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IN THIS ISSUE

COVER STORY

A POWERFUL PARTNERSHIP: Mortgage Explosion

… Partnerships are tricky. Two people sharing one job, one business, or one vision, is not always easy to navigate. Many partnerships will not stand the test of time. But the one you’re reading about is an exceptional example of a prospering partnership; one that has endured the test of time and is healthy and thriving. A Powerful Partnership: Mortgage Explosion was the most fitting title we could apply to the story you are about to read.

The Spotlight Shines Brightly

Featuring Contributing Writer, Fobby Naghmi

Recruiting: Getting Personal and Making it About The Candidate

With mortgage interest rates at historical all-time lows, how does a company recruit mortgage loan officers? In writing that sentence, I almost want to follow it up with, “Why would I want to hire more loan officers? I need underwriters, closers, and processors. Do I really need more loan officers?”

Celebrating Leadership

Featuring Contributing Writer, Ray Befus

Coaches ConnXion

For everyone who holds a position in management or leadership, it is worth taking note that the president of a prestigious state university has publicly declared that a leader’s unwillingness to routinely engage with a professional coach may be personally irresponsible or even self-destructive. Worse, it may be damaging to the whole team or the entire enterprise.

The V Factor Column

Featuring Contributing Writer, Jenny Mason

FULL VITALITY AFTER THE STORM

When storms enter our lives and threaten to steal the wind from our sails, we have a choice. Will we hunker safe in the harbor? Will we adjust the sails and voyage valiantly onto the seas of this life? Storms come. Unbidden and inexorably. Our control comes in the decisions we make, in how we adapt, and how we come out on the other side of the dark clouds.

Vision Partners in Success
Regular Features

Note from the Editor in Chief

I

n this edition of The Vision we share an incredible story of leadership and partnership, recruiting tips, health and wellness tips, current news, and a culture of growth and positive community.

In the Coaches ConnXion, we collect the wisdom of our coaching team in timely and pertinent articles written by 20/20 Vision coaches. In future months, we will augment these with articles from across the breadth of the coaching profession.

Eyes on News offers a fast look at newsworthy reports from across the mortgage and real estate industry. Bolstering the current events and fast pace of this industry, we’ve added to both the Books and More section and the Happenings and Events section. Check them out and please do submit ideas and suggestions!

It is amazing to me to see how this magazine has come together and is growing organically. In this issue, we introduced new features, enhanced our regular features, and welcome additional partners.

We hope you enjoyed each of the features and stories we’ve brought to you in these pages. We are already working on the next issue, which will publish on October 1. In the meanwhile, please share www.TheVisionMag.com in social media. Reach out and congratulate your peers who are honored in these pages. Tag them in your posts #thevisionmag and #2020visionforsuccesscoaching.

Message from the Publisher

As we continue to navigate the tumultuous waters of a high tide of refinance volume during these historic times, strong leadership is called upon more than ever. I hear the call from professionals serving in our industry and at their collective management seats, businesses, and organizations. I am committed to help them navigate their business plans and stay rooted in their focus this year.

Our service to our communities and each other needs to be united. Our leadership to the masses needs to stand for the right principles without divide. At the end of the day, we must fall back upon principle-based leadership. We serve what is right and we serve what is healthy. Our ability to navigate troubled waters without blindly defending our personal agenda while leading respectfully with a core set of protected principals is vital to global unification. Anything less is truly irresponsible.

I will point you to the cover story in this issue of The Vision for an example of collaborative leadership based on solid, core values.

Please drop us a comment on social media or share our magazine with others if it inspires you. As a growing community and emerging e-magazine, sharing is the greatest compliment you could pay us. Our goal is to put what’s great about our industry into the universe for your digestion. We hope you have a wonderful summer. Stay safe.

WRITE FOR US

Yes, we do accept submissions. If you are a writer interested in being featured in a national publication, we will be happy to consider your ideas and your article submissions. We are also interested in recurring columns centered around our featured topics. The place to start is by clicking the button and inquiring.

20/20 Vision for Success Coaching

MORTGAGE PRO DYNAMIC DUO: Landy and Kevin

Written by: Christine Beckwith

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artnerships are tricky. Two people sharing one job, one business, or one vision, is not always easy to navigate. Many partnerships will not stand the test of time. But the one you’re reading about is an exceptional example of a prospering partnership; one that has endured the test of time and is healthy and thriving. A Powerful Partnership: Mortgage Explosion was the most fitting title we could apply to the story you are about to read.

Kevin Dolan was born in Yonkers, NY less than 100 miles from Elizabeth, NJ where Landy Garcia was born. These two guys were destined for greatness; both on separate paths gravitating towards each other their entire lives. Separately, but similarly, they entered the mortgage business in 2004 and 2003, respectively. At first working for different companies, their lives eventually intertwined under the roof of the same mortgage company. Like many great stories, theirs unearthed incredible triumph as they spent many years dealing with tremendous adversity.

Each man realized early in their careers having an ability to seek knowledge and apply it to their business was their forte. Together, but not yet working directly together, they found solace helping each other traverse troubled waters through the historical mortgage implosion of 2007. As was true for many, their mortgage journey was not smooth. They found themselves in muddy waters for many years dealing with mortgage buybacks, compliance issues, warehouse issues, and more. As this adversity continued to pummel, they turned to one another and in that process discovered the power in unity of purpose. The rest, as they say, is history. These men are ready to share their stories.

Where it Began

On a beautiful summer Saturday in June of 2020, I interviewed Kevin and Landy about their unique and incredible partnership. In preparing for the interview, I was reminiscent of the many years I spent as their direct manager. I was, in truth, a spectator watching their journey and so I witnessed and recognized in real time the incredible power of their story. It is truly an exceptional representation of all that is good in our industry.

On August 16, 2012, the partnership of Kevin Dolan and Landy Garcia was born, along with their small team located in Mountain Lakes, NJ. This day, the promise of a bright and successful future dawned. A new adventure started, and they were eager to lay down the tracks of their vision.

As I talked with them, we began diving into that time in their story. I asked them to share why they thought their partnership worked. Kevin revealed he appreciates Landy’s ability to navigate operational issues with power and insight. He values their history and appreciates their combined strategic mindset during times of struggle which allows each of them to showcase their best features and skills. Landy chimed in to share how thankful he is to have found Kevin at that time; adding he admires Kevin’s ability to lead the sales charge, to be strategic, and to keep things light and entertaining. Still to this day he says Kevin is one of the funniest guys he knows.

They both went on to reflect how during their days of adversity they recognized and learned to take advantage of their joint power and collective prowess. From this unintentional merger, the idea sparked to go out on their own, giving birth to an epic partnership under a new marquis and company, AnnieMac Home Mortgage.

A Partnership is born – Circa 2012

It was at this intersection of their story I was personally interjected. Ryan Kube, currently President of AnnieMac Home Mortgage, asked me to go to Mountain Lakes and meet their team. I was tasked with helping them onboard; teaching them about the powerful tools AnnieMac offered.

Ryan Kube has been at the helm of AnnieMac Home Mortgage since its inception, driving the bus, gathering incredible leaders and managers to help scale the constant growth of the national mortgage lending company. Kevin and Landy, however, did not prove to be a run-of-the-mill addition. I knew it when I met them.

I recall being seated in the back of the room watching them conduct a sales meeting with their small team. Kevin used a whiteboard, laying out the numbers of the past month and the goals of the next month. Landy seamlessly interjected help to guide the team, navigate through the complexities, and translate what the numbers meant to their everyday bottom line. The ease and comfort in their banter was visibly fluid. They filled the room and the team with confidence.

I remember another time when I witnessed an even more public example of their ‘finish your sentence relationship’. It was later in the year during an annual meeting, Kevin and Landy stood to introduce themselves to forty branch management peers.

Kevin quipped, “Hi, I’m Kevin Dolan and this is Landy Garcia.”

Landy without offense rebutted, “And hello I am apparently with Kevin!”

The congregation of managers laughed. The incredible lack of ego we witnessed more than a half dozen years ago was stunning and holds true today.

Partnerships are hard. They typically have a short shelf life, ending often when egos are involved. This partnership was void of this parasite. They were destined to soar. They had a plan and they simply needed to execute on its steps. I was certain they did not even know yet the power laying under the hood of their partnership.

When I reached out to AnnieMac Home Mortgage and their executive and senior leadership for commentary about this article, I, of course, went back to AnnieMac President, Ryan Kube, where it all began.

“It has been amazing to support the growth of these two sales leaders,” Ryan shared. “They make the most of their partnership by using each other’s strengths to accomplish the tasks before them. Overachieving their goals and crushing their business plans every year has become the norm for them. Most importantly, they are class act sales leaders who contribute more to the organization than volume.”

I can vividly recall them having a goal of Five Million in monthly volume, so it is hard to imagine today they are crushing a monthly 100+ units and more than Thirty Million a month in volume. The distance between those two numbers in the span of eight years reflects proper training, hiring, and scaling, and brick-by-brick laying the next layer of growth in a foundational and stable way.

Some of the statistics standing out here are the incredible health checks one would do on any business; Attrition, Volume, Units, Hiring, and so on. In every imaginable way their numbers are stellar. Six hundred percent growth in eight years. Almost zero attrition, a fractional number not worthy of quoting. People join them and they do not leave an attribute of their personal and direct culture and that of AnnieMac Home Mortgage as well.

In a private interview with Kevin Dolan, I asked about Landy Garcia. He said, “Landy is my true brother. A family man, he is selfless when putting others before himself. Most can see this within seconds of meeting him. He is the most genuine person I know. These values, combined with being super passionate about our industry, made him the perfect person to partner with in business.”

Landy Garcia, when asked about Kevin Dolan in a separate and private interview said, “Kevin is a true professional who only knows how to lead by example. He mirrors an unmatched work ethic and is completely dedicated to our team’s success, all while being the life of the party. His favorite pastime of all is making memories.”

Joe Panebianco, CEO of AnnieMac Home Mortgage, offered these words when speaking about the dynamic duo. “It can be difficult for high-producing loan officers to transition to, and excel at, branch management. The great characteristics defining a top-producing MLO are often at odds with what makes a successful branch manager. This doesn’t mean one role is better than the other; they are both desperately needed in this industry and in any company. They just require a different set of skills.

This is what defines and distinguishes Landy and Kevin from others I’ve known in my mortgage banking career. Focus, empathy, vision, inclusion, and a leaders-eat- last attitude is the best way I can summarize what makes them such a success.

The ability to straddle the worlds of MLO and BM is a rarity indeed. It’s a finding a unicorn in a field of four-leaf clovers next to the fountain of youth kind of rare. In addition to all of this, they have the unique ability to work as a true partnership without letting ego stand in the way. It’s with great pleasure and sincere gratitude I am able to call them my friends and my co-workers.”

A Love for Giving

Landy and Kevin know the distance they’ve traveled from where they started to today. It’s been a far journey. They do not forget where they came from even as they focus on their future vision. They are steadfast in reminding one another to stay grounded. Of course, they also have celebrated their successes by living a life where they enjoy the fortitude and security brought on by their hard work. They have beautiful homes, beautiful families, and an occasional stopping to smell the roses mentality enables them to stay focused on the job at hand while keenly understanding they work to live.

In April this year, they decided while cooped up due to the pandemic they would put the power of two of their great loves to work in a pay it forward to give back way. Before I tell this incredible and powerful part of their story, I must first tell you a little secret about the two. They are members of a secret society and you will have to ask them about it personally. Called the Food Execs, it is an elite group of foodies who dine together across the nation while traveling. They explore and discover the finest fooderies in the world and share within their society the powerful experience of bread breaking at the finest tables of master chefs. They are lovers of the art that incredible cuisine delivers and appreciate the experience and bonding of food.

Kevin set up a Facebook group called, The K-Squared Quarantine Cooking Challenge. Here pictures of cooking with Kevin’s beautiful baby girl were shared. Exquisite videos of crafting beautiful food were posted. There was intuitiveness to this madness. Kevin realized the power connecting held during this time. While it was primarily Kevin’s project, they both understood that, through social media sharing, important messages about family time and a shared love of food and cooking could abate some of the world’s pain.

Requests went out for reciprocal videos among the viewers of the FB group and in time, donations became part of the culture. Many of these areas were among the hardest hit by COVID—NYC. Out of this simple idea, hundreds of family cooking videos were created. Members donated thousands of dollars to help healthcare workers and the homeless in their area. Both of these men are committed to giving back by supporting charities such as the Toys for Tots annual drive, local Police PBAs, and their respective church communities.

This demonstrates yet again how their commonality in ideas, opportunity, passion, and purpose collide in their worlds. It’s an excellent example of how their mindsets mingle and infuse their leadership to make good use of their strong voices and reputations. Both men are respected and admired by many.

Is there a lesson to take away? Perhaps. For those readers who are trying to find their way in their businesses, I offer five top attributes and success habits I’ve witnessed while watching their near-decade journey of growth:

  1. A willingness to constantly communicate with each other, to listen to their leaders, and to create a vision for their team which leads to Excellent Communication.
  2. Humor. They are two of the funniest men I know. They use their humor to deflate, deflect, and diffuse difficult situations. I have seen this attribute in action. It is endearing. It is artful and useful in helping to navigate tough spots. It is attractive to people around them. It is a great negotiating tool, as well.
  3. Strategy. They see the cracks and know when to fill them. They see the opening when there is a gap and they know when to throttle. This is something many professionals miss. You must always be looking for the spot to pull your race car onto the tracks or get ahead of the other guy. Kevin and Landy know strategy and are constantly watching for those moments to scale.
  4. Coaching. They are coachable. When asked about coaching, the two of them shared their participation in Rick Ruby’s The Core and Carl White’s Freedom Club. They have also used the tools provided by AnnieMac, like AnnieMac Worx and even my own 20/20 Vision Sales Training to help them, and their sales guys excel. They hold a belief in betterment and surround themselves with accountability and like-minded people. They know continued learning and being open to coaching is something that has been incredibly powerful for their own mindsets.
  5. Empowerment. I asked them about this trait as I watched them personally struggle with this part at some intersection of their growth. Their words below help sum up this powerful tactic I now know they have mastered.

When I asked them to reflect on how far they’ve come and if there is anything that stands out in their journey as a single greatest moment or step they cite, “Learning we had to empower and delegate stands out to us. It’s brought us to the next level. To give the ball away and watch people struggle or fall at times is hard. Train well, trust, be there to catch your teammates, then repeat the training until it sticks. When we took this huge step and learned to empower, everything changed. We repeated the pattern of successful steps we took over and over and doing so allowed us to grow exponentially and repeatedly.”

Kevin Dolan has a beautiful wife and daughter for whom he works tirelessly. Landy Garcia is the father of two beautiful daughters and one amazing son who is already showing his father’s leadership qualities. Today, both of their families live within driving distance of one another, and they spend ample time outside of work celebrating their successes. They are living their best lives.

I am reminded of this quote and I think helps us put a seal on this story about friendship, leadership, partnership, and equality.

“Before you are a leader, success is all about leading yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” ~Jack Welch.

The longevity of their (now) 26-member team, all of whom share in continued business growth, is the calling card of a well-run team and a testament to this partnership, to their leaders at AnnieMac Home Mortgage, and to the culture they have built inside the walls of their many offices spanning the northern Jersey and southern NY metropolitan area as well as Miami, Florida.

Today, their goals are to run a well-oiled machine, have life/work equality, and offer an incredible environment for their teams. They are five-time President Club winners within the organization at AnnieMac and lead the dozens of branches at the top five across the nation.

Kevin sums up their success saying, “At the core of our business lies the partnerships of our past, the realtors who helped us grow our business. We focus on that core, not forgetting where we came from and while the refinance business is in place today and we obviously grab as much of it as we can, we are constantly focused on our purchase core business and we also see it as a strategy for growth. We know others will abandon those relationships or at least become distant and distracted and we will not.”

We wish them luck, although they will not need it. As their story continues, we will be watching, and we think you should be, too.

Kevin and Landy have four NJ offices and a Miami Branch. They can be reached if you have any interest in speaking to them or sending them an inspirational note about this article to Kevin Dolan Kdolan@annie-mac.com and Landy Garcia Lgarcia@annie-mac.com.

Find these two and connect with them on Facebook under their respective names, or on LinkedIn by doing the same. Click to join the K-Squared Cooking in Quarantine Facebook group.

About the Author

Christine “Buffy” Beckwith is an Award-Winning Executive Sales Leader who has spent the past 30 years in the Mortgage finance industry. Her life and career are filled with a progression of success stories that reach all the way back to her childhood. A Best Selling and Award-Winning Author, Christine branched out in 2018 to begin her dream job as the Founder and President of 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching & Consulting. After breaking glass ceilings in the Mortgage & Banking Industry, Christine now is a columnist for professional magazines and is a special correspondent anchoring the news and interviewing experts in her industry. She is an advocate for women, dedicating a complete division in her own company to the cause and communities she touches at a vast level.

Christine spends her days on the national speaking circuit, lecturing on topics focused on sharing her expertise in finance while highlighting her personal stories of inspiration and motivation to deliver both tactical and practical advice. Breaking mainstream in 2019, Christine has appeared on huge stages to speak, kicking off the year at the Miami Garden Stadium with Gary Vaynerchuk Agent2021 as the Real Estate Expert Panel Moderator. Among her many speaking engagements recently, she has spoken at the Anaheim Convention center in Los Angeles, The Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City, NJ, and for multiple prestigious organizations and media companies.

Christine will tell you that writing, teaching, and speaking are at the core of who she is, and her legacy work she is committed to making a difference in the lives of professionals and youth everywhere.

Christine is a mother, a girlfriend, a daughter, a sister & an aunt, a homemaker, and a lover of laughter, good health, home & heritage. She calls herself a happy human.

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RECRUITING: GETTING PERSONAL AND MAKING IT ABOUT THE CANDIDATE

Written by: Fouad (Fobby) Naghmi, EVP

With mortgage interest rates at historical all-time lows, how does a company recruit mortgage loan officers? In writing that sentence, I almost want to follow it up with, “Why would I want to hire more loan officers? I need underwriters, closers, and processors. Do I really need more loan officers?”

The answer is a resounding YES!!!

Rates are not always going to stay at their current amazingly low levels. I make no prediction about when they will increase. The fact exists there is always an opposite reaction to every action, which leads me to the conclusion rates will, inevitably, increase. When they increase, I have heard from credible sources the mortgage industry could see as much as a 40% decrease in overall volume.

Do we really need loan officers? Yes. If we rely only on our current sales staff, my belief is we are not doing the best for our organizations.

It is About Recruiting

I am going to share a secret I’ve had for many years. On days when I am recruiting mortgage professionals, my one and only goal is to have a conversation. Simple. I’m not trying to convince them of anything. In fact, I’m doing research to find out more about the professional.

In years past, I would have anxiety attacks when I would think of cold calling mortgage professionals. I would stutter my words. My nervousness and uneasiness could be heard over the phone. I had two methods I would use:

  • Call a loan officer and try to scare them about the company where they were currently working
  • Convince the loan officer they could make more money with me.

Those methods only worked with a very small slice of people. Let me just share a lesson I learned the hard way: if someone joins me for more money, they will leave me for more money.

I was discouraged and demoralized on most days after cold calling. I didn’t feel good about the way I was conducting business and honestly, I knew there had to be a better way.

My Aha moment occurred in 2012 when I realized I only did business with people I knew. In all areas of my life, I had known the people I did business with for many years, or they were referred to me by a friend, someone I trusted. What made me think other people were any different? What made me think during a span of 23 minutes I had built enough trust with a mortgage professional for them to risk their livelihood on me? No, the fact was I didn’t deserve it yet. I hadn’t earned it.

It’s in the Relationship Not the Recruitment

I realized to continue growing and building beyond the levels of success I’d already achieved, I had to change my entire process of recruiting. I had to focus not on recruiting, rather on creating relationships.

Recently on my podcast, I did a special on recruiting in the mortgage industry. I had three recruiters from different companies on as guests, for a panel discussion. Guy McFadden of One Good One was seated in front of his company’s banner displaying the motto We Build Relationships. The message in the motto was not lost on me.

All three in their own way stated the same message: the need to create relationships with the mortgage professional is a key to business building. There is a strong need to stay engaged with potential candidates. When a candidate decides to look for a different company, the first place they will turn is to their reliable relationship to seek out options. Another way of phrasing this is to recognize that we become a trusted advisor to potential LOs in regard to their career options. The concept of being a trusted advisor is well known in sales. This is simply a matter of taking what we know works on selling our product and apply it to recruiting.

I have created amazing relationships with mortgage professionals over the years. With some of them, we are even able to share our personal problems, our joys, and our challenges with one another. And yes, I’ve talked to these same professionals and helped them research another company they really wanted to join. Why? It’s what a friend would do.

It’s not one phone call. It’s not one lunch. It’s not one happy hour. It’s not one visit to the Ops center. It’s all those events and much more. But you say, hey, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, how do you do all those events in 2020??

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Undeniably, we are living through our generation’s largest crisis. Most of us have been locked in our homes for the past several months. The idea of having lunch meetings and mingling during happy hours seems like a far-away place that once was. In truth, at this time none of us knows what an in-person life looks like after COVID. What I realized is, in all this, it’s important to keep in mind whatever I am going through, everyone else is going through it too.

We must be creative and once again find what works in our own environments. Many companies have been doing virtual visits to meet the Ops team via Zoom/Skype or any other medium. Some companies have sent a bottle of wine to candidates and set up a virtual happy hour. Remember, all of us are trying to stay safe, including the candidate. From my own personal experience of having to find a job shortly after the pandemic hit, I can tell you most companies seeking me were absolutely amazing in how they made conversations happen and invented ways to make discovery enjoyable while staying safe and providing enough information for me to make a decision. I appreciated their efforts in doing that for me.

It Takes Two To Converse

The last tip I want to share is a practice I discovered early on in my mortgage career. It’s not the answers that close the deal, it’s the questions I ask. When I ask questions, I am having a conversation with the candidate. I’m finding out about their life. If I ask the right questions, I might find out more about the mortgage professional than some of their closest friends. The questions might lead me to a point where I decide they are well off where they are currently working. I especially love when the candidate starts asking me questions, especially about my company! Now the magic happens.

I was once told no matter who you are or what your position is, you are always selling. While it may be true in 99.9% of my life, when it comes to recruiting mortgage professionals, my stance today is we must stop selling. In fact, not only should we stop selling, we should stop talking and start listening.

About the Author

Fobby is a card-carrying 20/20 Vision Master. In these words from him, the professionalism and humanity inherent in him are evident. Not quite as apparent is the great sense of humor he brings into his relationships, both professional and personal.

“Starting in the mortgage industry in 1994 as an inexperienced loan officer, I understand the challenges that my sales teams may face on a day-to-day basis. While the industry has changed, I truly believe the blueprint remains the same to achieve success.

I have been blessed to be able to build cross-cultural teams over the past years, which in turn, has really challenged me to better understand people’s individual needs as no two salespeople are identical.

My WHY is knowing that every single day there is someone out there who just needs a little push in the right direction to take their career to the next level. Once that push is given, the satisfaction I feel in seeing them achieve the desired results is unmatched for me.

Leadership is not about blazing a trail, it’s about supporting your team with the trail that they want to blaze.”

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Here's Your Clue!

Written by: Ray Befus, Executive Coach

The Coaches ConnXion is a new feature for The Vision. This feature will be authored by a variety of coaching professionals, beginning with some of our own 20/20 Vision for Success coaches. In this first article, Executive Coach Ray Befus talks to us about the perception of value in coaching and the importance of self-awareness in the coaching process. -Editor

W

hen I started working as an executive coach for professionals and business leaders, I recognized a commonly held belief—those who sought out professional coaching sometimes did so with a perception if they were smarter or more successful, they wouldn’t need another professional’s partnership or support. Coaching was sometimes regarded as a remedial necessity for people who needed clues.

Not anymore.

There is now wide-spread recognition professional coaching is both a gift and a privilege. Coaching raises strong and smart individuals to their best levels of self-awareness, individual achievement, and leadership effectiveness. Well-known leaders like Bill Gates now talk openly and enthusiastically about the profound benefits they gain from engaging with a coach.

Nevertheless, on this point too many people of influence are still living within the old paradigm. The cost to themselves and their teams can be dramatic. Knox News, part of the USA Today Network, carried the story of a large public university president’s decision to terminate the university chancellor. His hard-hitting letter of termination, which painfully outlined his specific reasons, went viral. His primary impetus for firing the chancellor included her lack of trust, collaboration, communication, and transparency in her relationships—something seemingly unexpected, as she had been a tenured communications professor.

In the second point of his termination letter, the president wrote: “You would have benefited from a professional coach, and your unwillingness to routinely engage one, despite my recommendation that you do so, has been frustrating.”

The university president’s letter details what it looks like when someone at the top of an organization is unaware of her or his behavioral weaknesses. The lack of self-awareness in someone so knowledgeable and accomplished may seem startling. The chancellor had someone on her leadership team advocating for her to engage with a professional coach and, instead of recognizing coaching as a strategic tool for ongoing personal growth and professional development, reacted with a profound and entrenched lack of self-awareness.

Tragically, her resistance cost the chancellor her salary, title, prestige, and significant public embarrassment. There is no joy in witnessing another person’s tragedy. However, there is wisdom in learning from failures that are not our own.

For everyone who holds a position in management or leadership, it is worth taking note how the president of a prestigious state university has publicly declared that a leader’s unwillingness to routinely engage with a professional coach may be personally irresponsible or even self-destructive. Worse, it may be damaging to the whole team or the entire enterprise.

New York Times best-selling author Tasha Eurich is an organizational psychologist whose book INSIGHT explains in detail “…why we’re not as self-aware as we think, and how seeing ourselves clearly helps us succeed at work and in life.” She argues convincingly how self-awareness presents our greatest opportunity for improvement in every category of life, and self-awareness is never a one-and-done exercise.

To the managers and leaders who think they know exactly what they bring into the room and how they impact everyone at the table, Eurich warns —left to ourselves—almost all of us are terrible judges of our own competence, character, and impact on others. The university chancellor is not alone in her blindness. We may be smart and strong, but we do not see ourselves as clearly as we need to see ourselves until we exercise the courage to ask for feedback—to look at ourselves through others’ eyes.

This is the value 20/20 Vision for Success’s team of coaches can bring to women and men who are working hard to rise to their next level. People can learn when they’re open to another professional’s outside perspective, fresh insights into unconscious, self-limiting behaviors, meaningful accountability for the real results of present habits, tools to initiate the process of transformation, and strong and positive support for new, life-giving beliefs and behaviors. This transformation can occur from working with a trained thought partner who is committed to a client’s growth and success. In the photos accompanying the news from the Knox News, the university chancellor appears seasoned, attractive, confident, and strong—a picture of success. But underneath the public persona (and persistent resistance to counsel) was a dramatic vulnerability that exasperated her team and undermined her career. She was blindsided by her own lack of self-awareness.

Thankfully, this is not the final chapter in her story. The former chancellor can now do what we all can do to initiate a new season of personal transformation: engage with a professional coach.

About the Author

Ray Befus has spent his entire career in leadership development. He’s folded this lifetime of experience into his coaching enterprise—HIGHPOINT Training and Coaching. He is a member of the International Coaching Federation and now serves as one of 20/20 Vision for Success’ adjunct coaches. In his own work, he continues to provide executive coaching for professionals, business leaders, and their teams both nationally and internationally—helping clients overcome self-doubt, reclaim their best selves, and rise to their next level. Ray lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he enjoys life with his wife Carol, four married children and thirteen grandchildren. When he’s not coaching and training, he enjoys motorcycling, playing guitar, and camping.

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FULL OF VITALITY AFTER THE STORM

Written by: Jenny Mason

When storms enter our lives and threaten to steal the wind from our sails, we have a choice. Will we hunker safe in the harbor? Will we adjust the sails and voyage valiantly onto the seas of this life? Storms come. Unbidden and inexorably. Our control comes in the decisions we make, in how we adapt, and how we come out on the other side of the dark clouds.

I am reminded of the power found in boiling water. The most common liquid on earth, water, makes potatoes softer, eggs harder, and encourages coffee beans to release flavor and aroma. All three face the same environment. So, what is the difference? The coffee bean changed its environment for the better!

We can emulate the tiny bean; we can decide to impact our environment which in turn will benefit ourselves and those we encounter. Think about that, you could literally be the “Best part of waking up…” in your day. Even better, your decision could be the very thing someone needs to make it through another day.

We clearly live in a time of great storm. I have been taken by surprise by my own reaction to the strife and discord in our world during and after COVID-19. Something about this time has caused me to blossom. For many years, I lived in a beautiful, mountainous paradise, where I would escape into the woods on my four-wheeler, get lost in the smell of pines and the sounds of rippling waters. I could isolate, work from home, and then at the end of the day get lost in the woods. Through the years though, I realized I had let dirt become piled on top of my seed, believing I didn’t have a gift that could really benefit others. I have been blessed with an amazing family, have been with my husband for 32 years, am successful in my sales career, and yet I felt like I wasn’t producing interest on the deposit that was inside of me. I was like a closed bank.

Then, last year, we literally moved from my comfort zone. My woodland, my comfort, was gone, and I did not react well. I became a potato instead of a coffee bean. I became mush. I mourned how I could no longer escape to my mountainous paradise. I allowed the environment to change me.

When the world got rocked with COVID—businesses closing, isolation, turmoil, grief—I was struck by the realization that a ton of people were drowning in waves of despair. I recognized a need to know hope, a need for people to step forward as a Lighthouse and shine.

I began asking myself questions. Could I be that Lighthouse? What would make me happy? What would be fulfilling? What sets my soul on fire? What comes naturally? What do I have that could help others?

Some answers came easily; others not so much. The culmination was realizing what stokes my fire is encouraging others in this race we call life. I set out to change my environment and find a way to impact people’s lives. I beat back the naysayers in my head who asked, “Who would want to hear from little ol’ me?” by posting a motivational quote, even though I wasn’t very active on social media. I wouldn’t write any of my thoughts with the posts, just quotes from others. I posted things I thought people would like and would not rock any boats. Gradually, I began letting the river of life flow through me, using the gift I was given of encouraging others not to worry. If someone scooped a shovel of dirt on me, I was determined to keep busting through. My goals were small; if I only encouraged one person, then it was worth it.

When I started to put myself out there, being transparent and real, I started to receive countless messages thanking me, telling me that my message was just what they needed that day. I started breaking through the dirt, I began growing, blooming. I couldn’t wait to get out of bed each morning.

It took a storm of global impact for me to rise and no longer be tied to the dock by worrying about what others may think.

I had been told once I didn’t have the same earning potential as others. I let that mess with my mind for oh, so long, thinking, man they are right. I’ll never measure up or be as successful.

No more.

I’m not measured by my financial worth; it’s the interest I’ve earned from igniting a spark in others that is my true earning potential.

Focus on Vitality for Life

In the classic tale, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge lived to make as much money as he could. Everything revolved around money and he was a miserable man. His storm came one night and rocked his world, changing his passion from greed to helping others. His focus shifted and he embraced vigor for life. He made a living doing what brought him joy, and he chose to use his resources to fulfill his purpose, thus bringing him vim and vigor for life.

When the tough times come, it’s natural to get angry or down. We cannot stay there. We must take action. A boat sinks because of the water getting in. I urge you, in times of grief and stress, guard your heart and take your thoughts captive. Like the coffee bean, while we are brewing, let us think of how we can come out of this affecting our atmosphere for the better.

How have these crazy tumultuous times affected you? Changed you? Have you become softer, harder, or have you grown and you are now impacting your environment? What is your purpose? What drives you? What is your passion? What sets your soul on fire? What brings you the most joy? What comes to you naturally? What did you love doing as a kid? Can these things help others? What is your priority? What are you focused on? What do you place the greatest importance on? What is the one thing that would mean the most to you and make the biggest impact? If you only had a short time left on this earth what would you do?

I think we have realized more now than ever we can’t take things for granted. What can you do to make an impact and set your soul on fire today?  What do you want your life to be about?

You must get out of bed; don’t hit the snooze. Get up. Be thankful for another day. Choose to have an attitude of gratitude. As the day goes along, turn the negative thoughts to positive ones. Focus on progress. Purpose brings productivity.

Write your answers down from the questions I asked above and make a plan on how you will attain your goals. Every day do something to move you closer to where you want to be. Make a commitment to yourself, make it your priority, envision the process. Imagine how great it’s going to be and feel when you are walking in your goal life.

Remind yourself of why you are doing this. Use that as your motivating factor to help you keep going forward. Every step, no matter how small, is progress. When you climb a staircase, you don’t take one giant step and land at the top, you take it one step at a time.

Live life to make an impact. Purpose is your compass guiding you to productivity bringing vitality and vigor. Earning income may not come from what sets your soul on fire; we are not all fortunate enough to do that, but we can earn our living and fulfill our purpose. The joy and reward you will receive is greater than any monetary value. Again, reflect on our old friend Scrooge. His income wasn’t from his newfound purpose; he used his income, and his resources to fulfill his purpose to help others, and it put a skip in his step and his heart grew three sizes that day. Oh wait, that was the Grinch.

When we are steered by our purpose, we adjust our sails and navigate through the storms full of vitality.

About the Author

Jenny Mason is a woman of faith, married to her soul mate and best friend for almost 30 years and is the mother of three amazing kids. She has maintained a successful sales career for over 30 years, even though her college career was dedicated to athletic coaching.

Jenny has been a competitive athlete for most of her life and holds a deep passion in helping people overcome limiting beliefs and learn to live life more abundantly –  physically, mentally, and spiritually. This last year she furthered her education in coaching by becoming certified as a health, life, and wellness coach as well as a Corrective Exercise Specialist.

Jenny is one of the many incredible Executive Coaches at 20/20 VSC.

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MORTGAGE X PODCAST

Staying In Front of Your Referral Partners.

In this episode of Mortgage X, Frazier and Beckwith interview the elusive Shant Banosian, recognized as the Number One LO in the country. 

Christine Beckwith of 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching and Jason Frazier of Mortgage X Creative bring you the Mortgage X Podcast. Guests range from visionaries working hard to evolve our industry to meet the needs of the modern consumer to the industry’s biggest producers, advocates, legends, thought leaders, partners, and lenders.

In this new column being featured in The Vision, we share tidbits of industry news that catch our collective eye. We hope you find it useful, interesting information, and perhaps thought-provoking. While comments cannot be made directly here, please do move over to our social media channels to discuss any Eyes on Business topic we bring up or to suggest a tidbit we may have missed!

Refi Expectations as COVID-19 Continues

We picked up on these comments and more when reading this article from Harvard Education: Pandemic to Weigh on Home Remodeling Spending…. Time will tell. Some interesting stats in this article. Check it out.

“As the pace of do-it-yourself activity, maintenance work, and exterior-focused projects begins to taper, annual expenditures by owners for home improvements and repairs are expected to shrink slightly to $326 billion by the middle of 2021. …the timing on when we’ll reach a bottom in the remodeling market…remains unclear.”  ~Abbe Will, Associate Project Director in the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

“The remodeling market was buoyed through the early months of the pandemic as owners…realized the need to update or reconfigure indoor and outdoor spaces for work, school, play, exercise, and more.”  ~Chris Herbert, Managing Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies.

 

“All Science is either physics or stamp collecting”

This article in HousingWire, written by Logan Mohtashami, really caught our attention. We hope you find it interesting, too.

“Ernest Rutherford, the father of nuclear physics is attributed to saying, ’All science is either physics or stamp collecting.’ To paraphrase Rutherford for economics models, if models don’t include demographics and productivity, they might as well be stamp collecting. As it turns out, we have a lot of philatelists in housing economics – I call them the housing bubble boys.

The U.S. economy started the year off in an expansionary mode. Retail sales were positive year over year, job openings were roughly at 7 million and the housing data for the first time in a long time started to outperform other sectors of the economy. Existing and new home sales hit cycle highs, purchase application data showed steady double-digit year over year growth and housing starts had almost 40% year over year growth in February.

Then we were hit with COVID-19, and the fear of this virus along with the economic decline due to the stay-at-home orders whipped the housing bubble boys into a frenzy of crash calls.

My long-standing core thesis has been that the housing market would have the weakest recovery from a crash in the years 2008 to 2019, but it would improve in years 2020-2024 because U.S. demographics would become favorable for housing.”

The full article can be read here: Article Link 

Mortgage Apps Up, Lenders—and builders—Struggle to Keep Up

This is an interesting read from CNBC:  Article Link 

This part, we think, captivates:

“The continued decline in mortgage rates pushed up our refinance volume forecast by about $100 billion,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “At the current mortgage rate, we estimate that nearly 60% of all outstanding loan balances have at least a half-percentage point incentive to refinance. Demand from homebuyers fell back 6% for the week and was 16% stronger than a year ago. That annual comparison, though, was half of what it was two weeks ago.”

“Purchase activity remains relatively strong, despite the continued economic uncertainty and high unemployment caused by the ongoing pandemic,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. The biggest hurdles to home buying today are lack of supply and rising prices, especially on the lower end of the market. The nation’s homebuilders are benefiting from that. Mortgage applications to purchase a newly built home were up over 50% in June annually. Builders, however, are struggling to keep up with the new demand, especially since they basically shut down their operations in March and April.”

Forbearance Falling? 

These two short quotes from an MBA email newsletter caught our eye on this topic. A trend we believe will continue.

Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Falls for Fifth Straight Week

“The Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey reported loans in forbearance decreased by 38 basis points to 7.80% of mortgage servicers’ portfolio volume as of July 12, from 8.18% the prior week. MBA estimates 3.9 million homeowners are in forbearance plans.”

And

“The pace of new forbearance requests remains quite low compared to earlier in the crisis, but we are watching carefully for any increases due to either the pick-up in COVID-19 cases or the cessation of enhanced unemployment insurance benefits at the end of this month.” ~MBA Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni.”

When I’m thinking about branding, Superman really was one of the best branders out there.

VONKDIGITAL

Learn how Vonk Digital can help you leverage the New Way to build your brand, authority, and credibility with our website platform and tools. Visit us at www.vonkdigital.com

Read this vlog episode, if you prefer, on the Vonk Digital blog!

Vonk Digital, an industry leader in website and marketing tools for mortgage originators across America, is a proud sponsor and hosting partner of The Vision Magazine.

The First & Most Comprehensive Digital Marketing Cloud for Mortgage Bankers & Brokers

With Consumer Direct Advertising & Engagement Solutions.

It’s graduation time! At 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching, that may come with an invitation to join Vision Masters! 

Recently, Master Alumni welcomed the first of this year’s graduates into this exclusive club. Here’s a video of the surprise party we threw! (Virtual, of course)

ANNIEMAC HOME MORTGAGE

AnnieMac firmly believes that customers and industry professionals alike deserve more from the mortgage industry. By managing all processing and underwriting in-house through regional operation centers, we provide a wide variety of loan options, a quick and efficient process, and exceptional customer service to reshape your expectations of what a mortgage company should offer.

We offer our sales superstars invaluable training opportunities, a team-based support system, and a healthy focus on contributing to our community. Our employees and affiliates are our most important assets, so it’s our pleasure to support and celebrate their efforts.

AnnieMac is committed to providing a positive, nurturing culture that encourages team members to learn, grow, and succeed. 

SPOTLIGHT ON EVENTS

Coming to you from Vegas and in full Virtual mode… FUSE 2020. As of this printing, still scheduled for September 25 and 26, 2020 in Las Vegas LIVE. There is a virtual FUSE happening as well. Check out their event page for details. Info 

Let’s Talk Virtual

NEXT is offering a Live Stream virtual event for their August 23-25, 2020 Summit for Senior Mortgage Executives. Check out this link for details. Info 

MBA announced they have transitioned their fall events to a virtual platform, including the Annual Convention and Expo scheduled for October 19-21, 2020. Check this link for more information. Info 

20/20 Vision for Success Coaching opened several private coaching webinars to the public. Register for one or all!

Celebrity Coaching:

REGISTER August 13, 2020 – Russ and Kerry Fitzpatrick, DIFFERENTIATING YOURSELF with Realtor Referral Partners

REGISTER September 10, 2020 – Nicholas Eremita, GRIT: When It Matters Most

Coaching Spotlight: 

REGISTER August 25, 2020 – Ruth Lee, FINDING YOUR SUPERPOWER: Being Honest without being Hurtful

Women With Vision Webinar:

REGISTER August 11, 2020 – Ana Maria Sanin, Creating a Personal Brand: Generate Influence and Gain Business Opportunities

REGISTER September 8, 2020 – Leora Ruzin, Leading with Love: Is It Possible?

20/20 VISION FOR SUCCESS COACHING

The words 20/20 Vision for Success are not in the name of this company by accident. Coaching is about building a foundation for results and knowing how to step into action based on that foundation. Turning vision into reality requires trust that the bedrock beneath the vision is sound. Coaching with 20/20 Vision begins by building and strengthening your foundation and ensures that, as coaching progresses, you and the 20/20 team behind you remain focused on the vision for success.

Do you enjoy reading as much as we do? While the reading part is solitary, there’s no reason to keep the appreciation of the book to ourselves! It occurred to us that we can’t all take a week at the beach and catch up on our reading this summer, so why not get together in our own safe environment and share our favorite read? The Summer Book camp is meant to be fun and relaxing. Sign up and show up when it fits your schedule. Bring along your book (and maybe your favorite drink!), and be ready to laugh, because we think FUN is the key here.

Every other Wednesday, 6 PM Eastern, Virtual connection.

RECOMMENDED READING

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Words are powerful change agents that help us transcend to a place where learning and dreaming can occur.

Christine Beckwith recommends these two outstanding books from her library!  Disrupt or Die: How to Survive and Thrive the Digital Real Estate Shift by Geoff Zimpfer. 

 

Training to Win: What it Takes to Fight Your Way to the Top Both Professionally and Personally by Zachary Conley, who shows how to use your struggles to motivate and battle past roadblocks in life.

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We love getting recommendations that come with a quote! This one comes from Suzy Lindblom, who is a big fan of Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss.

“This is one of the best books on negotiating that I have ever read – not only in business negotiation but personal negotiation. My favorite learning from the book? Don’t ask why – ask how. Read the book to see what this means – very powerful!

Of course, we would be remiss not to include Christine Beckwith in this column. If you have missed any of these great reads, feel free to go grab them now on Amazon! 

Breaking the Cycle is filled with engaging stories wrapped around a theme of power words and is an invaluable treasure trove of practical, hands-on advice. Jam-packed with easy-to-implement suggestions, you’ll read sage advice from two women whose diverse career paths literally write the book on how to create your version of success!

In Wise Eyes: See Your Way to Success, Beckwith tells her life story in a style that is real and raw, but brutally honest. Wise Eyes is a handbook for professionals wanting to walk a direct path to incredible success.

Clear Boundaries: Every Business Woman’s Essential Safety Guide was born out of the shared experiences of Beckwith and co-author Jessica Peterson who have traveled across the country for business. Sadly, both have firsthand knowledge of how dangerous it can be for a woman. The authors draw from their experiences and call upon experts to present real, actionable, and practical advice to prepare anyone to avoid and survive what could be a dangerous scenario.

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