Great leadership is an art. The art revolves around adaptability, using your experience and judgment wisely, and communication.
Your job as a leader is to take on big challenges and build a strong team that can drive a project from idea to reality. To be a great leader, consider these proven practices of productive leadership:
1. Know your “Why” and communicate it with your team.
Ask yourself: “Why do I do what I do?” and look at it in terms of the contribution you are making. Being in business means you’re not in it just for personal gain. That’s a nice side-effect but what motivates you to make people’s lives better? What is it about serving others that lights you up? When you and your team are on the same page about your “Why”, you will infuse your work with passion, dedication, and positive energy. Sharing your “Why” with others is contagious and when people are working for the same “Why”… when they have their fingerprints on the vision… magic happens!
2. Know your problem, but keep your eye on the ideal situation.
Know what your target is, and know your challenges – but don’t get stuck on the challenges. This might sound obvious but it’s easy to lose sight of the goal when you’re neck-deep in the problem. It’s easy to get stuck on the problem and spiral into becoming reactive or paralysed. By keeping your eye on the ideal situation and enlisting your team to do the same, your collective wisdom will come up with a workable solution.
Many leaders get sidetracked by ‘urgent’ things that are in the long run, not important – but they sure are effective time-wasters! Just because a wheel is squeaky doesn’t mean you have to attend to it right away. Hold your ground and focus the bulk of your energies and resources on tasks that are urgent AND important, but not on urgent / unimportant.
4. Get rhythm.
You can adapt this to your unique needs but I love the concept of Monday Vision, Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday Momentum, and Friday Reflection. On Mondays, you set the tone for the week – identifying the goals (vision) and prioritising them. Mid-week, you and your team are focused on momentum or keeping positive movement toward your goals. On Fridays, you reflect on what worked, what didn’t work, and the various challenges everyone faced. This rhythm allows for creating a positive feedback loop where nothing falls through the cracks and no problems remain uncommunicated.
5. Focus on effectiveness, not just efficiency.
When you focus on outcomes – and your team is united in a common goal – then you can focus your energy in more effective ways. Don’t get me wrong – processes and systems are vital, but you want to be sure that your processes and systems are actually effective, not just efficient. When you focus on the goal, you might recognise that some of your systems are ineffective, even if they are wonderfully efficient! One way to avoid analysis paralysis is to focus on “good enough for now” – finding the simplest solution to a problem so you can keep momentum. The real art to “good enough for now” means that you don’t settle, but constantly improve. What can be done better next time?
6. Ask better questions.
Vague questions like, “How is everything?” may or may not get an employee to open-up. But questions like, “What are your biggest challenges this week?” or “What were your biggest wins today?” can spark powerful discussions! The art of asking better questions means you and your team have open lines of communication that prevent small issues from becoming huge problems.
7. Set boundaries.
While some people believe that working overtime is the way to get more done, it’s actually counterproductive because it leads to exhaustion and burnout. In Real Estate you have to work with the schedules of your customers but it’s vital that you set clear expectations – both of yourself and your team – about the importance of personal time and creating a work / life balance.. Ruthlessly prioritise, delegate, and maximise your time at work by focusing your and your team’s energies on the things that have the greatest impact.
8. Play to your strengths; and have each individual on the team play to their strengths.
If you want more out of your team, put them in positions where they do what they love so they love what they do. That goes for you too. Do more of what you are good at and delegate the rest. One of the biggest productivity killers is to have people work on things they aren’t good at or they hate.
These are powerful leadership tools that help you bring out the best in your team and in yourself!