Not-In-My-Back-Yard (NIMBY) opposition is a qualitative risk that’s rarely factored into the investment calculus of sustainable real estate projects.  This absence of risk management practices has caused a NIMBY Law of Attraction that exposes an untold number of sustainable real estate investments to political and social liabilities around the globe. 

This “rolling of the dice” paradigm directly inflates the risks that leads to billions of dollars in quantitative losses for investors, shareholders, executives, and developers.

We get a sobering example with a 2011 U.S. Chamber of Commerce study, Project No Project, which looked at 351 energy projects that were delayed or denied by NIMBYism. The sample study found that NIMBYism cost the American economy $1.1trillion in economic losses and 2 million new jobs – that’s just for one sector!

What if I told you that as a real estate investor, you could significantly reduce the risks and losses of NIMBYism by as much as 80 percent? No more betting on status quo forces mobilizing to delay, disrupt and defeat your real estate investments.  No more Russian roulette uncertainty. No more black eyes to the reputations of corporations and partners.

It’s a matter of understanding how a broken system and outdated business models consistently alienate communities and empower angry opposition with an “us vs. them” posture.  Once you know how to correct these self-inflicted practices, then you can take action.

That action is fostering community goodwill for your sustainable project, which is the secret to proactively hedging your investments from NIMBY risks and losses

Prologis has been an outlier in this area, demonstrating how building bridges in the communities that grant the license to operate is the pathway to greater success.

I will highlight more of Prologis’ success, but first, we must understand how theNIMBY Law of Attraction is created and why anti-development agents are costing investors billions of dollars in lost capital, shareholder value, revenue, and market share.


The uncertainty of status quo opposition is the white elephant in the room that no one wants to recognize or address. More often than not, the community-at-large is relegated to local project managers and consultants who believe their sustainable projects will win the license to operate within their time tested “legal, logical and sustainable” constructs.

This is a false reality that enables hundreds of thousands of real estate professionals to blindly ignore, overlook and underestimate the community-at-large. This short-sighted perspective is what causes the perception of contempt that increases risks and losses associated with NIMBY opposition.

There’s an aversion toward community engagement, which creates a NIMBY Law of Attraction that emboldens anti-development opponents (alienated citizens, professional activists and competitors). These groups freely and adeptly manipulate social perceptions that influence “political, emotional and ego-driven” constructs.

As we all know, political anxieties nearly always trumps rational narratives, especially when it pertains to controversial land use projects during an election year.

This partly explains why a lone individual with a smartphone and an axe-to-grind, can single handedly defeat an international corporation’s multi-million dollar project. It’s not an isolated case.  There are thousands of reported media stories featuring the David vs. Goliath genre that almost always ends in political defeat of good real estate projects.


The secret to hedging NIMBY risks is securing community goodwill.

The cultivation of community goodwill has become more prominent in corporate sustainability practices.  A small, but encouraging number of corporations are embracing “top/down solutions for bottom/up success” when it comes to neutralizing NIMBY related risks and conflicts.

Prologis is leading the way on corporate sustainability practices that are the result of the REIT’s E.S.G. (Environmental Stewardship, Social Responsibility and Ethics/Governance) standards.  In its recently published 2015 Sustainability Report, the company included both community and government stakeholders as part of its priorities for fostering community goodwill.

Under its “social responsibility” section, Prologis reported community “meetings before, during and after the development of properties.”  The word “before” is a significant step forward in the development of new risk management standards and practices.

Prologis is not waiting to see if a project comes under attack before it engages a community to cultivate goodwill. By the time the NIMBY genie leaves the bottle, it becomes less likely and more expensive to secure stakeholders to support a demonized project.

The fact that a global, public company, such as Prologis, has formal practices that require community engagement increases the odds of winning the approval of more projects, in less time, less cost and less uncertainty.


What do real estate developers and anti-development professional groups agree upon?  Neither wants to see the “legal, logical and sustainable” way of doing business changed or altered.

Anti-development groups know that without establishing community goodwill, the perception of greedy, arrogant and wealthy developers comes into play.  These DC-centric and local anti-development groups have published “playbooks” on “how-to” exploit the time-tested blind spots reliably exhibited by developers beholden to their status quo business models.

Real estate thought leaders need to come together to fashion risk management standards and best practices that will help shift industry perspectives toward proactively and confidently securing community goodwill.

If we can overcome the status quo attitudes within our own industry, then we can begin hedging NIMBY risks and losses that will turn the NIMBY Law of Attraction into an attractive record of success and greater return on investments.

In the meantime, what are you doing today to secure community goodwill for your real estate investments?


Patrick Slevin is one of few national speakers, trainers and consultants considered a “NIMBY Expert”.  Mr. Slevin is a former Florida mayor, who for three decades has spoken, consulted, and written about mitigating the risks associated with status quo opposition.  Mr. Slevin provides “top/down solutions for bottom/up success” for corporate clients who want to secure community goodwill for sustainable and controversial real estate projects.  Go to for more information.


Patrick Slevin

Which came first reality or perception?

If you answered perception came first, because “perception is reality”, then give yourself a cigar for being duped by a superficial world.

The superficial world wants us to fail. It’s persistently trying to influence how we perceive it with a “what you see, is what you get” construct.  It wants to distract us, with illusions to lull enterprising individuals, organizations and societies into self-induced silos of “ignorance is bliss” apathy and “mind’s eye” atrophy.

The world doesn’t want us to change, but instead to embrace the “devil we know” illusions known as the status quo mindset.

When it comes to changing the world for the better, it’s a matter of you choosing whether to let the world define you or you defining yourself in the world. This is the key.

This explains why over the ages every great idea, cause and invention, was initially rejected and scorned.  How many times have we heard from successful entrepreneurs not to give up? To ignore rejection and to persevere over the naysayers.

We need to give perception the stink eye to develop a new perspective that shifts to a clearer vision of reality that goes beyond face value.  When we achieve a deeper sense of self, we have the power to become agents of change.

But how do we reboot our perspectives that are plugged into a hostile world that wants to keep us down?

Plato gives the ultimate reality check by taking us into a deep, dark cave.

The Greek Philosopher Plato knew how the shadows of the false world were perceived as reality.  These shadows were powerful, imprisoning not only people, but organizations and societies.  Plato wrote in his Allegory of the Cave, humanity was imprisoned in a dark cave, chained in such a way that they could only face forward.  Behind the prisoners, and outside their field of vision, was a blazing fire that would cast the shadows of the sensible world on the cave walls before them.


These shadows represented perceptions manufactured by the materialistic world, and humanity accepted them as reality. The story goes on to tell a prisoner freeing himself, climbing to the mouth of the cave, to be blinded by the light.

When the enlightened person went back into the cave to share his epiphany, the person was nearly killed for trying to change the perceptions that society believed as reality.

There are countless examples of false shadows misleading humankind such as the world was flat or the world was at the center of the universe.

Science has confirmed Plato’s take on reality that the world isn’t what we have been led to perceive and believe.

Quantum physicists have determined that over 96 percent of matter in the universe is missing. We only experience four percent of the known universe with our senses.

Physicists have also discovered that particles of matter change behavior when someone observes them.  Therefore, mind over matter has merit.

Positive thinking guru Napoleon Hill knew how to change the world nearly 100 years ago with his construct, “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Reality is what you make of it: It’s relative, it’s intrinsic and it originates at a conscious level.

When it comes to changing the world for the better, it’s a matter of you choosing whether to let the world define you or you defining yourself in the world. This is the key.

The reality that we hold within our minds, not only determines how we perceive the world, but also how we construct the world “out there”.

So adjust your eyes from being receivers of false realities to projectors manifesting and changing a world according to your desired reality of success.


Patrick Slevin is a nationally recognized persuasion consultant, retained to accomplish one goal – Communicating the Truth. He has changed the minds of millions of people on behalf of corporations, special interests and campaigns.  

Find out how he’s Changing Minds at the Speed of Perception!™  by connecting with him on LinkedIn or go to



Bull Silo

Are You a Silo Psycho? is part of SL7 Communications New Series, Revealing the Secrets Behind Silos. Be sure to sign up on to get the series and other thought-provoking insights from Patrick Slevin.

THE CRAZY THING ABOUT SILOS is they are viewed as allusive shadows hiding within the corridors of today’s organizations. Silos are responsible for keeping good companies from becoming great and great companies from becoming greater.

silo 1

First tip in breaking down silos is knowing that silos are not shadows, but real obstacles casting shadows on employee satisfaction, employee productivity and employee achievement.

Silos are the unseen force that explains why organizations fail good employees and why bad employees fail good organizations.

Yet, silos don’t get enough credit or attention in response to its destructive nature. Silos are studied, discussed and written about, but surprisingly, very few professionals know where to look for them. Or what to do when they stumble upon them.

So what is an organizational silo?

An organizational silo exists much like electricity. It’s out there, but hidden. You don’t see it or feel it until it shocks you. Conductors of silos are barriers, boundaries, borders, systems, processes, policies, language, and infrastructure that ineffectively communicate the vision, mission and values of the organization. The result is noncompliant perspectives, behaviors and attitudes. For a good formal insight, click here on silo.



The latest attempts to identify silos is called “Silo Mentality”, which is defined as “lack of sharing of information” between employees, divisions, and departments. It’s argued that Silo Mentality will lead to the crashing of the corporate culture, if not the corporation itself.

No doubt, when employees don’t share information it undermines the integrity of the mission and operations of the organization. However, this term and focus is a silent silo itself, focused on fixing just one of a multitude of silos. The Silo Mentality’s lens is too narrow and creates a false sense of solution. In reality, Silo Mentality and other would-be employee engagement models are only treating the symptoms with a false sense of success in curing the disease.

Team Silo

We experience the clues left behind by silos every day. So much so, that we accept it as part of the norm. Here’s a sample of comments and attitudes that’s serve as evidence of a silo problem in an organization:

  • “That’s not how we do things here.”
  • “Corporate has their institutional ways and we have ours!”
  • “Those folks at corporate get the better raises and promotions, while we work in the field doing more for less.”
  • “That’s not in my job description.”
  • “That’s not my problem.”
  • “My employer thanks me with a paycheck every two weeks.”
  • “We’ve always done it that way before, so why change?”
  • “Those guys in the ______ department have their own language.”
  • “We don’t need any help.”
  • “Be sure to send an email to cover your ass.”
  • “I do nine things right, but get reprimanded for the 10th thing I didn’t do right.”
  • “If you don’t like it here, then why are you staying?”
  • “I don’t like my boss.”
  • “I don’t like my report.”
  • “The new girl will not last long.”

Who hasn’t heard one, if not all of these comments made around the watercooler? You’ve probably said a few yourself over the course of your career. These sentiments create fractals of negatively charged perceptions that multiple, like a virus, spreading across and weakening the organization. Not to mention, distract you from you objectives at work.

The first secret to tearing down Silos is knowing that they exist in plain sight.

We live in a world where instead of being thankful for what we have and finding satisfaction, we are focused on what we don’t have and become (fill in the ______) envious, jealous, isolated, resentful, unmotivated, depressed, stressed, disengaged, indifferent etc. I’m sure you know co-workers, acquaintances and even family members who fit this description. If may even describe you! If so, that’s ok, because there’s a pathway, if you choose it.

This cynical perspective is unfortunate, but it helps explain why we don’t see silos in plain sight, which empowers its destructive force. This leads to the second secret to reveal.

The second secret to tearing down silos is knowing we are the silos and we are the solutions.

Silos dwell, fester and thrive in nearly every one of us. They not only exist in the workplace, but in our families and in society (that’s another article). Organizations are not made up of brick & mortar, command & control and policy & procedures, but made up of people who affirm and define the corporate culture that often includes silos.

I know what you’re thinking and no, I’m not going to give corporate leaders and executives a pass for the silos within their organizations and your organization. They are responsible for providing a work environment that gives meaning, purpose and empowerment in the work you do. In fact, in my next article in this series, I will provide secrets on how corporate leaders can overcome silos from “C-Suite to Cubicle”.  A clue on how to do it will involve an unusual fish in the ocean, but let’s get back to you.

There are three main employees in the workforce: 1). Employees who overcome silos and become rock stars; 2). Employees who shadow box with silos and still maintain a level of productivity; 3). Employees who use silos as excuses for their poor performance.

Sinking the Ship

It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO or the intern. Silos are an obstacle for you to overcome to be successful. The key is understanding what you will do once you identify it.

As a CEO, it’s a matter of motivating employees to assign meaning and purpose to the mission – this often ranks higher than compensation in employee surveys. Moreover, it’s about communicating a vision and values that empower employees. We will look at the corporate “structure” and how to optimize your employee and stakeholder communications platforms that break down silos in my next article coming out soon.

If you’re a professional or an employee, it’s a matter of controlling how you respond in your workplace to silos. If you don’t find meaning in what you do, then take charge of your career and life.

In the context of where you work and what you do, become the solution by exorcising whatever silo constructs have fused themselves to you. At the end of the day, you’re in charge of you, so don’t become “Silo Psycho”.

This means, don’t affirm or validate the silo in your response. If you do, then you’re helping cast shadows and spreading the disease within your team, department, division, region and organization.

We don’t have control over many things in life, but we have 100 percent control over our attitudes and how we respond to adversity.

Share your observations, insights and expertise to make your professional experience more meaningful. If you do that, then you will overcome silos and become a rock star in your company. Once you achieve that, then you can help your fellow associates and company rise above the silos keeping others from experiencing their full potential.

If you choose not to, then the shadows of the silos will darken the corridors of your mind.

Spooky Silo

Are You a Silo Psycho? is part of SL7 Communications Series, Revealing the Secrets Behind Silos. Be sure to sign up on to get the series and other thought-provoking insights from Patrick Slevin.

About Patrick Slevin

Patrick Slevin is a motivational and communications professional leading his firm, SL7 Communications. Patrick is a former mayor, Fortune 500 manager, national trade association director and international agency executive. As a “special projects consultant”, Patrick identifies, designs, and implements innovative solutions for his clients.

If silos are keeping your team, division, department, region or corporation from going from great to greater, then contact Patrick to discuss how he may serve and help resolve your silo challenges.

For more information go to

Or contact Patrick directly to schedule an exploratory, confidential call at 850.597.0423 or