April 12

Rob Chevez On How To Be An Effective Leader


I'm married and I have a little girl that is not so little anymore. I grew up in a Foreign Service family and I was lucky enough to live in awesome countries like Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Australia and Jamaica before settling down in the US.

My wife and I have been buying and selling real estate since 1999. We cut our teeth by buying a little townhouse in Merrifield, VA, which later become our first rental. Over the last 14 years we have personally bought and sold close to 50 properties and our real estate team has helped hundreds of families buy and sell real estate the smarter way. We love real estate!

My specialty is helping sellers make more money when they sell their home. After looking at thousands of houses I can now look at a home and help a seller come up with a strategy based on their goals to help them "NET" the most money possible. Nothing drives me crazier than when I see sellers and agents making bad decisions that will only lead to a poor outcome for the seller.

I launched The CAZA Group of Keller Williams Realty to help buyers and sellers make smarter real estate decisions that impact their bottom line with one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives.

[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

Umar Hameed 0:01
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone! My name is Umar Hameed, I'm your host on the No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how you can become better, stronger, faster. Just before we get started, I've got a question for you, do you have a negative voice inside your head? We all do, right? I'm gonna help you remove that voice and under 30 days guaranteed, not only remove it, but transform it. So instead of the voice that sabotages you, there's one that propels you to much higher levels of performance and success. There's a link in the show notes, click on it to find out more. All right! Let's get started.

Umar Hameed 0:41
Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of The No Limit Selling Podcast where we talk to leaders on how they grow their revenue and how they grow their people. And today, I have the privilege of having Rob Chevez here with me today. He's the chief visionary officer of the cause of companies. And Rob, probably a CEO has three really important tasks to do. We're gonna delve into those just in the moment, but welcome to the program. And what made you pick the title chief visionary officer?

Rob Chevez 1:10
I appreciate you having me on Umar, thank you so much. Well, you know, I think leadership requires vision. And, and I I I love painting a vision in my mind as to what's possible early on. In my life, I read the book Psycho Cybernetics when I was in high school. And and that served me well, right, I was an athlete in high school and athlete in college and, and I remember thinking, you know, if I can train in my mind, as much as I can train in real life I life, I can be effective there.

Umar Hameed 1:46
Brilliant. So in my worldview, a true leader has three main jobs. The first one is to have a kick ass amazing vision that other people go, You know what I take a bullet for that. And there's some research that has been done when you take a look at people that work nine to five people that are managers and people that are like true leaders, it turns out that people that are nine to five hourly workers, typically they can't see past Friday, they see to the next paycheck. And when you have managers, you know, some of them, depending where they are, can see maybe three months out. And when you have true leaders, they can see yours out into the future. And that's one of the reasons they've reached that rank. So for a CEO, having the ability to have a vision that's compelling is job number one. Job Number two, which is more challenging is how do you build a culture within the organization where it isn't about people being selfish or protective? It's about how do we win? And not? How do I win? And then the third one is how do you build long term shareholder value? How do you make that company more valuable? Let's delve into part two. You've got different companies pick one of the companies and what kind of culture do you want? And how close are you to getting it? And what did you do to manifest it? Because, you know, just thinking about a culture and putting it on the wall isn't enough? It's how do you imprint it in the hearts of the people that follow you?

Rob Chevez 3:07
So really, there's there's one main company Umar, and then there's lots of little, little businesses that are neat that main companies and in the way I look at it is that we empower entrepreneurs, right? Like, I love the Spirit of the Entrepreneur. Yes. And so as I started thinking about building this business, I knew that I wanted to associate myself with people that were builders, and that they dreamt that they had big dreams. And so we wanted to be able to create a world where they can live a big life within our world. Yes. And so quote, like, in terms of culture, I wanted to make sure that that that was part of it, that as big as somebody could envision their life, they could live that world within our world. Right? Right. That was number one, which meant that I had to big big build a big world for myself, I think, write really big and say, Okay, what does this look like at scale? If I was within the organization, what would I? What would I want, right? How big could I actually get? And so, so we needed to make sure that we did that. And then we wanted to make sure that we're always we call a forward culture like this took some time to kind of develop, I started thinking for values. That meant a lot to me. And we said, well, you know, we want to be family first, that family is important, especially, you know, culturally, it's an important piece of my life. And then, you know, we want to own our outcomes. So forward is an acronym right? So forward is family first, you know, own it, raving fan service. So we wanted to make sure that we were creating raving fan service. Believe in working hard, right. So work hard. Always be learning. So I find that you know, learners are high winners, that's my highest value learning new things. My two, my two, right, and then results matter. You've got to be results oriented Yes, in this and then and then do the right thing culture. And we said, Okay, well, we are forward culture, we're going to always be failing forward, or entrepreneurial, entrepreneurial nature. And, you know, we want to own our results, we want to create raving fans, we want to work hard, and we will, you know, and we want to do the right thing. And so we just kind of built that into our ethos. And that's been the drum that we've been beating for the last Yep.

Umar Hameed 5:27
So let me pull back a little bit. So the first thing you said was, you know, you wanted a place where people could come and have this big vision and grow into it. And to do that you had to have a bigger visions of people could figure out where they fit in. So you've got some people that are like, growing like crazy, and really living up to that fully. And there are other people that kind of settle for a smaller vision, probably bigger than it would have been if they went somewhere else. So how do all the jigsaw pieces fit together? Where you don't discourage some people and how do you balance that how do people fit into the culture in a way that whatever vision they have, they get to do, but you also get to encourage them to be larger? So it seems like a moving target? Could you delve into that a little bit more?

Rob Chevez 6:08
Well, you know, I think of I just I think of, like, when you went to elementary school, you went to middle school, and you went to high school, and then you went to college, and you got your masters like, there was this growth journey that occurred for you. And we've created that same growth journey within our organization. So depending on where you want to go, there's different levels and different steps and different opportunities that you can reach. But we make it okay to let people know, like, hey, it's totally fine, to be where you are, right? You don't need to do this other thing. But for those that want that other thing, this, this path exist, right. And I do believe that people want to be pushed at the end of the day they want. They want to be surrounded by people that are going to push them. Right. And like you said, maybe they would push themselves a little bit further than they normally would. Right, just by being in our environment. And that's that's a good thing. Right?

Umar Hameed 7:06
It's a good day. One of the things that leaders do. Least This is my hypothesis is sometimes you're leading people and their trust in themselves only goes so far. And they leverage your trust in them. And believe in that, that allows them to suspend the fear and go on the journey. Can you think of a specific example or a specific person? Don't mention the name of the person. But the reason I want specifics is you'll go Oh, yeah, I know, someone, this is what was going on? And because I believed in them, and allowed them to go on the journey. And do you have one of those stories you could share with us?

Rob Chevez 7:43
Yeah, I think it's, I think it's important that people can see what the future looks like for them. Yeah, if they, they stick to a certain path. So sometimes they come into the environment, I'm thinking of one person in particular. And when they're in that environment, they can see a bigger future for themselves. Right. Yeah. And so it pulls them through, you just have to trust them. And then, and then let them know that, you know, the journey is not an easy journey, like the journey is difficult. And, and that's what makes it so good. We're having difficulty in the journey is where you get all this internal satisfaction from. And so I think every leader that's come into our organization, has had one place of where they kind of saw themselves. Yes. And when they, when they came into the organization, they saw that other people were doing things that that were way past that they said, you know, what, if that person could do it, I can do it. Right. And we make sure that we tell those stories, it's almost like, you know, telling stories is an important piece of, of culture and letting people know where somebody started. And where they are today is an important piece in that, right. There's one leader in particular that comes to mind has been with me for about 12 years. And, and he is just like, he just unleashed the power. Right? I love it. But when he, you know, he had a big vision for his life, but it was kind of all over the place. You know, have you ever met somebody who's they've got really big vision, they have a, they have an eye, they know that they can be great, but their brain is firing in 1000 different directions, right? And so my job was just to kind of like, just narrow. And once that laser was focused, it's just like rocket fuel. Right? And a lot of that had to do with just him seeing that there was a path in this direction that was worth going after.

Umar Hameed 9:48
So the underlying currency of what you just described is trust. His trust in you allowed him to let you focus where he was going. So talk to me about trust a new manager coming in, or a new team leader in real estate, they were good at what they were doing now all of a sudden, they're in a leadership role. What are three things you get them to do in order to start building trust, so they can lead their people in the right direction?

Rob Chevez 10:13
You know, let's see if I can remember this. This is something that last year when I was on this road trip, I started thinking deeply about this question, right? I call it like wise leadership, right? Yes. And wise leadership being like you've you've got to write down. Especially for the people around you, you have to be able to write down what you want success to look like for this particular person. Right. So write down those things so that people understand what the rules of the road are, trust is broken, when you have an idea of of what you want, they have a different idea. And you guys are on two different wavelengths almost. So if you write this down, and you guys agree on what this looks like, what success looks like, that is a great foundation to start off, right. And then what happens is that you have to inspect and review like this ever, ever so often, not because you want to micromanage anybody, because not a fan of that. But you need to make sure that as a leader, that you're helping them accomplish their goals in this process. And if they had signed up for whatever it was that they're set out to do, whether it's sales, or whether it's a leadership role, they they need to make sure that the somebody's kind of looking at that, and course correcting a little bit right

Umar Hameed 11:33
pause right there before you go to the next one, if I can interrupt. So part of leadership really is setting expectations. And certainly what you described in the first step was, together, let's figure out what your vision looks like. And then part of the expectations are as a leader, guiding them that we're going to work together to make sure you stay on track, because the reality is life gets in the way. And if we frame it up properly and set the expectations, then it's a really valued important part of the experience, as opposed to oh, my boss is checking up on me. Because if we let our people build their own frames, they get up to mischief, and they misread the situation. So a part of leadership is really setting expectations, but also how we're going to work together that expectation as well can really mean the difference between success and failure. So what does that third piece Do you think?

Rob Chevez 12:22
So I would say you need to support them with the tools and the resources, right, to help them be successful in that endeavor. So there's going to be things that they're going to need, whether it's training, whether it's tools, whether it's knowledge, and they and you need to pour into them to help them in that process. And then talent, once it gets engaged, right, they want to be engaged consistently over a period of time they want to be pushed, so why is like write down, write down those expectations that both sides have, right? Inspect what it is that both of you have agreed on, support them with the resources tools, and then engage talent, right, engage them, push them, and when you can, and by the way, what I find trust is broken is when you stop doing one of those things. When you stop being consistent in that process. Yeah. When when you yourself as a leader are not showing up for the leader. That's important. And when you're not having open dialogue about miscommunication, because people filter information differently. This is what I've realized. I might say to you, Umar, I want a blue, you know, I want this to look blue. Yes, your version of blue can be different than my version of blue, almost certainly. And so we have to have this open dialogue about what blue actually means. Right?

Umar Hameed 13:55
Get the Pantone color book out. And we both agreed this is what it means.

Rob Chevez 13:59
This is what it means right? And so what and if you don't do that, then what happens is one leader can say why wanted blue, and he's like, I gave a JV boy, what do you want what are you talking about? Your mind? And then you and then there's this disconnect between these two? Because you didn't have a real real conversation about that. Right?

Umar Hameed 14:19
Yeah, I think leadership can be a beautiful partnership. And there's going to be times when if you're leading me, Rob, it's like that I am going to be disappointed in you, rightly or wrongly. But we need to have this relationship where if you value this relationship, it's your responsibility to bring it up to me, because sometimes you're gonna be right and sometimes you're not going to be right and vice versa. And sometimes we let politeness get in the way of the truth. And if you've got the right intent, and it's like, how do we both do well together, then we owe it to ourselves to do that. In most organizations. It's like, well, I don't want to be seen as like, the squeaky wheel or these and think I don't know what I'm doing and all that kind of. So people need drama. It's what we thrive on. And it's either we let people create their own drama, or you as the leader, give them a story and you were talking about stories are so important, they're hardwired in our DNA is that we need to kind of provide that drama that points everybody in the right direction. And they know. So this is one of the theories that I work on is, in order to have a highly effective organization, people need to trust in themselves, they need to trust in the leader, and they need to trust in the processes. And if we can do that, and there's a level of open communications, then you become a lot faster than your competition. Because even if you make a mistake, you get corrected really quickly. And speed is a strategic advantage in the world we live in. Thoughts on that hypothesis?

Rob Chevez 15:48
Yeah. I'm gonna go back to something you said earlier, and its use use the word intent. And I use that often, when I when somebody's bringing something something to me. I'm always like, what's the intent? Like? What is this person spirit in this? What is their intent, right? Because sometimes people don't have the right words to communicate, what they what they really want to communicate, right. And so it's about this, understanding that if if you guys are in this to win it, right, and at the intent is to move forward in a constructive way, using healthy dialogue, right, and uncovering what people mean, and deciphering what's blue and what's not blue. Right. And triangulate you know, truth. Like Ray Dalio talks about like triangulating truth, right. Yes, then then, yes, you can move things forward in a positive manner. Right. But it will. And it requires healthy dialogue in order to do that, like, and so everybody has to be okay with setting the stage and the rules. And it's okay to have this healthy dialogue, as long as the intent is in the right place. Right.

Umar Hameed 17:03
So something that kind of sparks out of that. And thank you for sharing that is, you know, the one thing I've never asked anybody ever in the history of my life. Hmm, what is your intent? In asking that question? And I think that's missing out of what I'm doing. Because sometimes people come to something and they've got frustration. And when they go to communicate, it comes across badly. And I think one of the finest instruments we have is our body and sensing when there's a disconnect, so they look angry, but I'm not feeling that, like not the MAL intent isn't there. And sometimes I think if we ask that question, I can see you're frustrated, but what's your intent? And ask them that question? And it's like, I feel stupid, because I don't get this. And what we're receiving is, you think I'm an idiot. And so yeah, I think intent is so important. Because we've been talking about everything kind of looking inward in our organizations, it's when we go externally to our customers, that our intent is so important there as well. Because if they get a sense of, you know, this person here is trying to help me get the most value for my money to buy a house, or the highest value for my house. If they really get that then they follow the advice if it's just like is a sales guy, he's in it for himself, which may not be what we want, but how do we communicate that intent? And the first step is to have it?

Rob Chevez 18:18
Yeah, yeah, is the come from a plate like, so you need to check what your intent is, in that sales process. That's very important, right? Like, what's your intent? We, you know, I would tell everybody on my team, your job is to make a friend. That's your job. Right? Your

Umar Hameed 18:33
job is to right, give you a high five right now.

Rob Chevez 18:35
Yeah, your job is to make a friend right. And, and during this process, what you want to do is you want to guide this friend to the most favorable outcome. And and if you can come from that spirit of friendship, and come from that spirit of being a teacher in this process, like selling the like, is easy at that point. It's been selling, it's like, it's just like, you're just Yes, it's helping. And you know, many years ago, you've been in the sales game for some time. Do you familiar with guru Ganesh?

Umar Hameed 19:09
Right? I've got a I got a picture with him. Okay.

Rob Chevez 19:13
So 20 years ago, I think I took might have been 20 years ago I was like, like I deep dove into Sandler and SPIN Selling and all the rest of it was another one like how to sell to CEOs right right. And then I forget selling I remember selling the VITO right, but there was selling to CEOs and one of the things I remember from this one particular was if you if you feel it, if you sense it, find a way to bring it out and say, right, yeah, and like bring that out. Hey, Umar, I feel that that for whatever reason, right now there's that like I said something that didn't like it didn't resonate well with you can let's let's explore that a little bit, employing those conversations to the forefront. I'm so important as a leader, as a salesperson, as a husband as a wife, right? Like,

Umar Hameed 20:06
absolutely. And I think we kind of go full circle. Because in that conversation, if we don't have trust established, I can ask that question. I could ask him, I'm not gonna get a really good answer. But if we have that intent, right, we build that trust, right? Then we pick up a vibe, then it's perfectly fine. It's like, you know, Hey, Rob, I'm getting a sense that, you know, there's an unanswered question. Am I picking it up? Right?

Rob Chevez 20:29
Yeah, so I was gonna say, so let's go back to the trust piece, because I might have skipped over this piece, right. We always say calibrate, educate, facilitate. So calibration, is just asking lots of open ended questions, yes. To learn about the other side to reel in, that develops trust, right? When people feel heard, and loved For sure. Right. And, and that their input is valued, and it's acknowledged, and it's not fought. And it's validated that the only time you can ever move somebody is when they actually feel like they've been.

Umar Hameed 21:11
understood. Yes. And even when you don't want to be understood, when they have like, a criminal is grabbing someone, survival is connecting with their humanity. You know, I got three kids, do you have any kids? And it's like, well, yeah, I got got a couple. As soon as you build that bridge, even though it's literally a life or death situation, you save your life when you do that. And of course, sales is not a life threatening thing. And certainly relationships are not. So it's the fundamentals of being human, right, it's me respecting that human being on the other side, me building a bridge from here to there. And in doing that, we're going to get to the truth faster. And that truth is going to lead us to do business or not, but we're still going to park friends, I'm going to have that relationship that will come around later on. And so brilliant. So tell me about a time Rob, where you found yourself not having trust things were going either it was somebody leaving you where you realize, wait a minute, this is the missing element? I don't trust them for whatever reason? And did you figure out whether it was a you issue or them issue or a communication issue?

Rob Chevez 22:15
Let me reflect on this a little bit. I think my biggest is, if somebody says that they're going to do something, did they actually do it or not? And so, over time, like trust happens over time, over an extended period of time, right? Like, we're somebody's consistently going to show up the way that you hope for them to show up. Can somebody miss a day? Or could there be, you know, they dropped the ball one time? Well, yes, we're all human, right? But over time, an extended period of time, like, how do they show up? And so, the reason why I have a hard time with that is, is I don't spend time, a lot of time with people that like, like, I know, right off the bat, okay, like that, that isn't gonna go in the direction, right? And I don't dwell on it. Does that make sense? Like, I don't I don't, I never even reflect on it. Just like, Okay, well, okay, that just put them in that category over there. And just keep moving forward. I haven't, I haven't experienced

Umar Hameed 23:25
something for my side. I can't think of a specific example. But sometimes, I have made a judgment about the person that I'm interacting with. And when you make a judgement, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. And sometimes the judgment is not a correct judgment. Sometimes I catch myself, like, what's the disconnect here? And it's like, oh, it's not a damn issue. It's a me issue. When I first met them, I had this box, I put them in and they actually don't belong there, they belong somewhere else. And so what I use is very much this instrument this body, like, if I'm interacting with someone, I get an uncomfortable feeling. I have to kind of ask myself, Is this? Am I feeling it? Or are they in a pump feeling it? What's causing it? And just my noticing that and asking the question, not in the middle of the conversation, hold up, I'm gonna rob, do your feeling what's causing it just? Oh, I think we're not on the same wavelength, then I'll go and ask the question is like, Hey, Rob, I think we'd like not on the same wavelength. This is kind of what I'm seeing. Are we on the same way? And then we figure it out? So

Rob Chevez 24:24
I think, yeah, yeah. Yeah, you have to be you have to be careful with that a little bit only from the perspective of like, there are people that you run across in your life that have wounded and hurt you that might look a certain way or have said a certain thing and like these unconscious triggers can occur, which can create this uneasiness. Right. And then you could, so you do have to kind of reflect and be like, what what was that? Right? And I think the biggest thing for me is I've always just seen, what if people don't over the long term, you in your life. You started the conversation asking a question about more, maybe when were you and I were talking off air beforehand, like, what is it that I look for in people, you know that our leaders or future leaders, people that are going to know, right? And one of the key things I look look at is, well, what what have been some of these patterns in their life? So that I can understand, I truly believe that people can change, right? I do. Yeah. And I also know that I'm not in that bit that I've had to learn that I'm not in the business of building that person. I'm in the business of unlocking the potential that's already there, right? I look for the people that have this documented success pattern already established over an extended period of time, because that's what I need within the sales organization, right? Because if you're not careful, otherwise, you can be therapy, as opposed to oh, you know, and so, so I look for that. You know, it's why many times I've looked for people that have, you know, let's say, they were Eagle Scouts, when they were younger, or they played sports, when they were younger. And they were, they saw this pattern of success in their life, or they instruments or in the theater or something where they had to learn how to become good at something over an extended period of time, not one year, but five years or a decade, right. Once they once I know that they've developed that pattern, they've learned how to learn. And they've learned this incremental of like, you know, learn something fail, fix it succeed, fail again, like this failing for pattern. And I would think that'd be that's one of the biggest traits I look for,

Umar Hameed 26:53
in people. Brilliant, right? So Rob, few questions before we part company today. First one is what makes you happy

Rob Chevez 27:02
cup of coffee, with the sun shining in my face, being next to my wife, dog nature, like simple things make me happy. Right? Brilliant. I've learned that it's moments and people, relationships, and it's a simple things that truly make me happy. And then I love to learn, and I love to push myself and grow. And that makes me happy. It's one of my values, right? Like, if I'm not constantly learning and implementing? Well, I don't know what that feels like. Because I'm always constantly like, I just know that doing that brings joy to my life.

Umar Hameed 27:43
Right? Brilliant. What's one mind hack you would share with our viewers and listeners that they could implement that would allow them to be more productive, more successful,

Rob Chevez 27:54

Umar Hameed 27:55
What's the one thing you'd like to share?

Rob Chevez 27:57
I would think it's know that people have walked the path before you. And that you could literally cut five years, 10 years, 15, 20 years of your life. By sitting next to or being partner with or seeking information from people that have already walked that path, you get there a lot faster. I think people are always trying to connect the they're trying to do it themselves. And I think that that's slow, right? It's a slow process, you can get there, but I think it's slow. I think modeling is the fastest way to to hack.

Umar Hameed 28:34
Absolutely. I think a lot of companies that franchise, the franchisees that do the best are the ones that follow the system to the letter. And the ones that struggle, are the smart ones that are trying to say, Oh, this is the best way I got a better way. So yeah, might somebody has done it walk their path? And last but not least, what's the next area of learning for you? Where's Rob? 4.0 Whatever, Rob, that is?

Rob Chevez 28:58
We're used to Yeah, it's

Umar Hameed 28:59
rising, for.

Rob Chevez 29:00
Yeah, it's it's a leadership game, right. As we continue to expand and grow our businesses, I realized that the business only will only rise to the level of leaders that are there. So when I realized that for us to be a leadership development business, that I have to develop myself as a leader, and and so that that that is the journey, right, the first part of my life was the sales and marketing journey, self leadership, right? And, and now it's like, okay, how do we really make this really big and I think the only way we could do this is by personally growing as a leader. And and if I want to have that is by mentoring with people that are already amazing leaders right in doing that, right at a really high level. So that that is that's my journey, moving forward.

Umar Hameed 29:56
Super abrupt. Thank you so much for spending time with me today. It's like 31 minutes went by like that.

Rob Chevez 30:02
I want to thank you so much. I appreciate it

Umar Hameed 30:09
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five star rating. And if you're looking for more tools go to my website at nolimitsselling.com I've got a free mind training course there that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and that is the fastest way to get better results.


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