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“We treat people how to treat us by what we allow, what we stop, and what we reinforce.” Whatever is going on in your business or life, you teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce. Okay, for the purpose of time, who’s your client, guys? As leaders, who’s your client?
As leaders, your clients are your team. Often we are, as leaders, talking about the end user, the consumer, our stake holders, and we miss the biggest resource and the biggest asset in our business. The number one way to turn your “work force” into the life source of your business is treat them like your clients. Love them up. Be of service to your people, first. Then that will be a beautiful ripple effect in your business.
Let’s go quickly now to the three principles of leadership. One of my favourite people in the world, and Samantha McLean said this earlier as well, is Brendan Bouchard. Brendan Bouchard is an international leadership expert who, after a near death experience, asked three big questions for himself and his life. When he was looking down the barrel of death, he said “Have I lived, have I loved, and have I been a contribution?” He said, at 19, he got “Nope, nope, and nope,” so he started to do some research on ‘What makes a great life, and what makes a great leader?’
After years of research, he distilled the six leadership practices. I love that they’re practices and not pillars, because pillars are very rigid and fixed, and there’s no room for nimbleness. Practices mean we practice them, and it’s a practice.
I invite you to each get a copy of a student guide to leadership. It’s a really brilliant tool and book that deconstructs the six leadership practices. I’ve adopted the six leadership practices and just modified it a little bit and turned it into a business strategy for leaders. For the purpose of time, I’m going to be skimming over this stuff, but I’ll give you some resources and some follow-up notes, emails and videos and stuff to help really deepen these lessons. He says in the book there are three principles to leadership.
Number one, “Leadership is a collective, not a singular activity”. Effective leaders lead within their people, and their people co-create the vision and the values and the strategy.
Number two, “Leadership is not management.” Management has a place, and management is to ensure that we are being accountable for the strategy we set, and that we’re doing what we said we would do. Leadership is about keeping us honest and on-track and inspired and motivated and standing in the future that’s calling our people to be the best that they can be at what they do.
The third practice for leadership is “Leadership is grounded in service.” Brendan Bouchard talks a lot about servant-hood leadership, which I am a massive fan of. Gone are the days of being really scared of the man or woman above. It is about billowing your peoples’ dreams to life, and being up underneath your people, and by virtue of them working in your environment, you’re pushing them up to go and live and create great lives. How rewarding is that as a leader? By virtue of them feeling loved, they’re able to give that same level of connection to your end users, their clients. They’re the three practices of leadership.
Here’s the thing that I invite leaders to always look at, here’s what I suggest we’re responsible for, the three steps to success. We have to be crystal clear on our standards. What are we here for, what’s our why, what is our vision, what our are values? By the way, our values are just the ‘how’ to our organizational ‘why’. The values are who we show up as in every day. Physically, mentally, emotionally, in our marketing collateral.
What strategies do we then have in place that are reverse-engineered? What are the daily rituals? What are the processes? What are the actions we’re taking to deliver these standards? I think, most importantly, our state. When I started leadership training at 17, the first trainer I ever met opened the training with, “A fish thinks from the head first.” I’m like, “What does that mean?” And I really get it. You can’t expect a great state from your people, unless you are in great state. That’s a level of responsibility that it takes to be a leader, and we have to be consistent. What is our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state?
These are the three things that, if you’re ever performance managing your team, you always want to come back to the three circles and go “Okay, is this a standard that’s being broken or not clear? Do we have a strategy for this, or are we spending a lot of time going around stuff and not getting anywhere?” Or, “What’s my state as a leader, or has my energy dropped?” When you see someone in your team that’s not firing on all cylinders, take them for a walk and say “Adriana, you don’t seem yourself today. Is everything okay?” Get interested in your peoples’ state, because energy is everything.
The six empowered leadership framework. This is the model. You’ll get sent this as well. As I said, it’s inspired by Brendan Bouchard, but I’ve modified the second one. I’m going to unpack it with some key notes, and feel free to take notes as we walk through this.
The first one is ‘Envision’. If you talked about that in your earlier session, you have to know your ‘why’. Check out Simon Synek’s TED talk, ‘What great leaders do’. That deconstructs the Golden Circle model. You have to know why you’re there. Not just your office ‘why’, not just to get a rent roll of a certain amount, “Why?”. Why you? Why real estate? Why property management? What’s your client’s ‘why’? Why do you show up every day? Why when life’s tough you’re turning up every day? You have to know what your values are, because they are the organisational ‘how’ to your ‘why’.
You need to have a clear, concise, reverse-engineered strategy to deliver on your vision. Great leaders are very articulate at painting a vision, and if you want to increase your and your team’s chances of fulfilling your vision, have a picture for it. You increase your chances of achieving your vision by 65% if you have a picture for it, or create a barometer, or create a vision board.
The second empowered leadership practice is ‘Engage’. Now I’ve broken this up into internal and external. How do you engage with your people? Do you know their individual ‘why’? Do you know why they turn up every single day? Do you know what they’re saving for, or what’s important to them? One of my clients, we’ve set up stretch targets for their business, and two of his team members. Their personal dream is to buy their first home by the 8th of February next year. So, if they meet their targets every quarter, two-and-a-half grand into a home deposit fund. They’re on track, so in February they’ll have ten grand to buy their first home. As leaders, we can do that every single day.
Do you know why your people are waking up each day? Do you have a really solid induction process that’s very clear and detailed, but doesn’t just go through the motions? It actually really paints what you stand for and what your culture is like. Do you have a compelling reason to recruit? Do you have a compelling reason that I should come and actually hang out with your team, and be part of your tribe? If not, find out what it is because your compelling reason could also be what you could be talking to the marketplace about.
The second part of ‘engage’ is external. How are you engaging with your end users and your consumers and your stakeholders? Do you have a newsletter? Do you have a social media presence? What is your client care philosophy? Josh Phegan is masterful at some many things, and one of the things I’ve learnt from him is his “one thing” philosophy. What happens one day, one week, one month, one year after I’ve done business with you? Whether I’m a vendor, landlord, tenant, or home buyer. What’s it like? I loved it when he said “Put yourself on your database, see what it’s like to get marketed by you.” Gold. What’s it like when engaging with you, externally? Are you consistent? What do you stand for? What’s your point of difference?
My personal favorite in the six leadership practices is ‘Embody’. This is “Who are we being?” Who are you being in your business, what actions are you doing, and what results do you have? This goes back to being responsible. Oprah Winfrey has a quote on her door that says “Be responsible for the energy you bring into this space.” You should definitely be the same in your business. You must lead by example. Don’t ever speak negatively about anyone in your team, a client, or a stakeholder in earshot. Because it’s one of the quickest ways to erode respect and trust.
‘Empower’ is the next one. As leaders, we must consistently empower ourselves and our people. There’s two platforms you want to look at. “Do I and my team have the skills to deliver on our why, and am I willing to do so?” When you’re performance-managing people, you need to ask “Do they have the skills to do it, and are they willing?” When they’re not performing, you can ask them. Check in. “Do you feel like you have the skills to deliver that request?” “Yeah, I do,” or “No, I don’t.” “Okay, great.” If they don’t have the skills, start by cultivating, or what I call ‘asset-mapping’ within your business. Who, already in your business, is demonstrating best practice at conflict resolution, or problem-solving? Don’t always seek experts. Seek the experts within your business because the benefit of that is you’re illuminating their mastery. You’re making them feel like a leader within the team, and you’re sharing resources, which is vital.
A quick one. Who here would love more time? Here’s a solution to give you more time. When your people come to you with a problem, you say “No problem, give me two solutions to your own problem.” Don’t give them the answer, empower them to solve their own problems, and if you need a framework, go to your values. How can you use your value to solve your problem? When you’re solving problems, do what’s called an ‘ecology check’. Meaning it has to be a win for them, a win for the business, a win for the brand, a win for the client. If you do an ecology check and go “Yeah, this is a win for us, this is a win for the brand. Oops, it’s not a win for the client.” That’s not the right solution. Always do an ecology check.
The next one is ‘Evaluate’. Here’s what I’ve come to learn, particularly in property management when I do surveys of brands, and I ask “How often do you evaluate your performance?” They say, “monthly”. That means, if you and I are pilots flying to Barbados, and it’s going to take us 365 days, we’re only looking at the cockpit 12 times to see how we’re going. That’s a little too reactive. That means four weeks have gone past where you haven’t been able to tweak and adjust your strategy. I heard at the beginning, in Sophie’s session, I heard a couple of “weekly’s”, that you’re looking at KPI’s weekly. Absolutely. That means you can have room to be more flexible and nimble. Please make sure you are celebrating your wins and pumping up your tires.
The other thing, when it comes to evaluate, please make sure you add on your weekly agenda ‘embrace mistakes’ as an agenda item. The best teams are the ones that cultivate a safe environment, where it’s safe to make mistakes. It’s okay to stuff up, because if we’re not making mistakes, we’re not in the arena, we’re not giving life a crack, and we’re not innovating anything. As leaders, we need to create safe environments to make a mistake, but it’s a mistake if we don’t share the learning.
Finally, ‘Encourage’. This is key because many of us get inspired by the ignition of an idea or the ignition of our vision. This is where you got to, as I call it, breast-feed the baby, or chop wood and carry water. You have to consistently encourage your people to stay focused on the vision. Remember why we’re here. Park the funk.
When giving feedback, guys, positive or constructive, it has to do two things. It has to be specific and it has to be timely. There’s no point saying “Adriana, you know what? Last week, you did this. This happened.” So much has happened in between. When you see it, don’t worry about being liked. Lead and give the feedback constructively.
Reward and recognise, and you must have a reward and recognition program in your business, and keep business a game. We get so serious and significant about what we do at times. Let it be fun. When we’re in a fun environment, we’re learning a lot more. If you want to deepen your understanding of how to really reward and recognise your people, go to the five love languages. There’s now the five languages of appreciation in the workplace.
That’ll really help you understand how people receive acknowledgement. We all receive acknowledgement differently. Some through words of affirmation, some through public praise. If you’ve got a quiet achiever that sits in the corner of the office, and on the annual awards you put them up on stage and you make a big song and dance about it? Guess what, they won’t perform at their peak next time because they’re going to be scared that you’re going to make a spectacle of them, and you didn’t even know. You got to know your people and how they receive feedback.
Another tool that I definitely encourage you to instigate into your business is a practice called ‘park the funk’. Consider that every day you open your doors to create and fulfill an intention, and deliver extraordinary service that gets produced in great profits for your business. It’s all energy. Your financial output is just a reflection of your energetic output. If you’ve got lots of money in the bank, it’s just a reflection of how well you’ve served and how well you’ve given. You can create a practice in your business when everyone starts in the morning. You do a group huddle, and they just partner up. If you’ve got a small team, you go “Could you unpack your mind, what are you thinking, what do you feel and how’s your body?” Then set your intention. “What are you focused on, today? What one thing are you going to do today?”
A company that’s always ranked in the top ten of Google’s ‘Best companies to work for’ is Zappos. Tony Hsieh is the CEO. They have ten core values. His number one value is “just wow the customer”. When they do their performance reviews, they don’t sit down and go “Adriana, you clocked on at 9:15 and went home at 4:30.” They go “Adriana, how did you wow the customer, today? What did you do to wow people?” They’ve got some real autonomy in how they can wow people.
Just to wrap up, because I’m conscious that we’ve spent a bit of time together, and you’ve got to go and lead and run your businesses and create great futures. A little reminder. I don’t know about you, but I spent many years trying to ‘be perfect’ and stay on top of it all. Anyone else ever tried that way of being, as a leader? It’s exhausting. Everyone’s hands went up. Practice being an imperfectly perfect consistent work-in-progress.
Grab your phone, literally now. Please open up your Notes app. Title a new note. Get a new note, and title it one of two things. “Wins List”, or “Magic Moments”, as Tony Robbins calls it. “Wins List”, or “Magic Moments”, or make your own. Essentially, this is your space to, every day, capture 3 things you’re really proud of. 3 things you’re grateful for. Here’s what I know, 98% of humanity are so busy cracking the whip on how we could be enough, how we could be better, and we don’t stop and actually pump up our own tires enough. As leaders, you have to have a strategy to do that.
As your homework, please capture 3 wins, 3 magic moments. It could be a good hair day. It could be you got five new tenants signed up. It could be you got an amazing compliment. It could be you had a present-date-pyjama party with your kids. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it matters to you.
For all the times you haven’t been thanked and loved and acknowledged for being an extraordinary leader who stands in the future of what’s possible for people, I acknowledge you and I’m here for you, post-Transform PM. I really thank you for your participation, today. I hope it was valuable.