Too often as principals we become fixated on how people fit in with our agenda as business owners.
We become less concerned with carefully listening and observing the needs of our colleagues and clients and can become focused on our own requirements.
Here’s where the French concept of noblesse oblige comes in.
Noblesse oblige implies that power, wealth and prestige brings with it responsibilities to our fellow man.
Leadership at its best is an act of service, whether working with colleagues or clients.
I consider my position of leadership as an act of service.
Coming to management from this vantage point means sharing responsibility with your team for outcomes.
Many of us have worked in businesses where principals focus on what their team is doing wrong, diminishing joy, putting a stop to curiosity and dumping responsibilities for culture and efficiency squarely on their shoulders.
Power is exercised without equity or care.
One-on-one sessions can become dreaded torture hours for employees when they should be opportunities for sharing and support.
Such repressive cultures pay with high staff turnover, which impacts client satisfaction.
I suggest that our industry adopts a new paradigm; one of the helper leader.
How would this change the dynamic in your agency?
How would this positively improve your client’s experience, and how would this then improve the regard of our industry overall?
Two core beliefs inform my day-to-day as a principal and partner.
THE BEST THEY CAN
I choose to believe everyone is doing the best job they can.
This worldview allows me to think differently about my team and their capacity.
I become less obsessed about process, and more focused on outcomes.
I think about my colleagues holistically and human first.
What could help them go to the next level? What might be holding them back? Their time at work, at home, their health, their emotional wellness, and how I can, as a leader-helper, support them to bring balance?
In a healthy workplace, people can be themselves, can be challenged, and can grow with a sense of safety.
My time as a real estate leader managing performance has proven that people are doing the best they can.
It’s our job to help our people take it to the next level.
CLARITY ON OUTCOMES
So much stress and heartache in the agency environment can be avoided by having clear expectations around outcomes.
This is why a thorough onboarding process (which could involve shadowing
or appointing a job buddy) remains such a critical element of successful recruitment.
People don’t like to feel clueless at work, whether it comes to their role or cultural expectations.
Having clarity on expected outcomes makes your colleagues’ workdays easier, and it makes management and coaching simpler.
When any aspect of optimal performance is in question, I often find there is
a piece missing in the time management department.
That’s something that can be fixed.
It’s harder to transform performance issues once patterns have become embedded, so think clarity first.
Adopting an attitude of service as a leader in our agency means we can more easily enter into conversations with any member of our team.
From this point of trust, we can have constructive discussions as a helpful coach, rather than as a dreaded boss.
Who would you rather work with?