5 Essential Strategies to Become a Real Estate Leader without Doing Anything Shady
Machiavelli. Hobbes. Nietzsche.
These classical thinkers and their power philosophies may guide the behavior of the world’s dictators…but they are grossly inconsistent with true ethical leadership in real estate sales.
Case in point: If we judge according to a high standard of leadership, Hitler, Idi Amin, and Jim Jones were never leaders despite enormous but temporary power and materialistic success. [Neither were these naughty agents ever leaders.]
Louis B. Lundborg states this truth:
“A leader is one whom others will follow willingly and voluntarily. That rules out tyrants, bullies, autocrats and all other who use coercive power to impose their will on others.”
Or as Kenneth O. Gangel correctly observes:
“Leadership is not political powerplay. Leadership is not authoritarian attitude. Leadership is not cultic control.”
Yet we must never think that a leader is powerless…
The World’s Idea of Power Is False
Indeed, to suggest that a leader is without authority is to pose the anomaly of a leader with no followers. In fact, leadership is a special kind of authority: legitimized power–the power of ethical, inspiring influence and enablement.
This kind of authority can be awesome in its effect upon individuals and families and colleagues. It is the kind of power an excellent teacher or guide brings to bear upon the people he or she serves.
Legitimized power avoids manipulative tactics to enhance the leaders status or to accomplish the leader’s agenda. The real ultimate test of genuine leadership is the realization of enduring change that meets people’s most basic physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
There is the almost irresistible tendency to judge leadership by production statistics and materialist standards and to grant esteem and promotion to such successful people.
But if actual needs in the lives of people are not met…no meaningful leadership has taken place despite whatever production numbers were exceeded or income achieved.
Leadership Versus Management
We should distinguish between leadership and management, although sometimes the differences are pushed too far and become contrived. Of course, there is overlap, and the differences are not always crystal clear.
As is obvious, a good leader must have good management skills, and good managers usually have leadership qualities. It is difficult to imagine a good manager who is not also a good leader and vice versa.
- Vision: A leader has greater vision than a manager. Leaders go beyond the day to day and see the whole relationship in the scope of a lifetime. Leaders envision objectives never dreamed of. And they inspire others to share those dreams.
- Renewal: Leaders want change. They want revision of process and structure, with an eye toward changing outmoded methods, defining new goals, tapping new resources, motivating or enlisting personnel and invigorating the family, the company and it’s individuals. Managers give directions and evaluate performance. Leaders stimulate achievement and energize everyone. Leaders are more creative, innovative and transforming.
- Orientation: Leaders are people-oriented. They think in terms of people and their needs. Managers think about getting things done. Managers tend to be more task- and program- and profit-oriented. Leaders think about doing right things to help people maximize their potentials. Managers supervise people, but leaders energize people.
5 Essential Leadership Strategies
Real leaders must be distinguished from mere power wielders. Real estate leaders never use people to accomplish their own agendas, but inspire others to achieve their own goals. The test of genuine leadership is change that meets family and personal needs and enables people to feel fulfilled after the transaction is done.
The primary task of good leaders in influencing people are:
- Leaders listen. Their decisions and actions are based on real understanding of their clients needs.
- Leaders build cooperation. They never set out to use people to accomplish their goals and purposes. They disavow personal partisanship in favor of developing a spirit of cooperation and loyalty.
- Leaders inspire. And then get out of the way. Good leaders infuse others with an animating, quickening and exalting spirit of enthusiasm for the task of buying and selling a home. They do this primarily through their personal optimism, authenticity, enthusiasm and example.
- Leaders emphasize values. They focus on the fundamentals of value systems, reasons, philosophies, intrinsic truths, structures, objectives, designs, moods, emotions and environment.
- Leaders balance priorities. There is always awareness of the person, the family and the job to be done. No one of these is sacrificed for the benefit of the other.
In fulfilling these primary tasks of leadership, the real estate agent may do a variety of other things, yet all is done under the spirit of personal value, cooperation and service.
Now it’s your turn: tell me about leaders in your life who have had a profound impact on you? Did they use any of these strategies? If not, what made them leaders in your eyes? What strategies am I missing?