Banks & Credit Unions & Real Estate by David Guerra

This past weekend, I saw a commercial from a local Credit Union. There was nothing unique about the commercial, it was your regular run of the mill here we are and come shop with us. The commercial was talking about the convenience of doing business with  the Credit Union. The commercial mentioned the many locations in the general area and then they went in for the kill. They introduced their new service and new location for that service: REAL ESTATE.
 
While it makes sense that a business expand into the sensible extension of the services they are already offering. For the organization, this is GREAT business. Generating revenue from many sources. Heck, I wish I was generating revenue like that.
 
Yet, is this good business for the customer? Yes and No!
 
Credit Unions have their depositors believing they are part owners of the Credit Union. They do this by offering token “dividends”, special “members only” services and other contributions. The truth is this is a business and with or without your approval. Business is done based on what the business and its board members agree must be done. Remember, the board members are usually the ones with the most at stake with the Credit Union than the average depositor.
 
Before I continue I should in full disclosure say the following: I AM NOT A MEMBER OF ANY CREDIT UNION. I was in the past but I am NOT a member now. Reason I left the Credit Union is that I moved to another state and needed the services of a local banking institution.
 
Moving on.
 
While it is great for the organization to expand its services, the problem that when a member of the Credit Union buys a home they use the new REAL ESTATE SERVICE to broker the deal from finding a home to the initial offer to the financing and finally to the closing. While it may be convenient for the member of the Credit Union it is also too convenient.
 
It makes no sense why any individual would want to have their home mortgage where they do their banking.  This applies to the automobile dealerships, why would anyone want to finance their new car at the dealership. Of course, the salesman will tell you they will get you a “good deal” because they work with their financiers “all the time”. It is no lie, but, they also fail to admit something else, the reward or incentives (paid to the dealership and trickle down to the salesman) for using the service to finance customers.
 
When someone arrives pre-approved (from the bank or credit union) the salesman will service you enough to the pre-approved limit. When a customer walks in cold, the entire interaction becomes a shark feeding frenzy. Things like “undercoating”, “rustproofing”, other accessories and services added to the final price. As the price increases, the amount financed increases, thus the reward or incentive to the dealership increases.
 
When it comes to other transactions like the real estate service offered by a credit union how does it compare? It does not! It does not compare because they are using the same transaction model as the auto dealership. This model works for them and it will work for about any other situation that calls for a financing situation (think home furnishings).
 
Still not convinced? Do you go to your Pastor to ask for their advice on how to repair a faulty O2 sensor? No! You go to your Pastor for spiritual advice. Do you go to your Dentist for advice on which roofing shingles are best for your Mid-Century Modern. NO!
 
So, why go and have the Credit Union to act as your Real Estate Agent?

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What did you think of this blog entry / post?
Let me know by email dave@daveguerra.com on on Twitter @daveguerra

Journaling Your Leadership by David Guerra

When it comes to journaling and leadership the two have to go together like peanut butter and jelly. Writing down the actions of the day and recalling them at a later time is the main reason biographies of great military, political and business leaders are written. It is the exact same reason for you to journal your daily events.  Document activities as they happen. Obviously, there are times you cannot go into specifics (to protect the privacy of all parties) however you can present enough information that when you need it, there it is. However, all of this is not possible if you do not have the right materials to do the right job.

• Always have writing materials.

Any leader that has been a great follower knows to always carry something to write with and something to write on is vital to your existence. Typically, that means carrying paper and pen. Unless you like remembering names, dates, and other information it is best that you carry that paper and pen(s) at all times. However, I have recently seen a disturbing trend: People writing important (critical) information on the palm of their hand.

I cannot understand why people would take such a chance. Yet, they seem to have no problem writing names on the palm of their hand and hoping they don’t sweat it away. Folks, don’t take a chance and smudge a name or a word, don’t take a chance of misspelling a word or running out of room to write. Make it part of your everyday carry (EDC) kit, have paper (notepad, note cards, journal) and pen or pens or pencil.

Having this will allow you to keep important information handy and within arm’s reach.

• Document Everything especially names, times, places, and events.

Now that you have something to write with and something to write on what do you do? You start writing, of course. Now you ask, but what do you write? Great question. If you have never written in a journal you start slow.

At first, just give the highlights. However, the highlights should include names, times, places, and events. Then as you get more comfortable with your writing you start including things like time of day, weather, and actual dialogue.

As leader, now it becomes even more important to document, chronicle, or whatever you want to call it, all your daily interactions no matter how mundane or important. Treat every interaction as the same. As anyone who has spent anytime managing people you have to document or it didn’t happen.

The ability to efficiently and effectively document your day will increase as you do it every day. Once you are effective and efficient, you will be able to describe and document situations with the best of them.  That documentation will come in handy as you move along in your career or time as a leader.

• Refer to the past to create a new future.

Once you are well on your way to journaling or documenting your day-to-day adventures as a leader something unique starts to happen, you are building a library. A library of events, situations, and how you handled them. This library built from your daily journaling not only shows you what happened in the past but helps guide you in the present and the future.

When a situation arises and it is similar to something that happened in your past, you can quickly refer to your journal(s) and instantly you have a point of reference not only to help you figure out what to do but to ensure that as a manager you remain consistent.

Keep journaling, even when you think that life is boring. It is a great tool to show your kids or those you mentor that life is mostly boring but when it isn’t life can be a challenge. Future challenges will be in good company as you will have a resource, a recollection that allows you to use the past to address the present.

Keep writing.

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What did you think of this blog entry / post?
Let me know by email dave@daveguerra.com on on Twitter @daveguerra

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Why Baking A Cake Is Leadership in its Purest, Most Delicious Form by David Guerra

Have you ever baked a cake? Most people have at one point or another in their lives have baked a cake. I have baked cakes for as long as I can remember. While cake baking/making is not my vocation (and for good reason) I have baked cakes for many reasons and while all have been tasty, none of them have caused me to quit my day job. All that cake baking has failed to land me a private jet. However, it has done so much for my leadership skills. There are at least three leadership skills that are put into play every time anyone bakes a cake: planning, patience, and doing what you say.

Planning

I would be hard pressed to say that people are ever ready to bake a cake, even bakers. They have to plan for the cake they want to make. They have to know things like flavor, type, number of slices, frosting, frosting type, and any extras. No one just happens to have the flour they need. They plan and prepare for it. Any experience baker will know that you just have a “magical” supply of flour. You have to have an inventory of flour and all the other ingredients to make the cakes you make. Every leader, worth his or her weight in Almond Flour knows before beginning any new project or mission planning must take place. Planning to prepare for the people, resources, and time needed is key to becoming a successful leader.

Patience

Every baker, knows if they do not wait the minimum time to bake a cake the cake will not be done. No one likes a mushy cake, especially when you take it out the oven too soon. On the other side of the coin, no one truly likes a dry  cake. By dry I mean, the Sahara Desert has nothing on how dry the cake is because it sat in the oven for too long. Whether it is baking a cake or leading a group of individuals you have got to have patience to know when to start and the patience to know when to stop.

Doing What You Say

Those that eat the cake know first hand if that baker is worth the investment or not. The baker knows he/she is only as good as the cake that is eaten. If people are not eating the cake then he isn’t putting his money where is mouth is (literally). If the baker is not delivering a quality product then it should come as no surprise that he is not doing what he says he can do which in this case, bake a delicious cake.  Doing and delivering on what you say is essential as a leader, as intent (intending to do something) is not what is going to make you a great leader. Doing things makes you a great leader.

When it comes to being a leader there are so many things that go into becoming the individual that others will follow. However, when it comes to planning, patience, and doing what you say are the top three elements that all future and current leaders must master. To master the top three and just like the cake maker, you have to practice. Practice every day, all day giving no quarter to slacking off. Those that follow you expect nothing less.
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What did you think of this blog entry / post?
Let me know by email dave@daveguerra.com on on Twitter @daveguerra

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