I have had the opportunity to work with some of the top leadership talent in the Real Estate industry. When I reflect on my career, and life, I am able to see how much I learned from them. I learned things like how to schedule my time, how to plan, how to manage employees, how to hire and recruit, how to read and manage a P&L. I also learned things like how to set goals and structure my time so I could perform at a high level and have a life. I consider myself to be a life-long learner so as an executive in my 30’s I was a sponge for knowledge and mentorship. Fortunately, I had multiple mentors who have helped me along the way in my career.
One of the areas that I struggled with was managing employees. I am a great individual performer with high standards and intense goals. I began to study the elements of leadership that I thought would help me grow and evolve to be better as a manager. I started to watch the leaders around me to watch how they showed up and what they did that made them different.
I have synthesized this into 6 Leadership Traits that can help you live your leadership.
1. Humility. One of the characteristics that I noticed in the leaders that I admired was humility. In an industry known for its tendency towards individual performers and high ego’s, humility as a leader stood out as a big differentiator. Being humble requires being happy with yourself and genuinely wanting the best for others. It is a non-assuming posture not a grand-stander. When a leader is humble, they share openly. It is counter-intuitive, but the more we share the more we get back.
2. Commitment. The leaders that mentored me where unfailing in their commitment to their goals. They knew that the only way to succeed was to fail, continue to fail and never give up. They did what they said they would do, had no hidden agendas and were trustworthy. One characteristic I found interesting was their life and business goals were interconnected. They were aligned. They were good at prioritizing the most important things first, breaking goals into chunks, thinking long term and planning for results. They had a Plan A and a Plan B. They were the boss of their own lives and didn’t try to control the uncontrollable.
3. Empowerment. The most successful leaders I worked with, sought to hire people that were smarter than them and then let them do their jobs and helped them grow They empowered others to grow, innovate, expand and offer solutions. They set the vision and direction clearly and then held their employees accountable to their key performance indicators. They worked arm-in-arm to reach the goals of the company, division and individual knowing that they were all connected. Leadership is not a 9-5 job - being a leader is part of life.
4. Core values. Part of empowering individuals in an organization includes establishing a stated set of core values. There are 5 steps to establishing your core values. They are as follows:
Step 1: Write down your personal values. You can do this by asking yourself, “How do you live every day?"
Step 2: Write down how these are expressed in your business. You can do this by asking yourself, “ What is important to you? How is this expressed in your business?"
Step 3: Ask your team to help you refine these values. You can do this by asking your team to look at your list and give feedback. Or ask them, “What does this company represent to you? What do you value?"
Step 4: Narrow the list to the most important 5-8 core values.
Step 5: Publish your core values for all to see. Creating a graphical illustration can be helpful. Use your core values to make key decisions and encourage your team to do the same.
5. Creativity. The best leaders seek solutions to problems. They spend time thinking about new ways to do things or more efficient ways to operate. The key here is to make time for creativity. People often think you are born creative or not. Creativity is a skill that can be learned. Some questions to prompt creativity are:
- How could I do this more efficiently?
- What solution could I implement to solve this problem?
- What are three ways I can change my work routine?
- What are can I do today that makes me uncomfortable?
6. Integrity. Integrity means doing what you say you will do. You stand by your word. Not only does this produce confidence in yourself, it produces trust with others. The author, Don Miguel Ruiz, who wrote The Four Agreements sums it up as, “Be impeccable with your word. Speak with Integrity. Say only what you mean.” Those who lack integrity not only don’t stand behind their word, often they are unwilling to have tough conversations. When you can’t follow through on something, how do you show up? Do you take responsibility? Or do you run and hide?
I encourage you to take a few minutes to rate yourself in each of the areas of leadership:
- How humble are you? What can you do to be more humble?
- Are you committed to your goals? What can you do to be more committed?
- Do you empower others? What can you do to empower your team?
- Do you have core values in writing? If not, go through the 5 steps to create your core values.
- Are you creative? Can you block time each week to engage in creative solutions?
- Are you living in integrity? Do you do what you say?
If you would like my help to create your core values, please schedule a free 30-minute session with me at https://calendly.com/talentattractionexperts.