Everyday I am learning what it means to be a leader at the stage I am currently in.  I have always been a leader. In school, I was the president of clubs and at work I always took the lead on projects. As my career advanced, I began to lead teams. Most of the time, I was comfortable and at ease with my role and function. Other times, I felt out of my element but willing to learn.  So that usually meant the team had to experience my inexperience. Over time I have learned to admit the mistakes I make and I have learned when a team member makes a mistake, that it is my burden to bear and in turn, when the project goes well, it is the teams credit to embrace. The blame is on me, the credit is on us. I have learned that a positive approach works much better than a reprimanding approach. I learned these lessons because I did it the opposite way the first time. I felt the consequences of my choices and adapted. My core personality is the same, blunt, driven, and focused.  However, my approach and delivery are more coach, mentor, and compassionate. I saw how people either blossomed or shriveled by my methods.


My current lessons are numerous.  Time management tops the list.  I only have 8-10 hours in a work day because we all need a balanced life. I need to keep the team on point, build new business, keep the current business going, complete back office administration, and educate myself on my industry.


Delegation of tasks. When the amount of work becomes overwhelming you must learn to use your resources. What do I have on my plate I can pass along to someone else? What should I outsource to another company?  I know when I pass it on, I must teach the task and let go of the method. They will not be as fast as me in the beginning but I must be at peace with this and not take it back.  Every time I have let go of the method I have been very pleased with the outcome!  Fresh perspectives, ideas, and feelings of empowerment happen. Follow someone else’s lead. I do not always have to be the leader. I can be a team member and follower. I can take a back seat and enjoy the experience.


Learning constantly. There are several changes occurring in our industry. So you must stay on top of the changes. Learning to lead, reading books, watching videos, and journaling are all things that will make you better than you were yesterday. Meeting with people and asking questions. This is the part I love and I must make sure to carve out time. Learning tends to be placed on the back burner if I get too busy.


Encouraging people. This is the other part I love because I love people. I love to talk to others and find ways to lift them up. I feel energized and inspired when I meet fresh new faces who are just as passionate as I am. I hope that they feel better for having talked to me as well. But there are days when I need this feeling from others. Attending conferences and seeing people who knew me when I was just getting started and helped me along my journey is one of the main reasons I love Multifamily so much. It brings happiness to my mind to see them grow as well and I hope they are happy to see how far I have come with their mentoring.


What is your leadership style?  How are you growing?  What tools do you put in your kit?