By David Bramante | March 2, 2018
I was talking to Summer earlier this week, discussing how we were going to launch the Keller Williams Realty Mentee Mastermind in the Downtown Los Angeles office. We were only a few days away, and I was struggling with the proper way of how we should roll this program out. I didn’t want to have a normal business meeting that was boring and typical, and I didn’t want to do anything that was too extreme like walking on fire.
I had been reading more and more about persuasion and compliance techniques over the previous two weeks. That weekend I actually finished a book (for the second time) weekend called “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” and there were several interesting topics:
- How was Jim Jones (who started the People’s Temple cult) was able to lead his followers to their doom, seemingly so easily? And…
- No matter who or where they are performed, why won’t crazy initiations and painful hazing rituals disappear?
Seems like cult leaders and hazing rituals are uniquely part of the human experience from what the book tells us, and as I thought about those two ideas nearly simultaneously, I thought two words: Anthony. Robbins. His “Unleash the Power Within” (UPW) events, which I have been to three over the last few years and had sent almost 10 people to go experience it by themselves, work on so many levels in controlling people’s behavior. The compliance techniques used are some times so obvious that’s it’s frustrating to see and still comply with.
Then I thought about the fire. Why the fire? How the hell does he convince thousands of people in one day (over 10 hours) to walk on fire? And on all the days of the four-day event, how does he persuade the large majority of these people, including me, to do something they would never ever do on their own?
And then I caught myself. Tony Robbins is really a genius in his simplicity. With the fire, he’s taking a page right out of the play book of initiations and hazing. Firewalking is so clearly a rite of passage that it seems nearly no one, prior to the fire or after, asked what that was really all about. It was an initiate, and that’s that and the whole experience is basically overlooked in how it’s effective for the rest of the four day program.
The amazing part about the entire experience is really not firewalking part. Or that more people don’t get hurt part. But that no one I met out at any of these events stops and wonders if there’s an alterior motive to the rite of passage. It’s self evident that once you did it, then nothing is the same afterward. But it’s amazing that no one I met ever asks, “Why does Tony have you walk on fire?”
No the question is always, and I know because I’m always asked and I asked others as well a simple question:
- “So… did you do it? Did you walk on fire?!”
- When someone says, “Yes I did it!” I think and others definitely say, “Right on!”
- But when someone says, “No, I didn’t because it was late and I was tired and this and that and my cat needed to be fed at midnight…” well then, you as a fire walker think something interesting… you judge them and think they’re not on the team. They’re the worse thing possible, an outsider to the firewalk family.
After several years, I just realized why Tony Robbin’s had me walk on fire. He hazed me and I never even really asked why it all happen. The theatrics were so great, each time. So standing on the roof of the Macy’s parking structure at The Bloc in Downtown LA, I told Summer my tiny epiphany. Not a big one, not a life changing one. Really a totally obvious one. And then I told her we need to initiate the mentees joining the KW DTLA Mentee Mastermind, so for them their lives would never be the same. To create a pin in their minds of AD/BC events with the program.
She laughed and said, “You want to haze the agents?” I said, “No, no. I just want to initiate them.” And that’s how the concepts of group meditation, writing down goals, listening to a Navy Seal speech, having them walk down 29 stairs… and having them run around and interview business formed. It’s a new ritual, only a few days old, and we’re going to work out the details. Firewalking was already taken.
David Bramante is the Team Leader & Managing Partner of Keller Williams Realty Downtown Los Angeles, and the manager of BRE Investment in Echo Park.
He has been a top producing California Realtor since 2005, helping clients sell, buy, invest and lease residential and commercial real estate in Los Angeles.
As a real estate consultant, he has hired, mentored and coached over 150 Realtors in Southern California, including many top producing Realtors in Los Angeles County.
For questions about the above blog post, becoming a real estate agent, or joining Keller Williams Realty, send an email to David directly at david (at) breinvestment.com or davidbramante (at) kw.com.
Tony Robbins Unleash the Power Within: https://www.tonyrobbins.com/events/unleash-the-power-within/