Posted on: July 14, 2021

Having the right team of people in your real estate business is a huge factor in achieving success—especially if you work virtually.

This is part 1 of a 3-part series on team building. And in this episode, Chris Arnold sits down with 4 members of his team to discuss the experiences they’ve had. They also talk about the bond they’ve developed and how that saw their remote business through a decade of tragedies and massive wins.

Tune in to know how Chris and his team have lasted this long.

Key Takeaways

  • One is too small of a number to achieve greatness
  • How Chris’ team was formed
  • The relevance of a good work environment and radical transparency
  • On the team’s tragic losses
  • 3 things to build a long-term team from a leadership perspective


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Episode Transcription

Chris Arnold:
Welcome to the Wholesaling Inc podcast, I’m your host, Chris Arnold. As always, we are excited that you guys are with us today. We have something special for you. I don’t actually know so far that I’ve personally ever done a series, but we’re about to begin and embark on a three part series and it’s going to be on team building. It’s been interesting, the one thing that I find that I get the most compliments about when I talk to people in the tribe or people in multipliers, or wherever, they always come in and say the same thing, “Chris, you have such an incredible and amazing team. How did that happen? How were you guys able to put that together? How is it that you guys have worked together for so long?”
So I sat down with really some key leadership and directors in the company, and I asked this question, I said, “How have we, as a remote real estate team, survived for almost a decade? When a lot of businesses don’t last that long, particularly when a lot of teams don’t last that long, how in the world have we done it? And how have we done it remotely?” So we sat down and we really just had a heart to heart, we had never sat down and answered that question. It was a really powerful conversation, I think there were some moments where there were some tears that came out because it’s one of those things that we never really sat down to really ride out, what was it that we did that enabled us to get to this point?
So if you’re tuning in, this is what you’re going to get today. I don’t care if you’re a solopreneur, you have one or two people on your team, or you have a big team. I’m going to tell you a few things that I know that we all have in common, and that is this. First of all, there’s a deep belief that we have that teams, not individuals, change the world. I love what John Maxwell says, and he says that, “One is too small of a number to achieve greatness.”
If you look throughout history, all the great things that have always been accomplished have happened through a team. The other thing I can tell you is if you’re listening and you deal with massive turnover, which I see a lot within our industry when it comes to teams, meaning that there’s a constant hiring and firing and letting go of people, that really slows the growth of the organization. If you’re constantly having to replace seats, when you finally get someone trained and put in that seat, I’m telling you, it’s going to take you a lot longer to get to where you want to go.
The other aspect that I really, really think is important, and I know I get a lot of value out of this is, when you have the right team, I know for me it’s like having a second family. And I know people nowadays throw that word family around quite a bit, but I mean that in the truest sense, I don’t know what my world and my life would look like without the family that I have via working together. They know everything about me, I know everything about them, and so there is a lot of joy to be able to go on a journey with a group of people, rather than to do that isolated and alone. I know that the number one driver for just about everybody listening, is freedom. And I know a lot of people ask, “Well Chris, how is it that you’re able to live Tulum and to be able to work virtually and have this work lifestyle business?” That’s an easy question for me to answer. It’s because of the amazing team that we have built over time.
We wanted to have really a heart to heart today on how in the world have we made it for 10 years? We sat down, as I said, and just really hashed this out. I actually sat back and listened, and as I have on the show today, I’ll do some quick intros. We have [Krista 00:04:35], but again, I’m not going to give you positions, because at this point we have journeyed through actually five companies together, that’s how long we’ve stayed together, so we’re on our fifth company. But we have Krista, we have Cierra, we have Grace and we have [Scarlet 00:04:50]. And so these are four of what I would consider the most important people, a part of my leadership team and my directors.
We’re going to come on and just honestly, it’s going to be like story format. What are the stories that really communicate the fact on how all of this has worked as long as it had? We want to do this really from the heart today and hope that our story, you know how it is when you listen to stories, that there’s some things there that you can take and implement into your life or say, “Hey, I’ve been through that or I experienced that. Or that’s a valuable piece that I’m going to be able to think about as I continue to grow my team.” I’m ready to jump in and get started.
As we do the three part series, each series is going to have about three points and three stories that we’re going to go through. I’m going to kick it off with the first one, so let’s get down to the meat. And that is how in the world was this team actually formed? I know a lot of people go, “Chris, you have an amazing team, where in the world did you guys come from? How did you find everybody?” We have a really interesting background on how that occurred so I’m going to kick it over to Cierra. Cierra, how is it that almost a decade later we’re together? If we go back to the genesis, how in the world did we all meet, how did this team form?

It’s very interesting. We were all at another company. We were at a virtual real estate company that help real estate agents and investors basically build a business virtually, so we were all virtual assistants. I was the team leader at that company as the key assistant, and a lot of these people in our company were actually on my team there. But when you came along, we just figured you were another client signing up and I was assigned to your account because you wanted a little bit extra, so I was put there. Then I think our other team members all had different interactions with you. I think that Scarlet was a client success person at one point, doing check-in with you. I believe [Alan 00:06:58] was doing the same temporarily, Grace was doing calling, Kris was doing calling, but all of them had an interaction with you of some sort, but not working directly.
You and I started to work together, and I will say that the company that we came from was a disaster company. It was very uncomfortable, there was always tension. The leadership was really, really messed up, to be honest. There was a lot of empty promises, there was a lot of berating publicly when you didn’t have a client increase their hours, or you weren’t doing more to make the clients spend more money, to be completely honest. It was a very uncomfortable environment. And so when I was assigned to your account, like I said, I just thought you were another client. You and I started to work together, we started to become closer. You asked me if I wanted to come work with you directly, which was a huge thing. And honestly, I thought it was just a conversation at first, but you did tell me you were going to have a conversation with the owner of the company and see if you could bring me on full-time.
Like I said, I thought it was just you and I talking, but you followed through. That was something we hadn’t seen in that other company, is actually following through, keeping promises. You definitely made me realize that I had these talents and skills that I feel like were taken advantage of in that other company. I trusted you, and so as you and I started to work more and more, the more I started to communicate to these people on my team, that there was a safer place to go. And there was a better place to go where we were going to be able to utilize the skills that we have, and it wasn’t just a money game. And so [crosstalk 00:08:36].

Chris Arnold:
Let me insert some context right here as well. If you’re listening, I had never hired a VA in my life, so we’re talking about a moment in time where I’m running a brick and mortar office and the idea of hiring somebody that was virtual, that I had never met, to me at that moment was like a black hole. I thought in order to minimize the risk of that, I would go to a third party company who had actually already trained up these VAs. So as you’re listening, to give you some context, this is my first step in an experience into the actual VA world, for the most part. Keep going Cierra, because I think a lot of people are like, “Well, where is the context? Where are you on this?” Cierra was actually the first VA person that I ever hired, which I was so nervous about it, I couldn’t understand the world.

I remember and I remember the first call you and I had. Where I had phone issues, I couldn’t get on the conference line you wanted me to get on. I felt so horrible that I was late and it was our first interaction, I was five minutes late. I was like, “Oh, this is just starting off wonderfully.” Look at us now, eight years later. I just remember the pressure in that situation. But anyway, so yeah, these women were amazing, they were my teammates there, and I think one thing that I knew coming over and working with you Chris, is that this was the different situation, that I could trust you. You had already kept your word, you had already gone to bat for me, you went above and beyond. And in terms of making me feel comfortable and making me feel valued, to be honest, you don’t get that in the VA world a lot.
So when I went over to your company, we started to find holes in the process. And my first feeling was, I know who could fill that hole, I know who could fill that hole, so that’s what I did. I went back to our team and I started to pull them in and put them in spots. Of course we’ve all evolved and kind of changed roles over the years, but this is our core team. And we all came over here, and they really come over here on just faith that this was going to be a better situation. And I definitely think it obviously has, we’ve been here so long, but yeah.

Chris Arnold:
I think the thing that I take away from that initial part, as I sit back and observe that transition is, and I’ll use Andy Stanley’s words, I believe that leadership is a stewardship and I believe that we’re accountable for the way in which we take care of the people. And so you guys were really under… I remember Cierra, you and I having conversations where the guy that you guys have worked under, at points would have you guys in tears, he was truly like a dictator. So I think for myself, one of the things I began to learn through that overall process, and this is one of the things I would say is the first point, if you’re listening to this whole process is, if you want to have a team that stays together long-term, that’s got to be a team that’s based on promise-keeping.
It’s doing what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. And as much as I think that that sounds simplified, I’m amazed at how people that I run through to the industry that don’t call back when they say they’re going to call back, or they don’t show up on time when they say that they’re going to be at a particular place. So I think what created the initial bond for us overall is that there was a sense of promise-keeping because Cierra, you guys had come from a world in which there were a lot of broken promises. It was almost like a broken home, like a broken workplace, right?

Absolutely. I had girls on there all the time, on my team calls, I tried to be very different with my team, very open, very honest. And if they had a problem, I tried to address it immediately. But it was a lot of going to bat for them because when we had our company calls, there was a lot of, like you said, crying, honestly. I had girls coming to me… Or women, grown women, coming to me crying because they were so uncomfortable, and they were so talented. It’s not one of those situations where you’re like, “Okay, well just quit.” I didn’t want to lose them, they were valuable people, they had amazing skills. And for an owner to treat somebody like that, to where they don’t even want to be there, that’s heartbreaking, but I see it a lot, honestly. And it’s just bad leadership.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. I think as you’re listening, you hear a guy that did an incredible job of assembling a talented group of women, but didn’t have the overall leadership to maintain and to keep that talent. And as we always say, there’s one thing to attract talent, there’s another thing to be able to keep it. And so I remember Cierra, the real tipping point was when I told you I was going to call this guy, who again everyone was a bit intimidated by. And I called him and I said, “Hey, I want Cierra to come work for me directly.” At that point, you’re the number one person in his organization, and that was going to be a difficult conversation.
I just told him, I said, “Tell me how much I need to write a check for. Whatever the amount is, whatever you tell me, I’ll write a check,” and he came back literally a day later, he named the price and that’s what gave you that ability to move outside of the agreement that you signed, that you would not compete in any way. And then from there, that’s where the migration started to where he lost all of those great people simply because he didn’t provide great leadership.

Absolutely. And I remember being so shocked that you actually did it, you actually made that phone call. I trusted you, we had worked towards that relationship to where, I guess I knew you were going to, I had faith that you were, but I still was so, so incredibly surprised that you actually did it. [inaudible 00:14:34] literally, have you ever had somebody buy your way out of something? It was a very interesting experience. [crosstalk 00:14:41]

Chris Arnold:
Actually I remember that call. I remember you calling and that was the first time I actually think I ever saw you cry.

Yeah, it was crazy.

Chris Arnold:
You were so grateful to be freed. I think if you’re listening and what you take away from that, a lot of times what bonds together a team can be a difficult situation, can be suffering, can be pain, can be brokenness. If you look at the story of our team and where it began, it really started out of coming out of a difficult situation. That was really the first bond that bonded us together. And all of these great women that I have on today, like Krista and Grace and Scarlet, they all came from that environment. All I had to do from a simple standpoint was just come in and say, “I’m going to keep the promises that I make to you guys, and I’m going to lead you well.”
That’s where it began, so that’s the beginning of the story. Let’s go on to the second point, really answering the question, how in the world have we survived for almost 10 years remotely? And let me throw this out, by the way, as I’m talking with Krista, Cierra, Grace and Scarlet, I’ve actually never met any of them face-to-face. A lot of people are blown away by that, the fact that I fundamentally trust them with my business and my life. They know everything about me, I know everything about them and we’ve worked together that long and we’ve actually never met each other face-to-face. The second thing I would say that has really tied us together, is that we care about the totality of each other’s lives. I remember a saying that if you really want to impact somebody’s life, if you really want to create loyalty, if you really want to come in and do for others what they can’t do for themselves, there’s three ways in which you can do that.
You can come in and you can affect somebody’s health, you can affect their wealth, or you can affect their family. And if you touch one of those three areas in somebody’s lives, you get a great return in the sense of the impact that that will have on them. I wanted to get back and we asked ourselves, what would be a great story and example of us as an organization, not just coming and working together, but really caring about the totality of each other’s lives? And so I remember as we were talking, the story of [Margaret 00:17:03] came up as an example of that. So Krista, you want to talk about that story as maybe a quintessential example of our culture and the extent to which we go through to make sure that we’re taking care of each other in every aspect, even far outside of business?

Yes. Margaret was a team member of ours who, when I think of Margaret, I think of this beacon of light. Phone calls with Margaret were always giggling and happy, and she was truly a joy to have on our team. Unfortunately, Margaret started getting sick and at the start we were like, “Oh, this is horrible,” so we did phone calls, we did gifts. Even people who weren’t from our old organization stepped in and sent cards or coloring books, just to bring a little bit of joy to her life while she was feeling so bad. And then as things progressed, Chris asked what more we could do? And because, as usual in this business, everybody’s a 1099, so there’s no benefits. And one of the things that Margaret was struggling with, is she wasn’t getting the care that she needed because she didn’t have insurance.
We said, “Well, can we get insurance?” And went to an insurance broker, laid it out, nobody’s an employee, it’s all 1099. They found something for us. We had two other team members who were able to step in and take the insurance as well, because we had to meet certain requirements, and able to get insurance so Margaret can start getting the treatment she needed. Unfortunately it had progressed too far and we did lose Margaret, and it devastated our team. It rocked everybody’s world, because she wasn’t just a voice on the phone for us, she was part of our family and we lost one of our family members. But there’s not a lot of businesses that step back and say, “What more can we do?” Most of them like, “Well, if 1099 can’t work, they can’t work, so we’re not going to pay.” No, we kept paying, we got insurance, because that’s just our culture. It doesn’t matter that we haven’t met face-to-face, but we are family.

Chris Arnold:
I don’t think that you can separate the two. I don’t think as a leader, that you can lead your people well if you’re primarily focused on the fact that your only position and job is to make sure that they get a paycheck. If you don’t care about the totality of people’s lives as a whole within your organization, I don’t think that you’ll ever really build a great team. Unfortunately, I think a lot of companies treat employees as being expendable and they don’t really step in and understand what’s going on in people’s lives, and more importantly, step in and do whatever it takes to remedy a situation.
And with that example with Margaret, I mean, again, we’re talking about, and I think as you guys will hear our story, there’s a lot of difficult times. We started off with a difficult time as Cierra began where these ladies initially came from, in a broken environment. And then another example would be of Margaret and that bonding us together and caring about the totality of someone’s life. But even unfortunately in that circumstance, we lost a team member. Cierra, that’s not the only team member we lost, we lost another team member as well. Do you want to touch a little bit on that?

Yeah [crosstalk 00:20:37].

Chris Arnold:
Because I think as people hear this story, you begin to understand that… I heard someone say the other day, and it really hit me, that a healthy life is not the absence of crisis. A healthy life is honestly getting to crisis as early as possible because they’re going to come, and so you might as well face them head on and deal with them, and get what you need in order that you can continue to mature. But you want to talk a little bit about the other aspect of that, and just a sense of what we’ve been through as a team, that has bonded us together?

Yeah. I think there’s two ways a tragic loss can happen within a company, and we had both, we have experienced both, which is horrible. But with Margaret, we had the ability to work with her and give her that escape, honestly, the craziest part about Margaret’s story, which I just want to add before I go into the other one is, that Margaret was declining so fast, but she wanted to continue working. She would not walk away because as she explained it to me, it was like a break from experiencing it, and it was a distraction. And she loved our team so much that it’s like, just those daily interactions, she would tell me it was helping push her forward. And I think that that’s really a beautiful thing. But on the case of Margaret, that was with time, we watched it happen.
Our other death within the company was just as horrible, but there was no time leading up to it. We also had a team member, named [Laurie 00:22:14] Who passed on a conference call. There was no massive health issues. She had a couple of things happen, but she was also very much more private. And so we were not prepared for that loss, emotionally, at all, there was just no preparation in any way. She passed on a conference call and it had all of us very, very shaken up, that we lost another valuable person that just… Not even a team member, it’s our family, we lost another family member. But this one was so sudden that it not only affected us on that emotional level where we lost our family, but also on the business side, we were not prepared. And so that was another additional hit, is trying to scramble to figure out where everything was and what did we do?
And how do we mourn her properly together as a team, being virtual? How do we show support to her family? What do we do? Because with Margaret, there was much more leading up to it than on Laurie’s case. And I think that hit us just as hard and it’s just another thing we’ve had to overcome, but also, it’s allowed us to create a tighter family with the people that we have and continue to have that relationship. But also on the business side, and I hate putting the two together in a conversation but it’s just reality, is it’s allowed us to prepare because you never know what could happen. And we have to prepare on all sides, because a loss is not just a loss, for us as a family or as the company. But if we can’t pull it together, as well there’s potential we can’t get through this and support the team members that we do have. It affects everything, if that makes sense.

Chris Arnold:
It does. Yeah, it absolutely does. Let’s move to this last point, being radically transparent. Again, if you guys are listening, I didn’t write any of these down. I posed the question to Krista, Cierra, Grace and Scarlet. And I said, “How have we survived for this long?” And what you’re hearing today is all of the things that they said, I just wrote them down and organized them. And so another one that came out was radical transparency. Grace, you actually said this one, it was the idea that we have a culture in which you don’t feel like you have to hide. A culture in which you feel like you can say anything that you need to say and it’s a judgment free zone.
I posed the question again, I said, “If people are listening, what is the story that represents radical transparency? How open could you be within a culture and not feel judged? How open could you be about something maybe that you were feeling that maybe in other cultures you wouldn’t feel like you had the ability to say?” Grace, what’s that story about radical transparency?

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it’s sort of like what Krista was mentioning, like here at our company there’s so much that we can actually engage in that we did not get a chance to at our previous company or any other businesses that I’m aware of. And radical transparency is definitely one of them and not feeling like I had to hide. I’d say about 2019, somewhere towards the end, as much as I loved what I actually do, I started growing almost resentful. I was super disinterested in certain tasks, all of a sudden I was growing really irritated and agitated and I couldn’t quite figure out why. I was just growing distant from my actual job or interest in my actual task.
Then I’d say around January 2020, it was right at Kobe Bryant’s passing, he’s one of my favorite athletes. I think that hit even harder because I looked around and went, “What am I doing with my life in general? If I’m already feeling like I’m not happy at my workplace, why am I still here?” Again really, I don’t know, falling out of love with things that I’d always enjoyed, for some strange reason. And the only conclusion I can come up with was, I’m not doing something valuable here, or maybe this isn’t as valuable to me as what it should be. And that felt almost weird, because I guess that ultimately meant I need to get out of here. So that becomes a conversation of you actually having to go to your upper manager or your team members to basically say, “Hey, I need out, I can’t do this anymore.”
At another company I probably would have not felt very comfortable trying to go and have a conversation about potentially quitting, where either that person would probably try and beat me to the punch and fire me. Or go, “Hey, no problem. If you feel like you’re disinterested here or here’s not where you think it’s going to be very valuable for you, you can go ahead and leave.” That was not the case here, thankfully with our culture, again we don’t have to feel like we have to hide something. Even if it’s something that feels slightly uncomfortable or even it’s a decision that maybe is only benefiting us, the individual.
I ended up just having a call with Cierra and I’m like, “Cierra, I don’t think I can do this anymore.” And she was like, “Are you sure?” I was like, “Yeah. Again, here’s how I’m feeling just with certain tasks or just with the projects on my desk in general, I just have no interest in them. There’s no drive, I don’t feel like I’m fulfilling anything.” I was super lost on inner purpose. I’m like, “Is this all even worth it anymore?” And having that ability to just go and talk to Cierra about it was definitely not something that I’ve had at other companies. Because Cierra was like, “All right, here, let’s talk about it openly. If this is something that you truly think that will be best for you, let me help you talk about it out loud.” And then from Cierra, I ended up actually talking to you, Chris, about it and I was actually able to [crosstalk 00:28:04]-

Chris Arnold:
Let me pause you right there, Grace. Cierra what was that conversation like for you?

Oh, wow.

Chris Arnold:
That Grace had the ability to call you and just say, “I’m not happy. I don’t know that I want to be here anymore. I don’t know that I’m fulfilled.” Talk a little bit about that specific conversation.

Me and Grace’s relationship goes so much deeper than… I think I gave you your first job, Grace, right? Didn’t I? I gave you your first job right out of high school?

Yeah, a real job, yeah.

I hired her at the other company and so I had watched her grow. I’ve watched her grow and do these crazy things, like going from not really that confident, always bubbly, but not really confident, to watching somebody’s personality just change and evolve. And she became like a woman in a way, I know it sounds so cheesy and stupid, but I watched her grow up. Her having the ability to call me and be honest about it, it means a lot to me. It means a lot to me that she was that comfortable that she could say, “I don’t know what to do.”
And here’s the thing, is it wasn’t this calm back and forth, there was a little attitude, there was a little frustration, it was a bit different. But we got to the point on that same call where I was just like, “I’m going to support you, no matter what, if that’s what you decide, we’re going to support you, but you need to be sure.” And we talked about different positions she could move into or what she could do, and we just paused it. I think that’s where we left it Grace, right? We just paused the conversation and you were going to take some time, and I was going to think of either another solution or another way to help, or to get you out of here comfortably, and we just paused it. I think that’s when you took control, Chris, and you jumped in and you said, “Well no, let’s figure this out. It’s something else, it’s something else.” But it was very interesting.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah, so Grace, back to you. I think at that point, you and I had a heart-to-heart on the phone. What happened from there?

Yeah, that was actually really surprising to me because prior to Cierra, Cierra gave me my first real job, I [inaudible 00:30:13] work, like random jobs that 19, 18, 20 year olds work because I didn’t really need anything consistent. But I had never had a situation where the owner of the company, our actual boss go, “Hey, let me extend this olive branch to you, regardless of what you decide. I just want to at least talk you through it.” Because at this particular point it was a conversation that I was having with myself, inside my head, and I wasn’t quite making sense.
So having a conversation with Cierra, I started being able to process through it, but when you reached out to go, “Hey, do you mind hopping on a conference [inaudible 00:30:54] and at least, hey, let me just talk you through it. And whatever you decide, I’m okay with it, but I just want to help you move into whatever that next thing is and whatever is going to be best for you.” That was nothing that I was expecting at all. I was totally expecting to get on that call, I thought you were going to fire me or something like that. I was like, “Okay, he’s actually going to help me process that.” And I never had a call like that, and it meant more from not even just on a professional level, like on a personal level.

Chris Arnold:
And then after that, I think what we ended up doing was we brought in a transition leadership coach, just to be a soundboard for you, to help you figure out whatever it was that you were feeling. So at that point you started working with [Terry Walling 00:31:39].

Yes, and thank you so much for that. That again was something that I was not expecting, was to go from a conversation of feeling like I wanted to quit, to actually getting into a conversation about, “Hey, let me help you process this, and let me actually connect you with someone that can help you walk through this process. You don’t have to talk to yourself about it. You actually have a soundboard from a person whose specialty is really helping people navigate transitions in their life.” That was super new to me, nothing that I had ever explored before.

Chris Arnold:
I remember by the time you got to the end of that, you started to get some clarity, and obviously that clarity is why you’re still here with us today, you decided to stay. What was the transition for you? What was it that you walked away from that situation going, “You know what? I felt like I was unfulfilled and maybe this wasn’t the place for me.” To, “Now I want to continue to make this my home.” What happened?

Yeah. I was actually working… And especially working through Terry, he really set me down and walked through past [inaudible 00:32:43] present, future, and was like, “Where do you want to go? Where do you want to be? Let’s talk through where you have already been.” And I actually slowly learned that I do enjoy helping people and I did enjoy working with my team members, but maybe there was a slightly different way that I could go about it, and I wasn’t actually communicating that all of the time. If I did communicate frustrations just in my life in general, professional or personal, I would do it after I was already bubbled up with agitation. And so he actually helped me to resolve the fact of, “Hey, it’s okay to communicate small here or there,” almost like boundary lines.
Like here’s an expectation, here’s what you would like. Here’s what you would prefer. You’re entitled to be able to determine that for your environment as well. And again, that’s not something that I was used to experiencing. I sometimes was the type of person who’d just go with the flow, just to avoid any issues or creating any tension. So that really helped me to end up staying, was knowing that it’s okay, and I have a safe zone of communicating that this is something that I expect, or this is something that I prefer, and communicating boundary lines like that professionally and personally.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah, absolutely. I love that. I mean, after all that story and however long that was, we’ve continued to work together for years. And so I know myself and Krista, and Cierra, and Scarlet are so grateful that we’re all still working together and we navigated that particular challenge. I want to recap really the things that we wanted to say in this first part of the series, and it’s a few things. Number one, understand as you grow and you build your team, that you’re going to have tragedy, and you’re going to have suffering. And understand that we have found that to be honestly the catalyst for what has created greater, greater bonds between us, and what we believe has kept us together for so long. Those are just to name a couple of tragedies, we’ve had even bigger ones and bigger challenges that have come down the pipeline.
But I have found that every tragedy that we get through and get to the other side, it just continues to strengthen and solidify the team to where we just honestly become more and more united, regardless of what happens. The three things from a leadership perspective today, I hope you heard is, number one, if you want to build a team, if you want one that lasts long-term, particularly you as the owner, you have to be a promise keeper. And that’s down to every little thing that you say. I know for myself… And again, do I always get it right? No. If I miss it, I make sure that I apologize, but I always am just so conscious about the fact that if I tell someone in my organization that I’m going to do something, it doesn’t matter how small it is, I want to make sure that I follow through on that. Because I want our ladies to live in an environment in which they feel like promises are kept.
Because that’s no different than a home. I think for any of us being raised in a home, I think what we probably wanted more than anything when it came to our moms and dads and our family as a whole, is we just wanted a family that we felt like we could trust, they kept their promises, right? Whether it be dads that showed up at football games or moms that picked us up from school on time, it was always about promise-keeping. The second thing is making sure that you care about the totality of the people on your team. As we said, you’re responsible for every aspect of their life. As I always remind myself and I know I have a faith perspective, but I really don’t think God cares much about my P&L. What I do think he measures at the end of the day, is how much better are the people in our organization for the time that he’s given me to steward them?
That’s what I think his true measurement is. If someone comes and works with us for a year or even 10 years, did they leave as greater people than when they began? And if they had, that means that we truly cared about the totality of their lives. Then lastly, I just don’t think you’ll stay together if you’re not radically transparent. That is one of our core values, and if you don’t feel like you can say what you need to say, and there’s not a sense of a judgment-free zone, then I don’t think that you’ll really ever have the effective communication that you need to have in order to have the really difficult conversations. So the story of Grace is an example of her ability to trust radical transparency and a no-judgment zone, is actually what kept us together. Because I think probably in most circumstances, someone like that would have probably just walked out the door and there wouldn’t have been much of a conversation about it.
Those are the first three things we wanted to share with you guys today. And so again, stay tuned. We of course air every Wednesday, so we will go into part two next week. As a reminder, as always, if you have an interest in radio and you feel like we can help you out, and you’re looking for a marketing channel, as I always remind people, you don’t just get me, I’m definitely not the smartest person. I was smart enough to put really, really smart people around me, so Grace and Cierra and Alan and [Oshian 00:38:02] and the rest of our team is a really team effort and helping all of our students get up their REI.
I know a lot of what they tell me is, “Hey, I got a lot from REI Radio on setting up radio, but I also learned a lot, Chris, just by watching how your team interacts, that was a learning experience within itself.” As always, you can check us out at Again, that’s Until next time, we will catch you soon when we add more value. Talk to you later.

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