking me and those he mentors “How Bad Do You Want It?” Rick and I first connected through our Surf Ministry called Water at The Rock Church in San Diego, CA. As the leader of our Men’s Group, I could go on and on about his character, heart for people and humility, but I will go with humility to introduce him. You see Rick has some credibility to lead a group of surfers because he is a USA Surf Team Rider. Yup, Rick’ is a humble guy, so I will brag on him a bit. In 2012, he had a perfect season, winning every contest in NSSA, including Westerns and Nationals. In 2016, he won 1st place in 10 National Finals! He is also sponsored by a slew of companies like Rusty Surf Board, Oakley and Dakine, just to name a few. All this to say, he is the best surfer I know and a Top Level Competitor!


    Rick told me, “Jay, I just want it more than the next guy. I push for that extra mile in training and I do more! There are a lot of surfers that are more talented than me, but I know I just have to be better than the next guy for a few critical moments.”

    As a sales coach with Southwestern Consulting, I love to see the parallels one can draw from professional sports like Surfing to things like business success and sales.

    Three Keys I learned from Rick:

    Be Disciplined and Keep Good Focus! – Have specific goals and create a solid routine around that. Know that there will need to be a sacrifice! And if you can see the prize you will pay the price. Know what it takes to win! What are you going to give up to reach your goal? So many people want to do well, yet they are not willing to give up their free time. They still want to sleep in or just be comfortable. Many times you only have to sacrifice for a specific amount of time, like a season. Know when to push, because it pays to win.

    Hustle! – Train/study harder than the next guy! Have a healthy sense of competition because it’s real. In anything you do, if you’re not going to get after it, someone else is! Don’t compare yourself, but be a competitor. Note- it’s not just winning but how you win. Be Dominant!!

    The big one…

    USE YOUR BRAIN! – Hustle with your mind, not just your body. This is what it really means to be a student of the game. Don’t just study to study. Learn and study to have a competitive advantage. Have a winning strategy. Know how to play the game, know the rules and find out the best ways to win!

    Using your brain helps to take some of the emotion out of the equation. Don’t just react to the situation or event that is occurring. Slow down and think…what can I do better here? What can I control? What did I learn? What can I do differently?

    How many times do we go around in circles wanting to win or do better or overcome a challenge but never seem to gain any ground? Rick said so many surfers just do the same thing, they use the same board every time and they get the same results. He said, “I am constantly thinking… What is the best board to use? Why? Can I surf that spot ahead of time? What do I need to look for in the conditions? What tweaks do I need to make to have a competitive advantage? Etc.”

    Let me encourage all of you, use your most powerful advantage… Your Brain!!


    Jay Wang started selling with The Southwestern Company while in college. He was in the top 1% of sales producers and was able to sell, recruit and manage teams in order to pay his own way though school. After graduating with a degree in Business Management, he transitioned to managing multi-million dollar commercial real estate properties, achieving record-breaking occupancies. Since 2011, Jay has been traveling the country as a professional sales trainer and Partner with Southwestern Consulting.

  • Do limits prevent you from being an Ultra performer?

    You are the person who sets limits on yourself.

    You decide what is possible and what isn’t possible for your life.

    And most of the time we allow our boundaries for the future to be defined by the accomplishments of our past.

    We project our “best ever” into the future as the limiter of what is possible.

    Ultra performers don’t do that.

    Ultra performers do not allow their creativity to be used in a way that sets limits. And they don’t base what is realistic or what is possible on what others have done.

    They instead unleash their creativity in the positive direction by simply presenting the challenge, the goal, or the problem that needs solving to their mind and then allowing their mind to break it apart to find new answers, new solutions, and new paths.

    Ultra performers know that their mind is happy to achieve whatever their mind is set to.

    >> Continue reading on Rory Vaden’s blog <<

  • R.A.F.T.

    Guest post by: Dustin Hillis

    My very first summer selling I was out in the backwoods of Missouri where I got not one, not two, not three, but 10 flat tires. My 10th flat tire happened while I was driving a rental car. By that time in the summer, I had gotten pretty quick at changing out a flat and had formed a habit of jumping out of the car to change it, timing myself to see how fast I could do it to try to beat my NASCAR pit crew record breaking time.

    On this particular day, I did not beat my NASCAR pit crew record-breaking time because in that rental car I’d never had a flat tire. I put it on the jack and didn’t realize in that car you’re supposed to pull the emergency break before changing the tire. The car fell off of the tire. And if you’ve ever been in the backwoods of Missouri and have a car fall off its jack, I can promise you that you’ll understand that this is not a fun experience! So I ended up having to move the car and work as hard as I could to get the jack out from underneath the car, jack the car back up, and change the tire. It took forever!

    I’m loading my boxes back into the trunk and I looked down and realized that my skin looked like it was moving for some odd reason. Upon further inspection, I realized that I was completely covered in ticks. It wasn’t just a few ticks; it was not just a couple of dozen ticks…I’m talking hundreds of ticks that were in the canopy of woods above my head while I was changing the tire which had been falling on my head for over an hour while I worked on that rental car.

    –> Click here to continue reading….

  • Bruno Mars: 7 Things he can teach you about business

    Guest Post by: Rory Vaden

    If you haven’t seen this performance from Bruno Mars recently on The Voice…you need to.

    He absolutely crushed it.

    I am not one to keep up with celebrity gossip but after watching him perform live at the Super Bowl last year and recently seeing this, it is obvious that there is so much to learn from watching him perform.

    I have not yet met Bruno but I promise you that there is nothing about getting to his level that is easy. It only comes from incredible work, desire, and discipline. But that just gets you to the game. Incredible discipline is simply the price of admission.

    Providing this level of performance then requires the X factor above and beyond. But let’s take a look at some practical things that contribute to that “celebrity phenomenon.”

    1. Energy – Celebrities don’t have the luxury of ever being “off,” they always have to be “on.” Leaders are in the same position they just often don’t realize it. Your energy level sets the pace for the energy level of your team.

    –> Click here to continue reading…


  • 10 Phrases You Can Never Say Too Often as a Leader

    Guest Post By: Kitty Barrow

    Attending Southwestern Consulting Leadership Lab, Rory Vaden was sharing the following list. People care more about verbal appreciation more than the dollars you pay them.

    10 Phrases You Can Never Say Too Often as a Leader:

    1. I am proud of you.
    2. I care about you.
    3. I believe in you.
    4. I am grateful for you (People can sense when you are annoyed to spend time with them and when you are excited to spend time for them.)

    Click here to continue reading…

  • How to Inspire

    Guest Post By: Rory Vaden


    One constant requirement of a leader is to continually inspire the people around you. While it may initially seem like a daunting task, it’s actually quite simple.

    The word “inspire” literally means to breathe life into. To be a great leader all you have to do is make sure your words and actions are giving life to the people around you and not taking it away.

    Here are some forms of expression that always inspire and never get old.

    –> Click here to continue reading…

  • Hall of Fame Speaker, Connie Podesta – Featured on the Rory Vaden Show – Listen!

    Connie-Podesta-Keynote-SpeakerConnie Podesta is a Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker, Award-Winning Author, Comedian, and Expert in the Psychology of Human Relations. Connie has empowered over two million people worldwide with the STRATEGIES to: Increase sales, Manage change, Embrace accountability, Lead more effectively, Attract more customers, Develop long-lasting relationships …and enjoy life more along the way!  Learn more at ConniePodesta.com.

    Listen to the full interview on The Rory Vaden Show HERE!

    Subscribe to The Rory Vaden Show HERE!


    “People are a lot nastier through email and online than through the phone,” says Amanda Johns Vaden, senior partner at Southwestern Consulting. “It’s much easier to be aggressive online.”


    Download the article with Senior Partner, Amanda Johns Vaden, featured in Modern Retailer Magazine

    Right Here

  • Leadership Isn’t Logical

    From: Rory Vaden

    Rory Vaden

    Sometimes the things that co-workers are doing just don’t make any sense.

    It frustrates me to the point of anger to have someone on the team who has so much potential but just never seems to perform anywhere near their capabilities.

    I am sometimes baffled and confused when another person who has been a top performer on our team for years suddenly starts spending more time complaining and whining, instead of working and creating.

    And how is it that the one person who used to be the “steady-Eddie” on our team now hardly ever shows up on time, goes home early and squanders much of the day surfing online?

    It’s exhausting and disheartening to know that these people aren’t doing what they are supposed to, and none of if it ever made sense to me — until I realized something:

    Leadership isn’t logical. Leadership is emotional, because humans are emotional. . .

    Finish reading this article in the Tennessean here.