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Got a minute? If you're a busy manager, that's about all you have. That's why Carla Cross, management coach, speaker, and author, has created this blog just for you, with ready-to-use tips to master management through people.
Sep
29

Are You the Face of the NEW Real Estate Leadership?

By

coaching hand upThis month, I’m featuring the topic ‘leadership’. Why? Because it’s one of the biggest real estate industry trends (and probably world trends). Look for leadership strategies and trends (not just in the real estate industry), plus ready-to-use documents to go from ‘maintenance management’ to leadership.

Check at the end of these blogs for those ready-to-use documents and checklists to put these ideas to work.

The guidelines of effective leadership have changed dramatically in the last thirty years. Top-down decision-making is out; participative leadership is in. Having no standards is out; standards-driven leadership is in. Everyone doing their own thing is out; mutual accountability and teamwork is in. Yet, as I look at real estate offices nationally, I see most leaders still leading as though it was 1970—or earlier.

In fact, a new book by Morris and Murray, Game Plan: How Real Estate Professionals Can Thrive in Uncertain Times, names Need for Leadership as one of the big trends now.  Get this book. You’ll find some trends predictable–but some are not.

Compare and contrast. Let’s look at four principles of effective leadership today. These principles have been proven effective again and again by huge companies internationally. They should be embraced by the real estate industry, which badly needs effective leadership in this challenging time:

  1. Vision-lead: Few companies have an articulated vision that’s shared by all in the company. Fewer yet have leaders who have the fortitude to ‘do the right thing’ (as stated in their vision), even if it means turning down a deal.

Example: When is the last time you saw a manager fire a top producer who acted unethically? How do managers treat customer complaints—especially if it’s against a top producer? (Ask agents if they feel managers unfairly favor the top producers. Boy, will you get an earful!) In too many cases, the ‘leader’ isn’t leading. The big loser long term: The company, because agents are de-motivated when they feel there is not a level playing field, and consumers will seek out new companies if they feel their complaints are not handled seriously. (read Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, Porras and Collins, for stunning examples of vision-integrated companies.)

  1. Everyone is involved in the decisions: This is participative leadership, and it’s the leadership style that is best suited to our real estate industry. After all, with independent contractors, we need strong organizational structures to pull people together. What percent of real estate companies have effective leadership councils, one of the attributes of participative leadership? In my teaching, I’ve found about 2%. What this means it that the vast majority of agents don’t feel it’s ‘their company’, they don’t feel empowered, and they aren’t very loyal. I will be writing blogs about participative leadership in January, so watch for them.

Leaders will be those who empower others. Empowering leadership means bringing out the energy and capabilities people have and getting them to work together in a way they wouldn’t do otherwise. 

                                    —Bill Gates, fellow Washingtonian, founder of Microsoft

As you read articles and books on leadership, you will find every successful company today has turned its hierarchical leadership upside down and/or flattened it to become inclusive, participative, and as some people term it– ‘spiderweb’. (read The Female Advantage, Sally Helgesen).

        3. Standards-driven: During my presentation at a recent National Association of Realtors’ Convention, I asked attendees if they had productivity standards (minimum expectations) in their companies. Out of 200 attendees, three raised their hands. No wonder agents don’t believe they must be ‘on the team’, pulling their own weight in production.

In a recent study by The Ripple Effective of Negativity Leadership IQ, 87% of the 70,305 executives, managers, and employees interviewed said working with a slacker actually made them want to change jobs; 93% said it hampered their development or decreased their productivity. So, without standards, real estate leaders are de-motivating their good performers!

Here’s what Roy Disney says about effective leadership, from the New Leadership Paradigm: 

Leadership is the ability to establish standards and manage a creative climate where people are self-motivated toward the mastery of long-term constructive goals in a participatory environment of mutual respect compatible with personal values.                       

        4. Mutual accountability: Creating a participative environment suggests that everyone must be accountable to their goals. It’s just amazing that managers are frustrated by agents’ lack of business plans and accountability. Yet, as I coach managers, I find that many in each organization don’t feel they need to be accountable to their recruiting goals. (In fact, only about 2% have written recruiting plans!). In addition, owners have not hired and coached them to standards, so the managers just want to ‘leave that part out’!

What is the result of this leadership paradigm switch? A real team, a team with a common goal. Why is it in the real estate industry’s best interests to adapt to this participative leadership style? To preserve the industry, maintain commissions, add ‘pride in belonging’ back to the real estate company, and, most important of all, put the consumer first, where he belongs!

Do you have the attributes of a ‘change leader’?  Click here.

In an earlier post, I talked about the 3 things change leaders do to impact the industry. See how you stack up here.

LM CoverAre You Ready for New Leadership Strategies?

Leaders have great instincts. But, they have great mentors and partners, too to give them confidence in those instincts. Is it time for you to get a mentor/partner/coach so you have confidence when you implement those ideas? Why not have a complimentatary consultation with Carla Cross to see if Leadership Mastery Coaching is for you?

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