You’re Fired….and I’m not sad about it, either.

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You’re Fired….and I’m not sad about it, either.

I’m generally a patient person.  Let’s face it….to succeed or even survive in property management and leasing you must have a reservoir of patience to interact with all the craziness of our industry.

I’m also generally an understanding person.  Life happens, I get it.  We are all humans and screw up.

So I’m a patient and understanding person…Until I’m taken advantage of by someone for these traits of generosity.  At that inflection point, I transform into what my title company rep infamously nicknamed me:  “BB Baldini.”

Ball Buster Baldini.

When I reach that level, the gloves come off and it’s not pretty to be on the receiving end.  So when a Client or vendor jerks me around for payment or is acting in an in-congruent manner with the expectations set between our two entities, it’s Go Time.  Unless resolved correctly, it ends with me firing them.

Is that mean?  Is that unreasonable?  Not at all.

Some might call it extreme, but I call it discipline.  Disciplined business processes lead to predictable outcomes.  Predictable outcomes are what I’m paid to provide.  It’s what my Clients want me and my staff to get done for them.  It’s what my staff depends on to provide for their paychecks.  It’s what my vendors depend on for their staffs paychecks.

It’s our mission.  We take the mission seriously (just not ourselves too seriously).

It’s a concept clearly described in the book, Extreme Ownership, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.  These fellas know a thing or two about the subject matter.

As they write in their book:                                                                                 “….it’s not what you preach, it’s what you tolerate.  

When setting expectations, no matter what has been said or written,

if substandard performance is accepted and no one is held accountable

–if there are no consequences–that poor performance becomes the new standard.  

Therefore, leaders must enforce standards”

Holding others to a certain standard may not be “en vogue” and is downright unpopular in our societal norms where everyone gets a Participation Trophy, so this is a decision you as the operator of your rental business will have to make.

Do you stand firm or do you fold?

Do you compromise your mission results?

(Hint:  If you compromise your mission results, are you seriously ready for the consequences of delaying your Financial Freedom even further?)

As the authors note, “Discipline equals Freedom.”

It’s not a coincidence that the concept of your choices, the concept of your discipline, is so tightly wound with your quest for Freedom.

Now Go and don’t stop until you’ve completed your mission.

P.S.  Here’s 3 activities which will create immediate discipline in your business and they won’t cost you a single penny:

  1. Create a company wide expectation that all emails, phone calls, and text messages are responded to within the same day, at least with even an acknowledgement response.  You’d be shocked at how much goodwill this generates with the recipient to know their message has been received, is important to you, and that future action is still coming their way.  Situational Awareness is a fantastic element you’ll soon learn to crave….
  2. Start to distribute decision making authority to tried and trusted subordinates in your organization and even with vendors outside your organization.  Sometimes even the strongest leaders are temporarily removed from the immediate operations due to illness, vacations, emergencies.  Give the people doing the work the freedom to make their own disciplined decisions.  You’ll uncover your new promotional candidates this way.  You’ll also uncover weaknesses in your operation to fix.
  3. Do an after action review of the disasters.  Medical practitioners do this in their post mortems.  Navy Seals do it in their after-action reports.  What happened and why, how can this be avoided again, where did we miss this contingency?.  This is not a time to assign blame.  This is a time to diagnose why the outcome was not what you expected and how to avoid it from happening again.  When done in a non-threatening manner, this single action will literally save your carcass more effort and money and aggravation than anything else you do the rest of this year.

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