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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.

Managers: Who’s Actually Leading your Office?


girl with inspiration sayingsThis month, I’m focused on leadership….easy to talk about, challenging to do.

Leadership: Have you ever thought of your office as your orchestra, with you as conductor? As a flutist and music major, I played in exceptional orchestras and for great conductors all through high school and college.  I experienced how great conductors pulled the orchestra together as a team to create an awesome, inspiring, focused sound—the sound of one instrument.  You could think of this as a vision-focused team.

To do this the overall sound had to have been planned, practiced, nurtured, and led by the conductor—the leader with the end vision in mind.

Where’s the Real Estate Leadership Today?

The development of the orchestra by its leader is a good analogy to use to take a fresh look at how we lead, the things we encourage, and the actions and attitudes we tolerate.  After all, the broker/leader’s challenge is the same as an orchestra conductor’s: To create an atmosphere of common focus, shared values, and teamwork for mutual success.  So, for this blog, I’ll use the orchestral analogy to explore a common problem in real estate offices—negativity–a problem that I believe few managers consciously address well.

When an Agent Hears a Different Tune, Who is Really Leading?

A few days ago, a newer agent in another state who had bought my program, Up and Running in 30 Days, called me to ask this question: “How do I keep my spirit and motivation high when the agents in my office are so negative?”  This is not the first time I’ve been asked this question.  I hear it hundreds of times each year, as I talk to your newer agents and those experienced agents who are struggling.

Yet, I don’t think brokers realize the extent of this negative atmosphere—or the irreparable damage it causes. Worse yet, some brokers actually take actions—or allow situations–that actually ‘nurture negativity’. Why? Simply because they haven’t  thought through the ramifications of their actions as leaders.  How do I know this?  Brokers tell me various ‘solutions’ to their lack of common focus–solutions which really encourage negativity!

Rewarding Negativity Gets More of It….

Let’s take the problem of negative people in a real estate office. This is how many brokers ‘handle’ that problem.  They simply advise the new agent not to talk about business to Sally, Bill, or George, because they’re negative.  Oh, sure.  That’s like the orchestral conductor saying to the oboists, “Don’t listen to the flute section because they’re not playing it right.  Just listen to the clarinets.”  If the conductor did that, he’d have several different versions of the symphony going on.  Let’s get real.  The agent listens to whoever talks to him, because he believes there is only one orchestra in the office (what a thought)!  The manager, though, by her actions, is creating four or five!

They ‘Get’ The Tune and the Rhythm Every Day Intuitively and Automatically

We brokers delude ourselves that, by attempting to ‘segregate’ the agent’s conversations, the agent will hear only what we want them to hear, believe only what we want them to believe, and perform only how we want them to perform. Only in our dreams!

Why Look at the Problem?

Because a strong ‘negative motivation factor’ costs brokers money and wasted effort.  In teaching CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) courses, I’ve found that brokers estimate it costs ten to thirty thousand dollars to hire a new agent who fails in six months! I know you work hard at recruiting.  Doesn’t it make sense, then, to assure that the agent you recruit experiences the very best, most focused, team-oriented atmosphere available?

Your Turn

What have you found supposed ‘leaders’ do that actually inhibits reaching their vision? How do you avoid it and what positive actions do you take?

small LM CoverGetting Ahead in Leadership Faster

Do you advise your agents to be coached? Do you want to coach them? Are they receptive? One of the things leaders do is to ‘do as I do, not as I say’. Have you considered getting a coach? Why not take part in our complimentary consultation to see if our Leadership Mastery Coaching is for you?  Click here to find out more and request a one-on-one consultation with Carla Cross.


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