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What My Eighth Grade Teacher Taught Me About Management


Have you just gone into management? Are you trying to figure out your priorities? These last few blogs should help you. Now, let’s take a look at another place you can get your priorities straight about management.

Ia��ll bet you have at least one teacher who made a huge impression on you (good or bad!). Mine was Louise K. Taylor. She was our small towna��s most famous (or infamous depending on your point of view) grade school teacher. She got a hold of us just as hormones were raginga��and attempted to tame and prepare us for high school.

Gaining Attention, Respect, and Motivating to Action

Louise K. was known for her statement the first day of school. She would stand up, walk toward this unruly, somewhat disrespectful group of eighth graders and say, a�?Youa��re probably wondering what the a�?Ka�? stands for?a�? Then, after a pregnant pause, she would scream (and I do mean a�?screama��), a�?Killera�?!

Well, that statement sure tamed us, at least for a short period of time. And, it either scared us into performing at our best, or created a few a�?deer in the headlightsa�� thirteen-year olds who literally stayed paralyzed the whole year.

Mrs. Taylora��s Management Principles We Need to Apply Today

Mrs. Taylor (Aka a�?Killera�?) actually used two management principles that I believe brokers must implement today to assure their agents will survive and thrive in this challenging time.

1. Mrs. Taylor established expectations. When she yelled that first day of school, she made clear, in her a�?opening statementsa��, she wouldna��t tolerate our not doing the work or failing. These were her standards. But, not only was she frightening us into submission. She was also doing something extremely important for successful management: Implicit in those standards was her promise: She could teach us to succeed at a high level in high school and college. All we had to do was to do the work.

Mrs. Taylor scared us into action and reinforced those actions with encouragement.

She was proved right again and again. Not only did we thrive in high school and college,A� the basic English and math skills Mrs. Taylor drilled into us in little ole Lebanon, Oregon, have benefited us through the rest of our lives.

2. Mrs. Taylor had a plan of action to get us past those expectations.

Everything Mrs. Taylor did and taught us was backed up with a specific, proven plan of action. She knew how to structure learning, how to get us to practice perfectly, how to give us feedback, and how to help us set ever higher goals. This couldna��t have happened unless she had

A proven plan that she knew got the outcomes she wanted for us

Her obvious faith in her plan gave us the guts, the determination, the motivation to do the work. We knew that she knew that plan got us results.

Managers: Do you have plans of action (coaching and training tools) that you absolutely know get proven outcomes? Are you communicating that with great confidence to agents? If not, what foundation are you using to help your agents past standar

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