things you can control

So gratifying to get to spend time with so many of you this past few days in Las Vegas.

I'm picking up a sense among builders of growing momentum, of optimism tempered by concerns about a recurrence of labor woes, and a backdrop of concern as to how the global economic dramas--China and the oil economy, mostly--may undo what fundamentals and job growth has created in consumer confidence, job security, and wage expectations.

Again, at what's become the virtual eve of Spring Selling 2016, getting underway roughly three Fridays from now, the focus should be 150% on the list of things you can control and manage, vs. those that are getting headlines out of Davos, or downtown Manhattan or Washington, or China.

A piece in this morning's Wall Street Journal does nothing so much as remind us of validated research about human nature: We tend to be overly confident in our predictions of the future, ... even when those predictions are negative.

If you're getting jittery about what's going on on Wall Street and how that may affect traffic, sales, cancellations, closings, monthly pace per community, etc., have a look at Greg Ip's Markets’ Panic Incongruent With Economic Reality—For Now.

Then think about Super Bowl 50, Feb. 7, and what that date means in terms of the things that you can control.

  1. Customer care 
  2. Employee morale 
  3. Operational excellence 
  4. Process improvement 
  5. Trust among partners 
  6. Collaborative thinking 
  7. Innovation in action 
  8. Data that helps decisions 
  9. Agility and effort 
  10. The ability to give an "instant yes," or a "unqualified no" when you choose.

And, yes, it needs to be said again, customer care. We may love what we do, but it's our customers who tell us what business we're in and how to do it.

The currency you'll find to be most valuable over the next stretch of the market: trust and good data.