Over the past 12 years, I have had the privilege of working in some smooth operations, with fantastic leaders paving the way for their team to succeed.
I have also had the underwhelming experience of working in departments where the ‘leader’ was a person whose idea of leadership is to incite fear and a culture that is a representation of totalitarianism.
I can tell you which of those drew a better result. Let’s clear up one thing – a ‘leader’ is not a title you buy or give to yourself.
Just because you bought a business or put your name on a door doesn’t make you a leader.
Nor are you entitled to call yourself a leader just because you have served 25 years in a business when you’re 15 years past the expiry date and your happiness is dwindling one lost management at a time.
If you profiled the majority of business owners in our industry, there would be a strong correlation to the people who hold those hierarchical positions and a person who possesses an ego-driven personality.
I don’t say this with judgement or bias as there are strengths found in those type-A personalities that are required to accomplish what they have.
However, it is the difference between those who allow their ego to control their leadership and those who use their ego to support their leadership, which defines the kind of leader you become.
Most leaders who run a business strictly protecting the results, as opposed to protecting the people who produce the results, will create an environment that is toxic to professional development, self-growth and trust.
These attributes are critical to creating a culture that breeds success. So, what is a leader and what does it take to create strong leadership? The marines have a fantastic way of measuring successful leadership among their lieutenants.
They listen to the troops speak about their lieutenant when that person is not around.
Whether or not they refer to their lieutenant as ‘the’ lieutenant or ‘our’ lieutenant.
They found that a successful leader is someone their peers take ownership of.
It’s no longer just a position held, but the lieutenant becomes a person worthy of trust.
So how does your team speak about you when you’re not around? Despite what your ego is telling you, the words being used to describe you probably
aren’t the same as how your friends and family speak of you.
In my position as a senior business advisor within the real estate sector, I meet hundreds, if not thousands, of real estate business owners and listen to them tell me how happy their staff are.
Then I speak to the staff and they have a very different view of their boss.
It can be quite a smack in the face when you hear what people are saying about you.
Use this as your wake-up call.
Stop treating your staff like they are just an expense to your business to produce a profit.
They are an investment.
People should always come before profit because when you create an environment that feeds motivation, growth, safety and integrity, the results speak for themselves.
So, become a leader.
Become a person your team can trust, someone they admire and respect.
Be accountable, trustworthy and dependable.
Build a culture that maximises the strengths of your team and where individual weaknesses become irrelevant.
Then watch the business thrive as a result of the leader you have dedicated yourself to becoming.