Today, we’re going to discuss leadership. If you manage a team, regardless of its size, you know the challenge of being an effective leader.
Many people assume that leaders are born with those natural skills. Think again. You have to learn how to be an effective leader. And the lessons aren’t always easy ones.
And, perhaps at no other time, as we face the unprecedented uncertainty of a world in the throes of pandemic, Americans are looking to their leaders for reassurance and guidance.
This is, of course, as true in real estate as any other business sector. Ours is an industry with a lot of fear, fueled in great part by the constant stream of negative news fed to us on a 24/7 basis.
Here are some useful skills to have as you develop in your career. They are essential if you lead a team. However, even if you are climbing toward a leadership role, these skills can serve to give you a sense of authority and confidence, both critical assets for any real estate professional.
- Have a vision. Leaders are responsible for creating a vision for their organization. A vision is the road map to success, and must be embraced by everyone on your team. A vision must be inspirational. A vision must be realistic and compatible with the core competencies of the organization. But, perhaps most importantly, in times like these, maintaining a positive vision about the future is critical for the morale of your team.
- Embrace failure. Henry Ford said, “Failure is the simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Frequent failure provides the best lessons for leaders, while also serving to humble them. It’s also motivational for your organization to see you shrug off failures, and use them as learning experiences.
- Remember to not be “the boss”. There are some key differences between a boss and a true leader. A boss dictates from the top down. A leader sets the vision and turns the team lose to achieve the organization’s goals. A leader understands the important of delegation and accountability. A boss “knows everything.” A leader is open to suggestions and even criticism. A boss manages things; a leader inspires people.
- Lead by example. Don’t ask your team to do anything that you would not be willing to do yourself. For example, set the daily agenda for your real estate team with regard to role-playing. Walk your talk and you’ll earn trust and respect.
- Be vulnerable. Leaders who are insecure in their position often feel as if they have to know everything. Secure leaders aren’t afraid to ask for help. Showing your vulnerability is an excellent way to show your humanity, and garner the respect of your team. It also shows you are a team player.
- Never stop learning. Effective leaders keep an open mind, always willing to learn new methods, to ask questions and to challenge norms. They embrace the fact that every situation provides the opportunity to learn something new.
Remember, you weren’t born to be a leader. You need to constantly work at it, embrace failure, be open to learning and, above all, practice humility as often as possible.