How did Gary W. Keller get Keller Wililams back on track after it faltered? How can you apply his approach to your own life and work?
Gary W. Keller, the founder of the world’s largest real estate company Keller Williams, argues that the key to extraordinary success is focusing daily on the “One Thing” that’s most important for achieving your goal, rather than scattering yourself in many directions. Keller used this approach in his business when it seemed to be faltering after a successful first decade.
Keep reading to learn Gary W. Keller’s formula for success.
The Secret of Gary W. Keller’s Success
In The One Thing, author and real estate entrepreneur Gary W. Keller argues that the key to extraordinary success is focusing daily on the “One Thing” that will make the biggest difference in achieving your goal.
Keller, the founder of the world’s largest real estate company Keller Williams, acknowledges this is counterintuitive in our multitasking world. But he argues that success comes from doing the right things sequentially, each connected to and building on the previous one, rather than doing a lot of disparate things simultaneously. Extraordinary focus on One Thing each day is what leads to extraordinary success.
The One Thing tells you how to apply this simple but transformative principle to your work and in your personal life, where escalating demands and constant distractions work against focusing on anything for long.
You start by thinking big—imagining extraordinary results—then narrowing your focus until you’re thinking small—focusing on the most important thing you can do at the moment to get you where you ultimately want to go. Focus on the small One Thing exclusively, and when you complete it, move on to the next One Thing on your way to your goal.
Gary W. Keller used this approach in his business, when it seemed to be faltering after a successful first decade. He worked with a consultant, who determined that he could get the company back on track if he changed the leadership in 14 positions. So Keller focused on this One Thing: finding the right people. Then, with the people in place, he helped each one focus on the One Thing he or she needed to do to help the company succeed. In its second decade, the company grew rapidly from a regional to an international player.
Gary W. Keller realized that in his work and life, his greatest successes came when he focused on One Thing, while in instances where he was less successful, he’d been juggling multiple priorities but accomplishing little.
A scene in the 1990s movie City Slickers sums up the One Thing approach. Curly, a crusty cowboy played by Jack Parlance, advises city slicker Mitch, played by Billy Crystal: “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean sh-t.” Mitch asks, “What’s the one thing?” and Curly replies, “That’s what you have to figure out.”
The One Thing, which Gary W. Keller co-authored with Jay Papasan, is about achieving exceptional success by figuring out and focusing on your One Thing every day.
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Here's what you'll find in our full The One Thing summary :
- Why focusing daily on one thing, rather than many, is the key to success
- How success is like dominos
- The six common myths about success