Businesswoman pointing with colleagues

September 6, 2022

Are You Managing to the Top or to the Middle?

A significant attribute of my professional drive was formed as an athlete in high school, college, and candidly, still today. An intrinsic quality of a competitive athlete is to achieve multiple championships in their respective careers.

Very few competitive athletes aspire to finish in the middle of the pack.

How do you manage your business? Do you manage to the middle or to the top?

Envision a pyramid of the performers in your business [as pictured below]. The top performers and rising stars enjoy the top third of the pyramid, the average performers enjoy the middle, and the casual performers the bottom third.

Pyramid graphic of top, middle, and casual performers

In my experience observing commercial brokerages, residential brokerages, and mortgage businesses, most leadership teams “manage to the middle.” Meaning if they can make the middle more productive, imagine the lift they may get in their profit & loss statements.

Sometimes, a leadership team takes the approach: “we don’t need to worry about the top performers as they take care of themselves.”

Trust me the top performers only take care of themselves because the business generally does not. The top performers need to meet the needs of the most demanding clients. They need to distinguish themselves from the overpopulated sea of real estate or mortgage professionals and invest in technology that addresses their unique needs and drive efficiencies in their practice.

They don’t want to take this approach. They know they must take this approach to win championships.

Does your current approach win championships?

“Managing to the top” is a far superior approach. Sure, it can be expensive. But if a business invests in a culture, platform, and technology that the top performers embrace and successfully execute, the entire organization watches their performance. Next step is the average and casual professionals embrace top performers’ behavior. As a result, the entire business gets “lift.”

Consider interviewing your top performers for what they need and aspire to in their businesses. Listen to the good, the bad, and the ugly. Then act swiftly to meet their needs. Please know the “ugly” is always the easiest to correct, as everyone knows how “ugly” it is and how it creates drag on your business. Improving the bad and further investing in the good is not difficult. What is difficult is asking the questions. And what is deadly, is not acting on the answers.

Do you manage to the top or to the middle? When is your next championship?

What will tomorrow bring?

This is Where We Are Now.



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