Today in a world full of angry political discourse, tragic events, and constant negativity, it can be challenging to find those individuals that rise above the existing landscape, leading and inspiring others around them.
For commercial real estate, this discussion can be complicated by the unusual dynamic that exists between the independent contractor and the leaders that work alongside them. What’s the potential problem? Hint: Most real estate professionals pursue the business because they are highly motivated, self-starters and desire a culture free of micro-management.
Why then do so many real estate companies hire a traditional manager for a role that demands and deserves something different? Perhaps more importantly, what defines an extraordinary leader in this fast paced, constantly changing environment?
There is no shortage of answers aimed at solving this long-debated question. What is interesting however, is that we always seem to be able to identify those that have a profound impact on our career when asked. For my own path in brokerage, it’s been names like Jack Heger, Ben Reiling, David Prior, Lynn Reich and Jeff Lyon. They are the very best model for excellence and inspirational leadership because they actually live the life they desire for those around them.
Consider the exceptional leaders that you have been fortunate enough to work with. Chances are, they had the following traits:
We all know when people are not living their authentic selves. There’s this belief inspirational leaders need to be highly extroverted and outgoing, but that doesn’t always resonate for everyone in the workforce. Real leaders know who they are and remain authentic in all their interactions.
The defining aspect to integrity is operating honestly – telling the truth in every situation. There is no grey area. Inspirational leaders admit mistakes, right wrongs, and take responsibility.
Call it what you want, drive, passion or ambition. These unique leaders believe wholeheartedly in the mission. There is nothing else they would rather be doing when it comes to work. They are also not afraid of change, constantly working to improve.
Leaders aren’t afraid of making the call on their own. They know the risks involved and have weighed the options before taking action. That said, they also understand it takes a collaborative team to succeed.
Bill Gates wrote in his review of The Myth of the Strong Leader, “Through my work in the business world and at the foundation, I’ve seen firsthand how ineffective and even dangerous it can be when leaders make decisions alone—and how much good we can do when we work together.”
Delegating responsibility and empowering others isn’t easy, but with the right people and support, it can pay off in a big way. Today’s thriving leaders understand and implement this wherever possible.
Through thoughtful and direct communication, team members know where they stand. Focused leaders concisely convey a clear picture, whether it’s on a specific goal, job expectations or long-range vision. Transparency builds confidence in one another and the brand.
A successful leader gives to others constantly. They enjoy letting others have the spotlight for their achievements and never seek the glory for themselves. Their sacrifices are to build a better team and company for the clients they serve.
Naturally, these qualities are not gone from today’s business world. They do however seem to be in short supply, a phenomenon not exclusive to the real estate industry.
Looking ahead, mentoring the next generation of skilled, integrity driven professionals is more important than ever for the future of commercial real estate. To be successful, this will require inspirational style leaders who have a different outlook, style and approach than that of the traditional manager role.