In October, four leaders across different sections of the CRE industry were brought together to discuss and present on leadership.
This incredible panel spoke on goal setting, investing in your team, mental health, and much more. These four were Carla Moule, Michael Lopez, Natalie Tyler-Martin, and Todd Mitchell. Here is some of what Todd Mitchell spoke on.
Let’s take a couple moments to reflect on some of the key concepts that have been highlighted by our panel of leaders.
I think what we heard pretty clearly is people first, and for leaders to emphasize and focus on people. If you are a leader, and your focus isn’t people? That suggests you aren’t a leader. I don’t know if this was an original quote or not, but a leader without followers is just somebody out taking a walk. You can’t have followers if people don’t feel cared about or important and a part of the process.
So, it is people first. Everything in our industry, whether we’re business development, sales professionals, or operations professionals, it is all people first. On the engineering or the administrative side, it doesn’t matter. Everything is people, everything has always been people, everything always will be people.
Once, as a leader, you accept that reality, that focus, you work for your team. Natalie and Michael both alluded that they work for their teams. I’m taking this step further. They’re not my team. It’s the team I support, they’re not mine, they don’t belong to me. It’s the team I support.
Being intentional on using that language to make the point that we’re here for those team members. And that’s important, because really, the whole thing revolves around culture. Everything these three exceptional leaders talked about ties back to building a strong culture. And that’s not easy to build. We use that word, “build,” very casually, but building something suggests that there is work involved. And there is work involved in in building culture.
There is work involved in not only scheduling time for yourself but having the discipline to then follow through and do that thing that you scheduled because, I don’t care how good a leader or manager you are, you know what’s really easy if you’re not honest with yourself? It’s to be intentional about putting others and everything else first and sliding by because you don’t want to deal with yourself. Which gets back to Natalie’s point on awareness.
You can’t just say, “Yeah, I know I should take time for mindfulness, but now I want to focus on someone else” or “I’ll focus on one of the team members out in the field that needs something. And I’ll focus on that rather than focusing on me.” Leaders put that focus on themselves.
Set the example for your team. Encourage self-care and taking the necessary time to recover, and still get it done. Whatever needs to get done needs to be done right. The team needs to accomplish its goals without burning out. The leader sticks to that and sets the example. Then, other team members can look to that and tie back into the cultural paradigm that Michael has talked about. Help your team feel empowered and make sure they can still step off the gas to catch their breath. Make sure they can ask for help and ask questions.
Leadership is people, it’s culture. It’s not only setting a quarterly cocktail hours or group meetings, and it’s not just showing up. It’s being incredibly present when you get there. Be present for your team.
Everything is people. Everything has always been people. And everything always will be people.
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