The lives of great men are often our best teachers. Even if you do not follow baseball, you are probably familiar with legendary Cal Ripken, Jr. He played for the Baltimore Orioles and established himself as a legend through his dedication to the sport. Ripken broke the record for playing the most successive games on September 6, 1995, when he showed up for his 2,131st consecutive game.
What does his record have to do with new home sales? Well, to equal Ripken’s record, a new home salesperson would have to work an average of five days per week for eight years and never call in sick or have any type of excuse for not showing up at model homes and sales meetings.
What’s staggering about Ripken’s record is that his closest contemporary competitor for consecutive starts had only played a mere 235 games in a row. Yet Ripken’s ability to just show up contributed to his earning two Most Valuable Player Awards, playing 12 consecutive All-Star Games, and being named American League All-Star 19 times.
Of course, Ripken didn’t just show up and sit on the bench. He hit more homeruns than any other major league short-stop, and in doing so, set himself and his family up for life. After he stopped playing baseball, he carried the love of the game into another arena. In 2001, Ripken and his brother, Bill Ripken, a 12-year major league veteran, founded the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, inspired by their father’s teachings and work ethic and dedication to building character through baseball. They use the Foundation as a means of reaching out to millions of underprivileged children and teaching them to use baseball as a means of developing positive character traits such as leadership, teamwork, and good sportsmanship.
Now, let’s do a self-analysis. What kind of role model are you? What sort of responsibility and work ethic are you demonstrating? Does your dedication to your profession reveal itself to your employer, co-workers, and family? Or are you merely dabbling at the business? If you are doing well, I’m personally applauding you. If your are not at the top of your game, sometimes all it takes to move your career to another level is to follow the advice of actor Woody Allen: "A big part of life is just showing up!"
Show up on time. Show up to actively and enthusiastically participate in your sales meetings and company-sponsored educational training events. And show up at your models prepared with a Cal Ripken work ethic, which is as rare in business today as it was in baseball in 1995.
The bottom line is that you are judged by what you do; not by what you say you will do. Leaders like Cal Ripken, Jr. show us how far we can go if we show up consistently and play each game to win. To quote George Bernard Shaw: "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them."
YOU ARE JUDGED BY WHAT YOU DO; NOT BY WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL DO.