During a Metrix Masterminds session about 18 months ago, Ben and I facilitated an exercise with our members covering what we believe to be the 8 most critical behaviors, characteristics, and actions of those that lead highly profitable real estate sales teams. The following list represents the “Essential 8”. This list is based on our own personal experiences as well as learnings from great leadership books like Extreme Ownership, The 13 Fatal Errors Managers Make and How You Can Avoid Them, and Engaged Leadership.
Great business leaders…
- Accept personal accountability – When you’re personally accountable, you take ownership of what happens as a result of your decisions and actions. You don’t make excuses or blame others
- Recruit, retain, and develop the right people – Many leaders see themselves as “quarterbacks” that are on the field and in the trenches, however the best see themselves as “coaches” that must effectively build the team, develop its talent, and get the most out of its individuals without being the individual that all plays must run through.
- Influence thinking instead of trying to control results – The job of the leader is to encourage and motivate individuals to think a certain way. These thoughts lead to activities, and sustained activity creates habits. Habits, of course, lead to results.
- Lead different people different ways – The best business owners play to the strengths of each of their individuals, and the sum of the parts is what creates something extraordinary. How you inspire, motivate, hold accountable, and connect with your teammates may be uniform in strategy but unique by individual in application.
- Always remember the importance of profit – Profit is the measure of success of a business and the reward for taking a risk.
- Act as a boss and not a buddy – Your role as “leader” is to support your team professionally before you consider supporting them personally. This is not to say that you should not get to know your people beyond the office. But it is to say that the most immediate impact you can make on a person in your business is to help them succeed and thrive in their respective role, and then allow them to carry this success into their lives beyond work.
- Set standards and define what winning entails – One of the fiduciary responsibilities of a leader is to articulate the recipe for success and then define, very clearly, how exactly that success is being measured. Ambiguity is the enemy of accountability.
- Remove incompetence and mediocrity – We’ve all learned that “good” is the enemy of “great”. Mediocrity is really about settling. The goal is to learn how to constantly elevate and never settle for anything less than exceptional performance from yourself and the people you influence. Then, mediocrity won’t stand a chance.
Exercise: If you are a business owner and leader then odds are that you currently excel in some of the areas noted above. It is also likely that in reading this list, you see some areas in which you need improvement!
Go through the “Essential 8” again, however this time rank yourself as to how you are performing in each particular area using a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being “I’m completely failing” and 10 being “I’ve mastered this area of leadership”). For sake of this exercise you are not permitted to answer with a “7”!
Now that you’ve ranked yourself, let’s reflect.
- in what area(s) do you feel you have the opportunity for the greatest improvement(s)?
- What action steps do you believe you need to take over the next 90 days to increase your score by 2 levels (e.g. go from a 6 to an 8)?
- What support do you need to make these improvements?
- Who can hold you accountable to taking these steps?
- How will those you lead – your team, your friends, your family – benefit from you making these improvements?
Leadership can be learned by training, observation, study, practice and experience over time. And we all have room for growth!