This episode is one borne out of frustration - because the leadership lessons I’ve learned throughout my career and am still learning, seem to be misunderstood or poorly applied by most leaders in the real estate industry. Hear me now - I’m not holding myself up as one of those leadership gurus who can do no wrong. Not at all. But I CAN look back over my career as a leader and see how I’ve grown. I feel it’s my responsibility to share the leadership lessons I’ve learned. I hope you understand that's the heart behind this episode.
This recording features some of the lessons I’ve learned about the effective use of competition within a real estate office, why promoting shiny object syndrome in your agents is a terrible idea (and how you may be doing it without knowing it), how to let vulnerability lead the way in your leadership, and more.
One thing I’ve found in my journey is a leader is that a scarcity mindset within a team is like poison. It works its way down into the souls and psyche of your team members and breeds an inner pessimism that is hard to overcome. But let’s back up - you may not even know what I mean when I refer to a “scarcity mindset.” It’s a belief that there is only so much to go around. It's a mindset that leads to unhealthy competition and an unwillingness to share and collaborate.
That brings me to performance scoreboards. It’s common practice in the real estate industry to post “leader boards” in the office, showing which agent has the most sales. If the motivation behind posting these boards was simply to encourage the leaders, that would be fine - but scoreboards also highlight who on the team is struggling or lagging behind - for everyone to see. Scoreboards promote a scarcity mindset. They encourage unhealthy competition among agents on the same team that fosters stinginess, not collaboration. Listen to hear why I think leaders should be promoting a different kind of competition among their real estate agents - and how you can implement it immediately.
An outgrowth of the scoreboards we see posted in real estate offices across the country is that agents who are not performing well become distracted from the proven fundamentals they need to improve. They start questioning, second-guessing themselves, and getting pulled away from the very things that will provide success over time - because they are trying to imitate those in their office who are more successful. The problem is this: The things those who are more successful are doing may not fit the personality and gifting of the new or stuck agent. But they'll try to apply them anyway.
The leadership lesson I want you to take away from this is that what will make your real estate team more effective is not competition, but collaboration. Working together, sharing resources, building cooperative efforts is what makes the team more successful. Listen to learn how a cooperation saturated environment in your office will beat competition every time.
There’s a myth that’s made the rounds in our culture for a very long time - that leaders can’t express weakness or vulnerability. We tend to believe that leaders need to be strong, unshakable, examples of strength and reliability. While some of that is true, it doesn’t mean that any leader can be perfect, or lead perfectly without the normal stresses, doubts, and failings we all experience as human beings.
As I’ve said often, people can’t relate to your perfection. That goes double for leaders. Before long those you lead will resent you because you’re putting on a face that reveals no weakness, while deep down those who follow you know you aren’t really that way - because nobody can be. That is exactly why vulnerability is so powerful. As a leader, it’s your job to show your team how to move forward and achieve in spite of being imperfect. They need to learn how to be a flawed human being who is still able to accomplish great things - and they need to learn it from you. Listen to this episode to hear about the resource I’ve been drawing this lesson from, and how you can learn it as well.
I’m tired of hearing the same old thing from real estate agents - that the spirit of secrecy and competition in their real estate office is demoralizing them instead of empowering them. I’m tired of seeing promising, talented, competent agents run down and discoured through bad leadership. I’m definitely not a perfect leader, and maybe that’s why I can see what’s going wrong in the way real estate managers are leading their teams - because I have done the same things. But I’m learning, I’m growing, and I’m changing to a new leadership approach that is empowering and equipping my team in significant ways.
I hope you’ll take the leadership lessons I share on this episode as encouragement and not criticism. I don’t want to see you perpetuate a failing model any longer. If something I share on this episode were to help you make a change that makes you a better leader or empowers your team to a greater level of personal or professional success (or both), I’d be so happy.
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