My client Joe is in the real estate business. During one of our meetings, he mentioned that he had some unsold properties “in the drawer,” as he called it.
“How many unsold properties are you sitting on?” I asked.
“Three,” he said.
“And how much are they worth to you?” I asked. Meaning his profit.
“You mean, how much money would I make if I sold them?”
“I guess I’d make about $220,000 altogether,” he said. “I just need to make a few repairs and get them on the market. Even in this market, I think they’d sell pretty quickly.”
My eyebrows jumped. “So what you’re saying is that you’ve got $220,000 sitting in your desk drawer (there’s the recap), and you’re not doing anything about it?”
“Well, uh, I guess you could look at it that way.”
I did. So I paused, waiting for Joe to see what I saw.
He didn’t comment, and didn’t seem motivated to take any particular action.
“Let me send you my address,” I said. “Since you’re not very interested in that $220,000, go ahead and send it to me. I can think of a few things to do with it.”
Finally, Joe laughed. Together, we devised an action plan that would help him take the steps necessary to convert that “drawer money” into real money.
The sales didn’t happen overnight. We met in regularly scheduled accountability sessions to review his plans, assess the factors that continued to block his progress, remove the barriers and achieve results. Because we had a clear understanding about our relationship and expectations, I was able to continue gently challenging Joe until he sold all three properties.
I can’t take any credit for these profitable deals. This is an accountability success story, and I share it as a way to remind you of what your people could be achieving, once you learn how to hold them accountable.
They, too, have “drawer money” that they’re not converting to cash, new customers, new ideas, or whatever their responsibilities entail. But they haven’t done it yet because they’re distracted, stuck, don’t know what to do, or are otherwise unable to achieve certain things without some accountability structure.
That’s okay. That’s where you come in as the leader. They need you. With your willingness, their willingness, plus a few accountability tools, you can cash in together. It all begins with stepping up to the plate and saying “yes” to becoming an accountable leader.
What’s in your drawer? Cash? New clients? New ideas?
What are you willing to do today to create the time to meet with your people and develop them for a sustainable future.
This article was adapted from my book, The Accountability Factor: The Buck Starts Here.
If you want to cash in your drawer money and help your people do the same, Alan M. Dobzinski is a master meeting facilitator who can get to the bottom of what’s stopping or blocking your profitability and success. Contact him today to get started.