Leadership success hinges on the messages we send to our people, whether or not we realise that we are sending messages all the time. I learned many years ago that our kids watch what we do and pay more attention to our actions than they do to what we say. I think team members are much the same. Actions speak volumes. So does inaction.
- Fail to say something when you catch a team member indulging in behaviour that is unacceptable and you silently endorse it. Inaction is an endorsement.
- Turn a blind eye to a small slip in ethics and you invite larger slips, and eventually damage to your company’s reputation.
- Complain about salespeople’s poor follow-up, but fail to follow up an action you promised to do, and you send the message that there is one set of rules for you and another set for the team.
- Fire an under-performing salesperson who refuses to do the right actions, and you send a message that you care about peak performance. You also send a message that you are strong.
- Promptly follow up on a complaint and you teach your team that clients are important.
- Publicly speak about the prospectors in your company, about what a great job they are doing, and you send the message that you value those who look for new business.
- When you praise people for getting listings, in addition to those who make sales, you send the message that great listers are valuable assets to the company.
Positive or negative, messages are communicated by word and action. The more we leaders understand this, the more careful we will become about what we say and do.
I used to think that ‘leader’ was not the best term for a real estate agency principal. But on giving this more thought, I realised that we are leading our companies somewhere – either up or down – by our words, actions and inactions.
Leadership matters. It matters a lot. We might have been great real estate salespeople before becoming leaders, but sales skills do not automatically transfer into leadership skill. We have to work at that.
There are so many great leadership books and recordings available to us. It’s a regular smorgasbord. We tell our salespeople, “The more you learn, the more you earn“. Doesn’t this equally apply to Leadership?
I have no doubt that it does.