Communicate Without Saying A Word

Communicate without saying a word. NEEDS EDITING

Consider the non-verbal gestures you extend to those around you. Does your manner, demeanor, and body language inspire a sense of confidence and purpose in your friends and colleagues? The way you carry yourself is important, right down to the way you dress. Consider the following two examples.

Reagan always wore a sportcoat when working in the Oval Office. This was another non-verbal gesture that clearly communicated to others, loud and clear, the great respect he had for the activities performed there. He did not take a casual approach to the great responsibilities of his office.

Another example of the importance of dress involves the first summit between Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at Villa Fleur d’Eau in Geneva. American and Soviet representatives alike, vividly recall that bitterly cold day, when Ronald Reagan walked off the porch of the chateau and down several steps to greet Gorbachev.

Before these two men had met for the first time, some critics had doubted that the elder Reagan was physically and mentally equipped to negotiate with the young and talented Soviet leader. Dressed in a tailored blue suit and tie, Reagan walked down the steps to shake hands with Gorbachev, who emerged from his limousine wearing a heavy coat, thick scarf, and a hat. It is interesting to listen to those who were present that day describe the image that was shown to millions of television viewers throughout the world. They describe a strong, robust American leader shaking hands with a man who was heavily dressed, bundled up for the cold.

Non-verbal actions, images, and symbols speak volumes. How you dress, act and move projects an attitude that is picked up by those around you. The way you walk, shake hands, and share eye contact has an influence on the attitude and feelings of those at your family reunion, your golf outing, and your company picnic.

Other examples of non-verbal actions that spoke volumes include when Reagan laid a wreath at the grave of a fallen soldier and when he attended funeral services along with the families of those brave astronauts who lost their lives aboard the Challenger. He conveyed true compassion, genuine affection, and moral understanding without uttering a single sentence.

Be intentional; and before each event you attend, consider the attitude and manner you wish to project. Are you meeting with members of your sales staff who could use some encouragement? Are you walking into a meeting where critical negotiations are about to take place? Are you motivating a group of kids who are about to play their first lacrosse game of the season? Be deliberate on how you can best carry yourself to positively influence those meetings.

Reagan also communicated non-verbally through symbols. For instance, Reagan understood the importance of the restoration of the Statue of Liberty. It was more than a paint-and-repair job. It served as a non-verbal reminder to Americans and to the rest of the world that America was the home of freedom and liberty. It symbolized a restoration, not only of the statue, but of America to its rightful place as the Free World’s foremost defender of democracy.

Maybe it is time to put up your own non-verbal symbol of excellence. Can you add something to your home or office that will rally the troops? A great example of such a thing is located at the University of Notre Dame. Just above the doorway that leads to the football field is a sign that reads: Play Like a Champion Today. The sign was placed there by the legendary football coach, Lou Holtz. As each player walks beneath the sign, they reach up and touch it. What a simple, yet powerful, non-verbal affirmation of their goal. It speaks directly to the core values they share.

Another example would be the climbing wall you might see in the lobby of a headquarters-building occupied by a company that manufactures outdoor climbing and camping equipment. It makes a strong statement about the company and the perspectives that are shared by all of the employees.

A friend of mine who is a police officer once told me that if you want to know what your kids hold in highest esteem, just look at the things hanging on their bedroom wall. They might be posters of athletes, heavy-metal rockers, rebellious statements, scripture quotes, motivational photos, pictures of supermodels, maps of bike trails, fishing poles, or NASCAR race schedules. Whatever hangs on that wall represents the things that are most important to your child.

Similarly, how you decorate your house sends cues to your family and friends about what you most value.

Reagan believed that the White House belonged to the people. Therefore, the maintenance of that house reflected on the American people. In turn, when he and Nancy Reagan arrived at the White House and saw drab walls needing paint and worn-out carpeting needing replacement, Mrs. Reagan took on the project of renovating floors and mahogany doors that had not been sanded or refinished in decades. The Reagan’s also retrieved a treasure trove of fine furniture that was gathering dust in storage areas throughout Washington. Improvements to the White House were funded by private donations instead of taxpayer expense. In addition, when the Oval Office received a fresh coat of paint and new carpeting, Ronald Reagan added a picture of former President Calvin Coolidge, whose leadership qualities Reagan admired so much.

Is your office welcoming?

Have you created a welcoming presence at your office? Do you have flowers or candy at the front desk and an attendant with a smile? Do the magazines in the lobby reflect the core values of your company?

Setting the stage at home

How do you decorate and maintain your living space at home? Does your family see the Bible or the Torah in a prominent part of your house, or do they see golf clubs and wine bottles? Do they see wide screen televisions everywhere, or do they see books and musical instruments? Do they see poker tables and dart boards, or do they see flowers and family photos? The choices are yours, but be intentional when making those choices, room by room. It is up to you to set the stage for excellence!

Take an inventory of those ways in which you currently present yourself to others. Then, list ways you can improve your non-verbal skills to motivate and inspire your troops. Remember, for Reagan, a simple salute did wonders!


Beware of the Experts

The Gipper, Ronald Reagan, an economics major at Eureka College, used to joke that you could take all of the economic experts in the world and lay them end to end, and they still wouldn’t reach a conclusion.

Beware of the Experts - Photo of a media panel of experts at television studio

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As governor and president, he liked to surround himself with good thinkers and then open up the discussion of problems and policy to everyone in the room, not only those who were specialists on the topic being discussed. Some of the most fruitful results came from this approach.

Are our opinions really based on empirical facts?

All of us would say that the opinions and ideas we hold are based upon empirical facts. We often list a handful of facts to convince ourselves and others that we are correct in our convictions. But, in reality, our most deeply held beliefs cannot be reduced to a list of facts on a page.

Instead, they come from thousands of life experiences from the time we are born. We form them from our conversations with hundreds of people and from books we’ve read, shows we’ve watched, and classes we’ve attended. We form them from our successes and failures, our personal strengths and weaknesses. We form them from our fears and anxieties, and from our hopes and dreams. We arrive at our convictions via these “thousands of bits of information.”

Are the self-proclaimed experts really any different?

The self-proclaimed experts among us, however, expect us to believe that they use a different method to arrive at their conclusions. But do they really?

What is a Cap Rate? [Podcast]

What is a Cap Rate? - Beautiful business woman with question mark above the head

Walking and Talking … Cap Rates!

(Podcast Transcript)

Cap Rates. You hear about them all the time, from people who specialize in investment real estate. They’ll says things like, “That property sold for a 6 cap,” or, “We’re looking for properties priced in the 9 to 10 cap range.” Today’s Walking and Talking podcast is all about Cap Rates!

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Today, you will learn 5 things:

  • What is a cap rate?
  • The reason why so many people are often confused about cap rates.
  • The best way to remember how to easily calculate a cap rate for any investment property.
  • The five main factors that influence cap rates.
  • Why you should beware that all cap rates are not created equal!

Hit Continue Reading and listen to the Audio:

Closing Checklist for Apartments

A closing checklist for apartments is essential for staying organized at a real estate closing for multifamily property. Attached is one I use when buying or selling apartments in Columbus, Ohio.

Closing checklist for Apartments

This list, that you can download here, does not include everything that you will need for your closing. That depends on your local area. For instance, if you are closing on multifamily investment property in Manhattan, you will be concerned with a host of other considerations at the time of the closing.

However, no matter where you buy property, it is essential that you make sure of at least one thing:

Single Page Checklist for Buying Apartments

A checklist for Buying Apartments

My book, Single Page Life Plan explains how you can extend single page planning to all of your important projects and ventures. Single Page Checklists are a ‘catch-all’ for special projects that you can review regularly to stay focused.

Copyright 2013 Ballylongford Books, LLC

For example, the Single Page Checklist for Buying Apartments summarizes on a single page the 4-color, 6 page laminated flyer I created that explains:

What They All Have in Common

Image of the shoes of 3 different people, 1 of which is wearing clown shoes.

What they all have in common. This was what I wanted to know. In my first book, Walking and Talking – 57 Stories of Success and Humor in the Real Estate World of Business, I recounted stories from some of the top real estate professionals in the Midwest. After observing their careers and listening to their stories, I asked myself this: Other than their sheer success, what do all of these winners in real estate have in common? This is what I learned:

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4 Characteristics of Top Real Estate Pros …

1. They create structure in an unstructured environment.

Real estate is not your typical 9 to 5 job, where opportunities are clearly identified and day-to-day responsibilities are well-defined. It is up to the real estate professional to identify the problems and opportunities; to set a plan of action that will bring success. They are not told how to allocate their time, or which deals to pursue or ignore.

The successful ones create a great framework for activity.

My First Lesson in Commercial Real Estate – Walking and Talking

Cover of the book Walking and Talking - 57 Stories of Success and Humor in the Real Estate World of Business. Walking and talking was an early lesson I learned in commercial real estate.

I will never forget the day I learned my first lesson in commercial real estate. It came shortly after I joined a team of 25 brokers at Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate. They ultimately became a who’s who of Columbus real estate that included Richard Schuen, Ed JosephJohn Hall, Don Matsanoff, Greg SchenkChuck Manofsky, Doug Goddard, Ted Hobson, Bob MatiasBenton BenalcazarTom McGarity and several others.

Copyright 2014 Ballylongford Books, LLC

The Day I Learned About Walking and Talking

One of those brokers was Wayne Harer. Wayne played 10 years of minor league baseball for the Red Sox and Yankee organizations and actually won the

The Five Elements of a Single Page Life Plan

single page life plan

It has been said, in a lot of clever ways, that people who do not care where they are going, don’t need a map. But CEO’s need a business plan, coaches need a game plan, pilots need a flight plan, and leaders need a life plan. Here are 5 things to include in yours …

Single Page Life Plan™  2013 Ballylongford Books, LLC

The Five Elements of a Single Page Life Plan™:

1. Mission or Vision Statement:
This is the overarching vision you have for your life. All other parts of your plan synchronize with this.

2. Life Categories:
Your Life Categories are the six major highways that lead a path towards your Vision Statement. These Life Categories are the most vital aspects of your life.

To see an example of a Single Page Life Plan™ that has already been created, click here:

Simple Isn’t Easy … Only Better!

Einstein often commented that unlocking the greatest mysteries of the universe would be useless unless you could make them be understandable to a young student.


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Don’t mistake simple for easy

It takes a lot of effort and creativity to reduce things to their most simple form.

The genius of Albert Einstein was not that he could comprehend so many of the complexities of space, time, gravity, and light. All scientists can do that. His genius was in his ability to simplify those complexities into an understandable theory of relativity.

Your Single Page Life Plan Should Not Be P.O.S.H.

Image of a white-gloved hand holding a wooden frame with the words Single Page Life Plan

The brilliance of a Single Page Life Plan© lies in its simplicity. It must never be P.O.S.H. – Perfect, Overloaded, Set in stone, or Hidden.

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Your life plan is not the Magna Carta! It is an important document—but it’s different. Your life plan is a blueprint of how you want to live your life. It forces you to identify your goals and strategies, and it makes it easier for you to gauge results and to stay accountable. However, it is not meant to be all-inclusive or perfect.

Mark Twain once said, “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” So, don’t get mired down searching for a grand epiphany here. Just get things going in the right direction.

“I Wish I Had Smoked More Cigarettes!”

When I volunteer-speak to 7th and 8th graders, or to high school students, I make them this promise:

Cover of Seeing Past Friday Night

Nobody ever looks back on their high school years and says

“I wish I had smoked more cigarettes. I’d be up to a pack-a-day smoker by now!”

“I wish I had stayed out more often, drinking until  2:00 am in the morning.”

“I wish I had bought a bunch of drugs while in school.”

They don’t. And you won’t either.