Tiffany Bowtell: The ancient book that inspires a workforce

In a business where everyone is turning up and doing their job, things run smoothly, clients tend to be happy, and no one resigns.

Things go well, bills are paid, and you may even have a few dollars in the bank.

“Living the dream,” is your reply when you catch up with friends on the weekend.

Things are going so well you think about taking a week off as a reward for all the hard work and effort you’ve put in lately. 

That’s when it’s time to ask yourself this question: Can my business operate at the same level if I’m not there?

If you have not invested in leadership or do not have a framework with which your staff can operate without your presence, then I would implore you to second guess that week off and instead use it to develop your team so that you can live the dream all year round. 

I know what you must be thinking, ‘maybe I’ll Google leadership courses and send everyone off to training so they can learn to be great leaders,’ but let’s get real about this.

If you don’t lead your team, nobody else will either.

A principle found in the book The Kybalion, written more than 100 years ago, contains the phrase “as above, so below”.

It’s a term we have adopted in our company, PMVA (Property Management Virtual Assistant), to which all our leadership values align.

Firstly, let me tell you a bit about it, how we apply it and what results it has created so that you can see leadership as an everyday state of being, rather than a one-day fast track course you can apply. 

I instinctively knew starting a premium outsourcing company in the Philippines to help my real estate clients meant that I wouldn’t be living there permanently.

With more than 100 employees to manage and the onset of COVID-19 forcing me to stay in Australia, I needed to come up with a leadership solution that would give my team the permission to make decisions and act in a way that felt like I was physically there all of the time. 

One of the key activities we do that has worked tremendously follows the concept of “as above, so below”, which means that if it’s good for the leader, it’s good for everyone.

If the leader of the business is committed, then those below are too.

Every weekend we post a weekly video update in our Facebook group for each of us to reflect on the week.

It is a non-negotiable activity.

In the video post, we share three simple insights, and we keep the video to two minutes long. 

The first question we answer is: what were my wins?

This is where everyone shares their achievements for the week, no matter how big or small.

The idea is to encourage, motivate and challenge each other to do better.

This instils a winning attitude that perpetuates the collective group to feel the success, growth and accomplishments together.

When one person wins, we all win. 

The second question is: what am I learning?

This is the time where each of us can reflect on our personal and professional growth.

Learn from our mistakes, stay humble and collectively share the experience from a place of courage and vulnerability.

It’s important that the person sharing does not come from a place of victimisation but instead focuses on what they are learning rather than what the problem is.

A smart person learns from their mistakes, but a smarter one learns from others’ mistakes.

Extract the lesson, share it and move on. 

The third and final question is: what am I going to commit to focusing on next week?

Selecting no more than three goals, it’s crucial to share desired outcomes.

It makes everyone accountable for their goals, and everyone knows what that person is committed to doing and achieving in the week ahead. 

We’ve found this weekly exercise done by everyone in our team creates long-lasting relationships. Everyone gets to know each other in a different way than just working on the daily things.

The other advantage to having a weekly video diary is that over time we all get to see our transformation, which inspires us to keep learning, leading and growing. 

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Tiffany Bowtell

Tiffany Bowtell is the Founder and CEO of Property Management Virtual Assistant.