This past week was an adventure...the cost-a-fortune-college-trip adventure! We just got back from a long trip up the east coastline to visit a few universities with our son. Just prior to the trip, a scary Northeaster storm rammed the areas where we were headed. Then on the way into New Haven, CT, news of the Virginia Tech massacre was filtering in on the airways. With so much going on, including flooding reports in many areas, we were actually grateful that our final destination was simply blustery cold rain & moderate winds.
We passed several areas which still remained covered by standing pools of ground water, the result of excess amounts of rain in a short period of time. As I buried deeper into my winter coat to protect myself from the elements, the coldness of the rain was just one more element to plow through. This rain was not refreshing...it was simply cold, dreary & depressing.
We met all sorts of individuals on this trip. There were the parents of fellow students, who like us were accompanying sons & daughters on a new phase of their life journey. It was refreshing to talk to them; sharing stories about our children's dreams & accomplishments. The students we met were also amazing. Talking to young men & women who had optimism, hope and a desire to excel, was like refreshing rain that wipes away the soot & grime that dirties up life's lens. In the wake of the sad news about Virginia Tech that we now began to understand in more detail, these promising young scholars nourished hope in my soul and bathed away the cynicism & fear that shrouds the ability to see the sun through the clouds.
The term rainmaker has become a much tossed about term in business. In ancient folklore, a rainmaker was one who was believed to have magical charms to produce rain in the community. Today, the term describes someone who becomes known for achieving excellent results in a profession or field such as business or politics. It's interesting to see how this term has evolved in modern usage. Rainmaking today is not a function of luck or charm, it's the beneficial result of diligent, disciplined hard work. The key is understanding that not all forms of rain merit consideration as being helpful or beneficial.
Storm clouds that dump excess amounts of rain in quantities which can not be adequately or properly absorbed do more harm than good. In my zeal to accomplish things quickly, I have sometimes resembled a storm cloud. I've come to recognize that feelings of irritation, anxiety, anger & impatience are not precursors to the highest good in my life, no matter how well intentioned my goals. When decisions...personal or professional...have been made with the heavy laden energy of storm clouds, the deluge has not yielded the best results. Like the storms clouds which dump massive quantities of rain with unimpeded fury; decisions with negative energy can result in massive devastation ...and can derail a promising transaction.
Refreshing rain has some distinct qualities. First, it falls in the amount necessary at the time & it does no harm. A little pitter, patter of rain on sun scorched earth is not tremendously helpful for a region ravaged by drought, and my lawn almost always looks better after a little thunder & lightening has increased the nitrogen content of the soil. So, effective rainmaking is not about being comfortable or nice, it's about doing what is best for the right reasons. When I run ads in a medium which I know yields limited results just to pacify a seller, I am making not practicing effective rainmaking...I am succumbing to the process of creating waste. When I hope that a home will sell although the seller is unrealistic in pricing & presentation, I risk creating the makings of storm clouds which will eventually burst with a fury that can be destructive. Yes, truth be told, I've been guilty of both of these types of destructive tendencies.
Effective rainmaking requires the discipline of being grounded. It's a curious combination of light & dark, soft & hard, practial & yet intuitive. Sometimes difficult decisions have felt akin to being hit by a bolt of lightning. Coming to the realization that changes in my company or location were necessary were not easy, but the aftermath has been much greater freedom & confidence in the path that I have chosen. Effective rainmaking also strives to leave in its aftermath, a better situation than what preceded its arrival. Sometimes, this is the only reliable indicator. Peering through the rain does not allow for accurate judgements in most instances, but if you are able to evaluate the results of the aftermath, it becomes quite clear what sort of results, a rainmaking effort has achieved. In financial business sectors, effective rainmakers succeed by bringing in new business on a largely consistent basis & are well rewarded financially & professionally for their successful efforts.
At Audu Real Estate, every client is given the opportunity to grade our services and to receive a gift certificate for their honest evaluation. We know that we cannot respond appropriately to what we do not know. While most of the comments are very positive, I have found it is equally important to fully explore situations which were perceived by a client to be less than what was expected.
By choosing to harness constructive criticism to improve, we strive to become better rainmakers and to refresh and readjust areas of our lives & business that could use the cleansing power of a good downpour! Developing a system of continual evaluation also protects against the reactive and often disasterous consequences of reacting blindly in the midst of a storm.
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