Implicit in the last word of our purpose statement – Create a Place Where Life Gets Better – is growth, improvement, and change. You simply cannot become “better” by staying exactly who you are. It’s for this reason that we, at Elliott Homes, are a learning company, and the Core Value of learning is an essential aspect of who we are and what we do.
There are several ways to learn – I will offer three which have been meaningful to me and my life:
1. Learn by doing
2. Learn by reading
3. Learn by training
The first, learning by doing, involves each of us seeing ourselves as filling two jobs instead of one. Our first job is our actual job title. We are Field Managers, New Home Advisors, Drafters, etc. We measure ourselves using our metrics/KPIs so that we can both demonstrate how we’re doing AND learn how to do our job better. This leads to our second job – each of us must learn how to do our first job better. It’s amazing how your perspective changes when you realize that you have two jobs – doing and learning. You’ll see that successfully acquiring this perspective will lead you to improved metrics and earnings.
Next, we learn by reading. As a teen, I was not a reader. In fact, I read one book in my first 16 years of life. It was “The Riddle of the Outlaw Bear,” and it was a birthday gift from my father when I was eight years old. There came a point, however, when Harry Truman’s words “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers” became truth to me. As I read, I saw how my mind was absorbing the information and how my abilities as an operator were dramatically improving. This drove me to read even more, and the growth hasn’t stopped. (Full disclosure – I’m the first to realize I still have a long way to go, but I don’t plan on stopping.) If you struggle to retain what you’ve read or you struggle to keep your mind focused (I struggle with both of these), I’ll give you a tip. I own two versions of every book I read – the hardcopy and the audio version (I use Audible).
I put my headset on and have the narrator read out loud as I follow along, and I become fully immersed in the learning experience. This does two things – first, my retention of the information I read is much higher than it would be from simply reading the pages. Second, it keeps me on pace, and I can even increase the narration speed to 2.0x or higher. When I do this, mental distractions are less likely to put me two pages beyond the point my mind stopped learning. Try it out – Let me know how it goes for you.
Last, we learn by training, through structured education and discussions provided by others. This can be one-on-one or in groups, in webinars and training guides, or even on YouTube. In these situations, you are paying attention to someone else who has been there, and you can learn from them and discover how they succeeded. My father always said, “Smart people learn from their mistakes, wise people learn from the mistakes of others.” Training provides us with smart people helping us avoid the same mistakes – take advantage of this at every possible opportunity.
My goal is to help create an environment for us all to live out these Core Values in both our business and personal lives. As we do this, we can make good on our purpose to Create a Place Where Life Gets Better for our customers, our team members, and ourselves.