Every good business owner or entrepreneur has had to lead people at one time or another. As is the case with most real estate investors, assembling a quality team of employees, contractors, other industry professionals, etc. is a key component to running an effective business. Whether it’s a single assistant or a large team of people, it’s important to embrace the notion that you are a leader and that your ability to lead others will have a direct effect on the success of your business.
I just finished reading the book, “The Secret, What Great Leaders Know and Do” by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller. While the book is applicable in just about any type of leadership position, I found that the principles were very applicable to my real estate investing business. Whether you realize it or not, leadership of any kind is a big responsibility and one that can have a profound effect on the people around you and the future of whatever you are endeavoring.
In the book, the authors make the assertion that effective leaders must embrace an attitude of service towards others. It’s the idea that leaders should always be on the lookout for ways in which they can serve those people that they are leading (rather than the other way around).
In fact, the 5 principles that the book expounds on are an acronym developed out of the word “SERVE:”
See The Future
Seeing the future is about creating a vision for the future of your group. Entrepreneurs are by nature visionaries. However, not all entrepreneurs are good at casting vision and communicating this to their team members. I know in my business it’s important to make sure our entire team understands where we are going and how we are going to get there.
Engage and Develop Others
Engaging others actually has two components. The first component is making sure you hire the right people for the right positions. What you wish to accomplish as the leader of your organization has a lot to do with the people you surround yourself with. I’m actually in the process of hiring an acquisition manager for my business and just met with him today for the fourth time. I’d much rather spend the time up-front making sure I’ve got the right person in place than dealing with a personnel problem 6 months from now because I didn’t take the time to choose the right person.
The other component to this principle is the ability of a leader to engage the hearts and minds of their team members. It’s not enough to hire people who work at something mindlessly, with little interest in what they are doing. It’s the job of the leader to inspire others to engage fully in their position.
Reinventing continuously involves
- personal growth (am I learning and growing as a leader?),
- constantly enhancing systems and processes and
- changing the organizational structure as needed.
I personally felt like this was one of the most applicable principles in this book. I’ve written articles before about the need to constantly adapt as the real estate market changes. As leaders, it’s of utmost important that we are continually evaluating the changes in our market while making corresponding changes to our business model and team structure.
Value Results and Relationships
It’s important for any business to have clearly defined values. I know in our business, customer service and client satisfactionare some of our highest values. We want to make sure that investors who purchase properties from us have a first class experience. Much of this has to do with the way our team builds relationships with each other as well as our customers.
Being a good leader often times simply involves listening to others and developing good relationships. While it may not seem like the highest and best use of your time, the long term dividends that come about as a result of relational investments are well worth the effort.
Embody the Values
It’s one thing to say that you value customer service, but if your actions as the leader do not reflect this, you lose all credibility. Simply put, leaders need to lead by example.
While some of these principles may seem intuitive, it’s always good to take a step back from your business and ask yourself how you can improve. It may take time and effort, but the benefits that arise out of effective leadership can truly take your business to a higher level.
Photo Credit: Stéfan