Claudia Cox, Trainer at Agon Management Group, Reviews Key Lessons She’s Learned Here

At Agon Management Group few things are as important to us as providing an environment that fosters personal and professional growth for all of our employees. We are proud to work with some of the most motivated, hardworking, and talented individuals in the greater D.C. area, and it isn’t lost on us that this comes with great responsibility.

Claudia has mastered the art of the conference selfie!

Rather than just providing a paycheck, we strive to make our McLean firm a place where our people are challenged on a daily basis. We want each member of the team to feel that he or she is moving forward in his or her career and developing the skills and mentality that are necessary for success in any business field.

The management team of Agon Management Group is happy when each person is thriving, no matter the end game. Many of our team members take part in our management training program with the intent to move up quickly into an executive-level role. Others choose to use their time here to build an extremely impressive resume. Continuous learning and growth is the name of the game no matter what.

We decided to steal some of Claudia Cox’s time to find out what her biggest takeaways have been since joining our company just four months ago. Claudia has very quickly become a key player on the team, which is not just a testament to our merit-based advancement philosophy, but Claudia’s hard work and entrepreneurial mentality. You’ll undoubtedly be impressed by the words she’s shared with us below.

Our first question for Claudia was the biggest personal lesson that she’s learned while working here at Agon Management Group. We wanted to know what takeaways would apply to her personal life and relationships, and here’s what she had to say:

“I’ve learned so much about myself while being in this management training program. The most important thing I’ve learned is that having a student mentality is necessary. It will get you very far in life and in this business. Since day one, I’ve seen my mentor and supervisor show me how important is to always be a step ahead. Learning from her student mentality has influenced me to always ask questions and want to learn more in order to be a step ahead of others. There’s something new to learn every day and I want to be ahead so that I can always be prepared, no matter what comes my way in business and in life.”

The next question we had was regarding a professional skill or mindset that she’s gained since joining the team. We wanted to know what she’s learned here that she felt would be most beneficial in her career. Claudia shared the following:

“I’ve learned that you are your biggest challenge! It’s all about a strong student mentality and a positive attitude. I’ve learned a lot about myself and have come a long way. Without my mentors teaching me that I should always challenge myself I wouldn’t be growing so quickly in this business. With a successful mentality I’m able to continue to achieve the goals I set.”

It’s clear that Claudia is not only a student of life (and business!) but a person who is extremely self-aware and emotionally intelligent. We promise to keep you updated on her success, so stay tuned!

Stay in touch with Agon Management Group on Twitter @ Agon_Mclean



An Important Reminder from Agon Management: The Right Mental Attitude

Here is some insight into the record-breaking success of Agon Management Group in 2016.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”
–Thomas Jefferson

agon-management-groupIt’s almost as if Thomas Jefferson was part of the leadership team at Agon Management Group! Just kidding. We’d like to think, though, that he would be proud of the core lessons we strive to impart to all of our team members.

What we love most about this quote is that it succinctly expresses an incredibly important truth: that a person’s mentality is the most important factor in whether he or she achieves success — or achieves anything for that matter.

Many people believe that they are handed a set of circumstances which block them from achieving success. They often become complacent and focused on their woes. They typically complain, make excuses and dwell in self-pity. The result is usually inaction, which does nothing for a person’s happiness or his ability to achieve his goals. This is what Jefferson means by “the wrong mental attitude.” It should hopefully go without saying that it is natural for any human being to experience sadness and emotion. However, the point here is that the only way to change one’s circumstances is to change one’s attitude. At Agon Management Group we believe that attitude is a choice that we make over and over again throughout the day.

The person with “the right mental attitude” has boundless opportunity and also enjoys a greater level of happiness. She feels empowered, rather than powerless. She accepts her less-than-ideal circumstances but doesn’t allow them to hold her back from realizing her dreams. She doesn’t make excuses and she doesn’t complain because she recognizes that those behaviors are fruitless. If she encounters an obstacle she views it as a bump in the road and not a road block. She chooses to surround herself with others with a similar positive attitude. She doesn’t care much for what naysayers have to say about her dreams because her vision is impervious. She believes that she is in control of her destiny and she is well on her way to achieving her goals.

The success of our team at Agon Management Group this year is because of the right mental attitude. This is not to say we are perfect — but we do indeed strive for excellence in this area. The right attitude starts at the top with our president, Tarek Beidas. It is modeled by our assistant managers, Carl and Sarah. It is possessed by our leadership team. And it is filtered down to every person who joins our leadership development program.

Thank you, Thomas Jefferson, for these incredible words of wisdom. For more wise and motivational quotes, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @Agon_McLean.

The NFL team to get rid of… and other thoughts from mega sports fan, Nabil

Knicks vs Wizards at Verizon Center | Photo Cred: Nabil’s instagram!

“Agon,” as all of our blog readers know, means “competitive.” And competitive we are indeed here at Agon Management Group in McLean. But where did this mentality come from? For most of us, it comes from a background in sports. Whether it’s thanks to playing or watching, athletics have fostered an innate love for winning in each of us.

We pulled aside Nabil Shamsher, one of our company‘s key drivers of success, to find out what makes him tick when it comes to the sports arena. A heads up: if you’re not a fan of the New York teams, you might need to grab a cold one while you read this.

Who is your all-time favorite championship team in any sport?

knicksMy favorite team has got to be the New York Knicks, in general. They’re my hometown team, as I’m born in Queens, NY and lived on Long Island as well. They’re the first team I remember watching as I grew up. I remember they would play the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls in a lot in the playoffs when I was little, and I always hated those teams the most because we would always lose to them. Yet, I always stick with my team, no matter win or lose. I do my best to stay loyal. They’ve won a few championships, but those were all in the past. Hopefully, I’ll witness the Knicks win at least one ‘ship before I die.

What’s one NFL team you would get rid of right now?

UVA vs Georgia Tech | Photo Cred: Nabil’s instagram!

Great question. The most useless team in the NFL right now is definitely the Jacksonville Jaguars. No one goes to their games, they have hardly any talent, and they’re basically just…there. I haven’t met one person who actually cares for them. However, I’m sure other NFL teams would love to have them stay in the league in order to get a free win.

What’s one player you cannot stand in any sport?

l0k4ngslgbpujh1kcOne player whom I can’t stand is probably Cristiano Ronaldo. Sure, he’s a good player, but he is very cocky and is basically the Justin Bieber of sports. He cries like a baby, he has no respect for fellow players or even his teammates, and he thinks he’s the best in the world. I can’t stand someone with those egotistical qualities.

Do you have a favorite player?

My favorite player is Gareth Bale. I’ve always enjoyed his skills, while he was playing for my favorite soccer team, Tottenham. He carries the team on his back for the most part and is extremely humble about it. He also has cool hair, and his last name is the password for my iPhone. (Oops!) Funny thing is that he and Cristiano Ronaldo are on the same team right now.

What’s your favorite sports memory of all time?

Probably Allan Houston’s buzzer-beater against the Miami Heat, which led to the series win for the Knicks in the 2000 NBA playoffs. It was a big upset since the Knicks were the 8th seed, while Miami was the #1 seed in the East.

London, England

Last question for fun… What is one sports venue you want to visit before you die?

Wembley Stadium

There you have it! Whether you agree or disagree with our guru, Nabil, you have to admit that his answers are well thought out! We should mention — we know with certainty that not all of our team members at Agon Management Group are New York fans and Ronaldo haters… so with that being said, let the smack-talking begin!

Follow us on Instagram @AgonManagementGroup

Big Hairy Audacious Goals: The Reason We’re #1

Carl (assistant manager), Tarek (president) and Anna (manager) in Los Angeles at a seminar

Agon Management Group is currently in the midst of our most successful year in business. We’ve picked up one industry award after another, been recognized by our client, promoted one go-getter to a management position (read more), and promoted two rockstars to assistant management (read more here and here).

How have we done so much in such a short period of time?

The answer is BHAGs: Big Hairy Audacious Goals. You’re probably already familiar with this pretty silly-sounding term, if you’ve ever taken a business class or read one of the most famous business books of all time, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, by James Collins and Jerry Porras. The concept in a nutshell: a BHAG is a bold and powerful goal that is exciting, tangible and highly motivating. Here at Agon Management Group, each member of the team has his or her own BHAG, which is the driving force behind the success of the team as a whole.

We surveyed the members of our team to find out two things: First, their most inspiring materialistic goals. Second, what excites them most about earning success. Here’s what we found out…

The most popular big picture goal was no surprise to us! Almost half (46.67%) of the team said they were most excited about traveling the world. The next highest ranking was a big beautiful dream house, with a quarter (26.67%) of Agon Management Group’s vote. Next, 13.33% selected a nice car. There was a tie for the remaining two options of an unlimited shopping spree and dream closet (6.67%) and cool experiences (6.67%). No one selected the “other” category, so it looks like we nailed this list!

Next, we went a little deeper, and we found out some pretty inspiring things. Check out these incredible BHAGS that the team shared:

“Building a house for my parents in Africa.” -Carl

“Taking care of my son and insuring that he will have a happy life; Making sure my parents can retire and know that their son was able to make them proud.” -Samuel

“Since my mom struggled to send me to private school since I was 3 and I watched her struggle to help me be successful, I want to be able to provide for her. I also want to be able to provide for my children without struggle.” -Angelina

Helping my family be financially independent; Helping kids in Africa realize their dreams, and aiding them to achieve those dreams; Retiring at an early age while making money in my spare time.” –Adekunle

“Being able to provide for myself and my loved ones without having to question being able to do so.” -Sarah

“Traveling to see my family, and being able to send them plane tickets to visit me. Also, I want to try food from every country!” -Kareem

“My kids are my motivation. To give and provide for them.” -Brian

“Starting my own fashion line and becoming a stylist celebs and to those who need it. Also, starting an organization for under privileged girls who cannot afford nice clothing that will boost their confidence and show them how to shop on a budget.” -Crystal

“What motivates me the most is being able to prove people wrong. I want to show that I can do what is asked of me and go above and beyond with that.” -Nabil

Taking care of my family, retiring my parents, and taking care of my kids.” -Trevor

“Being able to take care of my Dad and future family. Family is the most important thing.” -Ray

“Taking care of my parents; Sending my nephews and nieces to college; Giving back.” -Robbin

“Helping others, I am a people person I love when I can make someone smile, it lights me up!” -Claudia

“Being able to give my kids the world motivates me the most. I will do anything for them just to see them smile.” -Cheyenne

These are some pretty spectacular goals. With goals this big, it’s no wonder that each member of the team at Agon Management Group performs each day at such a high level.

Click here for more on our inspirational McLean team!

Through the eyes of a new team member: Agon Management Group

A new employee of Agon Management Group reviews her experience with our McLean-based firm.

Tarek (president), Carl (assistant manager), Sarah (assistant manager), and Claudia (team leader) en route to a conference in Dallas

It’s estimated that an average person will spend 21% of their waking hours at work in their lifetime – so you might as well enjoy it right? Agon Management Group couldn’t agree more! So what is like in our office? As you’d expect, you will see employees walking into the professional office building in their suits, ties and heels… but what you might NOT expect is hearing the music playing, lots of laughter and a team truly enjoying themselves.

Claudia, a recent addition to the Agon Management Group team (and pictured on the far right in the image above), says the people are what makes work not seem like work to her. Her job is enjoyable, but being able to work with a team who is just as motivated as you and excited to be there makes a huge impact on the overall vibe and attitude of the office. Everyone has their own reasons that they are working hard towards their goals, but the most important factor is that they all have something that they are working for and towards. But it’s not all hard work… “The team always knows how to make each other laugh, being silly and having fun. At the same time, they are great examples of how to stay balanced between striving for greatness and having fun, explained Claudia.

President Tarek (left) and human resources team member, Nabil, enjoying their trip to Pittsburg

In any company, there is a trickle-down effect. Good and Bad. At Agon Management Group, the positive and contagious energy starts with the president, Tarek. Some values that he exemplifies are integrity and having a positive attitude – which is apparent through employees’ actions. “I truly enjoy working with this great group of people and trust every one of them,” Claudia explained. “It’s great working for someone who is so enjoyable to be around and has such a positive aura that the rest of the team vibes off of.”

Agon Management Group also believes that creating relationships with coworkers outside of the office will stimulate a more cohesive working environment inside the office in return. One of Claudia’s favorite events outside of the office (so far) has been going out dancing with the team in DC! She described the benefit of doing things with the team outside of work this way: “It is very important because you get to know the people you work with on another level. That experience and bonding is priceless.”

To learn more about the culture of Agon Management Group follow us on Instagram @ AgonManagementGroup

Sarah Arshad on the Fast Track to Success — and Here’s Why

Our management team! Pictured from left to right: President Tarek, Manager Anna, Team Leader Sarah, Assistant Manager Carl.

The year is only halfway through, and Agon Management Group has been already exceeded our projected growth with a promotion to Manager, another to Assistant Manager and another one in the makings. But our Mclean team isn’t slowing down anytime soon! We wanted to highlight one of the key players at our company to get a better perspective of this amazing growth.

Our next Assistant Manager and all around pace-setter, Sarah Arshad

Sarah Arshad, originally from Oslo, Norway has been a crucial part of the success of Agon Management Group this year. President Tarek Beidas explained that “Sarah is an extremely consistent performer. There hasn’t been a day that she has not performed well for our client, reaching all of her sales goals.” He also explained that “she is very competitive and wins every bonus.” It makes sense that her team and others around her would try and replicate her habits of success. Besides her high performance, Beidas also added that “Sarah has a ‘down for whatever’ type of personality, willing to help anywhere she can, and is up for any challenge. She is also very fun to be around.”

Arshad joined Agon Management Group as an entry level associate, like all of her peers. She has been moving up the ranks very quickly, so we had to ask what her mentality was about her job and why she was so passionate about it. Her response made it very clear why she is progressing so quickly. She shared,

“I love the fact that every day is different; this opportunity allows me to work with new people every day and to help others achieve their goals based on a basic system. I believe our job is different from a ‘normal job’ because it has endless growth and opportunity. Our job allows us to progress based on our performance by implementing and applying a very basic system. Knowing that there is no requirement of previous experience to succeed in this business is an assurance itself; everybody can do it. What we were taught the first days in this businesses, is the exact same things that are going to pull us over the finish-line. Knowing this gives me the confidence that the sky is the limit, and it’s completely up to me if I want to reach it traveling in a hot air balloon or a rocket.”

With such a laser focus on achieving her goals, we were curious as to where Sarah saw herself in the future. She explained the she wants to have financial and professional freedom; happiness, security for herself and her family. A healthy life. To open offices all over the world where her role is to mentor and coach these offices to be successful. After speaking with Arshad about her goals and her experience thus far with Agon Management Group, we are definitely seeing her rocket her way to those goals and beyond!

See what’s happening today in McLean… check us out on Instagram @ AgonManagementGroup!

Results or Excuses — You Choose

Agon Management Group in McLean VA trains some of the most talented, hardworking, goal-oriented individuals in the Metro D.C. area through our management training program. This blog post discusses one of the most important lessons we strive to impart to all of our staff.

“You can have results or excuses. Not both.”

“Excuses will always be there for you. Opportunity won’t.”

“If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”

Can you sense a trend we’re creating with these opening quotes?! If you gathered that this blog was going to be focused on how to create a “no excuses” mentality for yourself, you’re right!! After being inspired by Brian Tracy’s The Power of Self Discipline: NO EXCUSES, Agon Management Group’s CEO, Tarek Beidas, was inspired to share with us 3 ways to help you be more proactive in your career.

No excuses… even on #NationalPinkDay!

1. Find the root of the issue.
We make excuses for a reason. Whether we don’t want to invest the time, we’re afraid of failure or it seems to hard to get started, whatever your reasoning is, it’s important to understand the psychology of procrastination. Take a moment to sit down and think about why you keep pushing off a certain task or objective. Once you’ve narrowed it down, say it out loud! Here’s an example: “I’m afraid to work out because of how out of shape I really am.” When you say it aloud and realize how trivial it really sounds, it can help you realize that an excuse it just your mind’s way of testing your will power. All athletes and successful entrepreneurs have had doubts before, but they realized the cause of their excuses and worked daily until they were no more.

Lesson: Your willpower and mental strength is there! You just need to find what’s getting in the way of you getting started!

2. Have an accountability partner.
Making excuses is easy. Having someone who calls you out for not staying true to your word is hard to find. Invest in finding someone that can truly help hold you accountable! Whether this is a mentor, best friend, a significant other, spouse or business partner, it’s so helpful to have someone to hold you accountable to goals or commitments you made but are wavering on. If you find yourself making excuses about going to the gym, find a friend who’s really into fitness and has a solid gym routine. If you need help in business, find someone who’s more successful than you to offer coaching and guidance!

Lesson: It’s easier to make excuses on your own than it is with someone in your corner holding you to what you say!

3. Healthy body, healthy mind!
You’ve probably heard this a million times, but how much more productive do you feel when you’ve had a good nights sleep, a solid breakfast, and healthy meals during the day? Maybe it’s just us, but when we have a clear mind and a nourished body, we feel at Agon Management Group that we can take on the world. On the contrary, on days when we don’t get nearly enough shut-eye and a diet composed of Twinkies and cheese puffs, we find ourselves more prone to making excuses as our mind is literally starved for nourishment, sleep, etc.

Lesson: If you take care of the internal, the external will follow suit. It is easier to follow through on your commitments and make fewer excuses when you take care of yourself first.

For more motivation to ditch the excuses and go after results, follow Agon Management Group on LinkedIn!