How to create the right leadership atmosphere for your team

With business standards constantly under threat from mediocrity, Mark McLeod says leaders need to create the right environment so people stay and thrive.

I visited a different gym a number of months ago; the weights were all over the place, nothing was put away and there was little or no respect for the equipment.

As I walked out it became quite easy for me to act in the same fashion as every other member. The environment was setting the tone.

Conversely, the gym I normally attend close to home is tidy, with weights racked away; everything has a place and there is a strong sense of respect for every machine.

What is interesting is that the various members of both gyms are just reacting to the environment in which they find themselves.

Let’s look at this now with a real estate lens. Every office I have ever visited starts off with what I call ‘the agreement’. This is the standard, or what the business stands for.

However, standards of agreements are constantly challenged by the most powerful force in the real estate business – the unwavering force of average.

In most instances, it’s not the acknowledged agreement that runs the business but the underlying agreement; and the difference between these two is what I call leadership.

Standards are constantly challenged by the most powerful force in business – the unwavering force of average.

There are many factors that contribute to these agreements, like making sure you have the right people on the bus and the wrong off it.

Culture is the energy or the mojo that enables a group of people to work at closing the gap between the agreement and the underlying agreement. Vision allows a group of people to see what it might be really like if all aspects of the agreement were met.

Empathy, caring for people, standing beside people, whatever – the right people deserve that. In my world, Ray White Group chairman Brian White has shown me true north on this. It’s leadership that creates the environment; it makes something special and is the reason that people stay.

Next time you go to the gym look around and ask yourself, ‘What is this environment telling me?’ In every real estate business the leadership is tangible the moment you walk through the front door.

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Mark McLeod

Mark McLeod is the Ray White Group's Chief Strategy Officer for Real Estate. He works alongside agents and businesses across Australia, helping them reach their ultimate potential to achieve success.