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7 Things You Can Do To Become A Better Leader

Published on Wednesday - February 10, 2016

Want to become a better real estate leader?

No matter how much leadership talent you are born with, excelling as a leader and staying competitive in the real estate industry requires constant honing and development. Nothing is static. You’re either improving, or falling behind. So what are you doing to improve your leadership skills? How are you staying ahead of the curve? How are you growing your position as a leader in real estate?

This takes a plan and action. And you had better believe your most serious competition is investing in their leadership development every day. Here are seven ways to get the edge here with steady monthly traction…

1. Read a Book

Constant learning is one of the few commonalities between great business leaders and investors, and books are one of the greatest ways to accomplish this on a daily basis. Some may not find books as fascinating and entertaining as social media sites, but leaders read. Period. You can tell where someone is headed just by the books on their desk, or lack of them. A book a month is relatively easy to digest, even as a slow reader. Some even devour multiple books at a time.  You will become more successful the more you expand your education.

2. Listen to Podcasts

Everyone learns differently, making videos, listening to audio, and experiential learning are all great ways to augment book reading. Just don’t confuse this with replacing books. Listening to podcasts and other audio is a great way to cram in more while real estate leaders are on the go. Plug in during your morning run, in the car, on flights, and while drifting off to sleep. Listen to audio tips from leaders, on mastering different parts of leadership and real estate, and for inspiration and boosting creative thinking. Remember, leadership isn’t just about business management. It’s about vision, innovation, and ability too.

3. Attend an Event

Focused time in learning and thinking is a critical part of the daily routines of all leaders. However, staying locked away like a hermit can be counterproductive too. This is too easy of a trap for real estate pros and CEOs to fall into today. We can effectively run operations from a smartphone from a remote beach or mountain cabin. But without real engagement and being on the frontline of new ideas and trends, leaders can quickly become out of touch. Live networking events are a great way to kick this risk to the curb and stay at the forefront of the industry, and personal game. So map out your calendar for the year now and try to make it to a new event each month.

4. Volunteer

In order to grow as a leader you’ve got to be constantly challenging yourself and your mind in new ways. Putting yourself in a volunteer program is a great way to accomplish this. It can temporarily get you out of your role and the mental trap that can come with being the master of your own real estate business. It offers a new perspective. There are plenty of ways to volunteer within the real estate world too; all helping build your knowledge – and appreciation for others – as well as getting a glimpse of what motivates people to action beyond the paycheck or the threat of being fired.

5. Lead Something

Running your own real estate career, a small real estate business, a team of remote contractors, and even just pulling together a variety of vendors to get to each real estate closing are all forms of leadership. But you aren’t really a leader, unless you have followers, and you are taking them somewhere or are accomplishing something. So how can you really lead something, and grow your leadership skill in the process? Perhaps it is leading a local real estate investors group, sponsoring and coaching a youth soccer team, a community movement, city council or board, or pioneering improvement in a specific area of real estate. Choose something, and lead a group every month.

6. Grow Your Followers

If you want to have a bigger impact and see more results, you need a good sized, and growing following. Being a ‘leader’ isn’t the same thing as being an adventurer out there on your own exploring new frontiers, brainstorming new innovations in your garage, or doing 20 real estate deals a month from your laptop on the couch. Those can all be great things, but don’t get them confused. So grow your followers every month. Get out and mingle more, grow your email lists, explode your social media connections and followers. The more followers you’ve got, the more leading you can do.

7. Give and Test Your Generosity

Dictatorships are dead. Trying to lead with an iron fist and out of fear has proven unsustainable. The most notable and admired leaders are those that have developed a reputation of trust, respect, and giving (authentically). Our culture, especially when it comes to real estate has been rife with people wanting to take. While people may want to participate in your success, when people perceive you as a taker they are not going to really give you buy-in, put their all into your mission, or be raving advocates of your plan for the long haul. Now if you give generously first, that dynamic can completely be changed. That’s when others will choose you as their leader.

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