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Month: May 2021

How Do We Win as Leaders?

How Do We Win as Leaders?

All successful businesses share 1 trait: strong leadership. Strong leaders find solutions and lead their teams to success. While there is no one true way to ensure success, there are a couple of strategies that greatly increase the chances of a successful outcome.

Take Action

Opportunities come and go, sometimes the door is only opened once and for a brief moment. Being ready at the time of the opportunity is more often than not, a luxury. Taking the leap and seizing the opportunity while it’s still available is something you’ll have to get comfortable with.

Overplanning can potentially lead to a missed opportunity. Preparing once you hear about an opportunity is difficult and oftentimes it’s already too late to create a fully-fledged plan. If you have processes already in place for that scenario, then it’s a no brainer, take the opportunity and run with it. Having a plan set for a specific situation is highly unlikely and treading uncharted waters may be daunting, even with a dependable team behind you.

Taking action is better than inaction. If problems arise, they can be analyzed and solved and the situation can be salvaged. If no action is taken and the door closes on an opportunity, there is no telling if it will ever present itself again. The value given to actions is that you will have chances, if you hit obstacles, you always can always put in work and get over them. The cost of inaction is a completely missed opportunity, with no opportunity to get it back.

The Ability To Lead Up And Down The Chain Of Command

Leading down the chain of command should be self explanatory. It is the act of guiding a team that works under you to success. The ability to properly lead is a bit more complex. You have to be a part of the planning stage as well as the execution of said plan. While you can let a member of your team take ownership of a situation, it is always good to give your insights on the matter due to your unique perspective. While your success rate is clearly tied to how you lead your own team, leading up the chain is a bit different.

In relation to how your views are different compared to your team’s views, they are also different from your superiors. Essentially think macro vs micro, you are the bridge between the higher ups and the boots on the ground, thus putting you in a very unique position with valuable insight. When leading up the chain of command it is important to note that you will have to be as tactful and as skillful as you can be. Situational awareness is the driving factor you must use to convince upper management that your decision is correct. You must stay professional, you will be talking to people who outrank you so situational awareness, experience, influence, and proper communication skills are your tools to lead upwards.

Make sure you’re able to accept criticisms. You’re able to see a unique view of a situation, but don’t forget that your superiors also have a unique view and they might have been in your position before. If you go in with the mentality that they know more than you, you’re more likely to treat them with respect, even if your goal is to change the overall plan.

Discipline

People often say money buys freedom, but what if you have no money? Are you always going to lack freedom because of the lack of capital? If you rephrase the saying to “discipline buys freedom”, then anything is possible. If you need more money, you need to be disciplined in order to save up. You need to stop yourself from spending on unnecessary things, you need to devise a plan that allows you to spend less money to get things done and you do these things by being disciplined. 

In a different example, being disciplined gets you more free time. By following a schedule and maintaining your time properly, you can optimize the time you spend working, thus freeing up time later on. If you’ve set up a decentralized command style of management, you need to trust your team to do their part, micromanaging them breaks your schedule and removes any free time that you might have had if you stuck to your schedule.

It all begins with small steps. Self discipline doesn’t happen overnight, you have to start with small victories in order to condition yourself to make the right choices. From something as simple as forgoing the snooze button and getting up can later evolve into completing your goals in the time you’ve allotted.

Putting it all together

All three combined points create a recipe for success. Taking opportunities as they come gives you a chance to succeed, being able to lead your team and those above you in certain situations also raises the chance of success as the coordination will allow for actions to be made quicker, lastly being disciplined enough to make the right choices gives you the advantage in any situation. The work culture these strategies create also benefits the entire organization. Performing at a higher and more efficient level inspires others on the team and as a leader that’s what you should strive for, as your team’s success is your success .

A Quick Overview Of A Decentralized Command Structure

A Quick Overview Of A Decentralized Command Structure

A Quick Overview Of A Decentralized Command Structure

The concept of decentralized command has been around for a while. It was presented to the business world in a big way when retired Navy SEAL commanders Jocko Willinks and Leif Babin and their book “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win”. In the book they explain that decentralized command is about empowering the people under you in order to build a culture where people take ownership of problems and solutions without passing blame.

Empowering Others

By giving authority to those under you, people own up to more things. For example, if you task someone to lead a specific assignment and give them almost full autonomy to plan and strategize, they will give it their full effort as it is their plan. Should you still be there to help tweak things in the plan? Of course. As a leader you have a different vantage point that lower level individuals do not. Share this with them and teach them to do it. This system helps breed a culture of success that can be sustained no matter the size of the organization.

Lazy Delegation VS Decentralized Command

The main difference between being a lazy leader and a leader who has a successful decentralized command is the culture it breeds. Lazy leaders can be seen as people who delegate jobs to others due to the dislike for the task. Another example of lazy delegation by a leader is when they give tasks that they’re supposed to do to subordinates. In the business world, if a manager is told to create a business report but doesn’t want to do it, they just tell someone on their team to do it instead; this sort of lazy delegation gets noticed and the attitudes within that team and even that organization will change negatively.

In a proper decentralized organization, leaders complete their own tasks. In some cases leading by example means you do tasks others would find to be “beneath you”. The tasks that get delegated are meant to promote growth and instill a sense of ownership with said tasks. Letting someone lead a specific project allows them to get a feel for a leadership role, it also allows you to step back and look at the bigger picture while they focus on the more granular aspects of it, which in turn lets you give them advice that they otherwise wouldn’t have.

Quick To Act

A short answer as to why businesses will benefit from a decentralized style of command is: reaction time. In a regular hierarchical structure, decisions have to be approved by the boss, it takes time for this to happen if the action is at the bottom of the chain. When you empower all team members, you have multiple points of decision making. What used to take days or weeks to be approved can now be done in a day. This also impacts the efficiency of the team. If lower management needs to acquire pens for their team in order to finish a project, it would make no sense to wait a week to get approval to buy pens from the person at the top of the chain of command.

More Time For Leaders

All of the aforementioned things allow leaders to focus on the bigger picture as well as all tasks that require quick reaction time. With a team taking burdens in different departments, a weight is lifted from those in higher leadership roles. Not having to deal with multiple small items in a day frees up so much time. Having a much bigger window to meet with important clients or planning the company’s expansion are some of the other tasks leaders could be doing with their newly acquired time.

Growth Of People And The Organization

Having a decentralized command structure allows for groups of any size to stay agile and quickly react to change. Being a controlling type of leader in a small organization is still a viable strategy because all of the staff probably work the same hours and having them all need supervision at the same time would be a rare occurrence. Once a group grows to where people are on different shifts and where there are subteams it becomes physically impossible to micromanage. The great thing about starting with a decentralized structure is that it can scale infinitely. By instilling a culture of success where teamwork and owning everything you do is valued, growth happens organically and whenever new members are added they still exhibit the traits your original team has. It essentially becomes a self sustaining and self growing organization.

Ultimately your goal is to build leaders in order to have a stronger organization that will allow you the freedom to focus on priority tasks. You allow people to lead, in order to get better at it. You provide your unique insights whenever help is needed and this encourages growth instead of inhibiting it by punishing mistakes. By allowing anyone to take ownership and step up to lead a project, you’re fostering a culture built around success and coordination that will show throughout your organization and everyone will be better because of it.

Extreme Ownership Explained For Business Leaders

Extreme Ownership Explained For Business Leaders

extreme ownership explained for business leaders

Extreme ownership is a book written by two highly decorated, retired SEAL team commanders, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. In it, they talk about a leadership style where you take “extreme ownership” of everything. This leadership style is being used by one of the world’s most elite teams and has proven itself to be effective as the two now have a company that consults with business leaders on how to properly lead.

Taking Ownership Of Everything, The Good And The Bad

Taking ownership of mistakes is hard for everyone, our egos don’t want to be bruised by failure or blame. Getting over your ego allows you to say “this was my fault, let’s analyze this and do it properly.” The book talks about the human aspect of leadership, people aren’t flawless and they will make mistakes, SEAL team members are the exact same way, except unlike most people SEALs will look at what they did wrong, what options could have been done instead, and implement them. When you display this sort of behavior in front of your team, they’ll start to pick up on it.

Taking ownership of the good is definitely something you should do but in a modified way. Instead of taking the glory all for yourself, make sure to commend your team. To put it bluntly, distribute the credit among your team and watch the positive attitude spread. The effects of sharing success among a team greatly outweighs the small amount of achievement you may feel by taking all the credit for your success. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel successful, you should own that success, but in a much more humble way.

Learn To Take Criticism

Being able to own criticism then analyze and learn from it is critical to growth as a leader. If you take criticism with a respectful mindset and tell yourself “this person knows more than me”, you will get more out of it. You’ll stop seeing it as an attack and instead be able to make adjustments in order to better yourself. Even if you come to the conclusion that the person wasn’t correct in their assessment, you can still use it as a springboard, think “what might have prompted them to say that?” 

Leading Your Team

Being responsible for a team is simple in theory but it doesn’t end up being that way in practice. Leading doesn’t mean giving out orders, the human element stops that from working. People want to have a back and forth, they want to work things out, and they want to come up with an idea of their own in order to solve a problem. If you led a team of robots that did anything you wanted, whenever you wanted, you could bark orders all day and find success, but until technology reaches that point, you have to learn to lead properly. You have to handle people with more tact, leading by example, and exhibiting qualities you want to instill in your team has a sort of trickle-down effect. Like owning your mistakes, when others see you doing it, they will follow suit.

The idea of owning the good and bad is a very basic concept, someone probably thought of it long ago, but why has it only become a topic of conversation in recent times? The answer is because an elite team of people got it to work with proven results. By incorporating these techniques into your leadership style, you’re going to see changes within your organization that will better it as a whole. 

Remote Staff And Real Estate – The Solution To Backlogged Paperwork

Remote Staff And Real Estate – The Solution To Backlogged Paperwork

Remote Staff And Real Estate - The Solution To Backlogged Paperwork

All jobs come with additional tasks that make the initial job more laborious. The real estate industry is filled with passionate agents who are motivated to sell and break records. They excel when dealing with customer interactions and can quickly switch between different clients on the fly. They don’t however enjoy being bogged down in the paperwork, to be fair, not too many people enjoy the backend tasks associated with sales, I sure don’t. That’s where a virtual assistant (VA) comes in.

What Is A Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant or VA is an assistant that works remotely. Think of them as a one-stop-shop, they don’t specialize in one area but instead have numerous skills that allow them to fill many positions. They can do tasks ranging from appointment setting, organizing calendars, updating listings, content creation and editing, and the list goes on. They focus on the backend tasks so you can focus on the front-facing tasks that you’re passionate about.

The Value Of A Properly Trained VA

A VA can bring value if they’re trained properly. As mentioned before, they can keep everything organized. This means never missing another appointment, never losing any documents, and more importantly, you get to stay on top of your game, going from one client to the next, seamlessly because the backend weight of your job is being lifted. On top of organizational skills, they can create content for you as well. Things like blog posts and graphics can also be handled by them. Having pictures on your listings that are edited to look as clean as possible will help entice people, as cleaner images draw more attention than pictures taken from a camera phone and directly uploaded onto your site.

Setting Proper Goals and Communication

In order to get the most out of your new remote staff, you need to be clear on what their goals and milestones are. Without clear and measurable markers, you won’t be able to measure how much value they’re bringing to your business. It also allows you to easily engage with your new VA. Keeping communication with your assistant is important for two reasons, to ensure they’re developing into the type of VA you want and to foster loyalty. This seems counterintuitive as you’re hiring a VA to eliminate the backend tasks not so you have to babysit someone. Communicating with your staff could be asking what your schedule looks like for the week to simple office socialization like how their weekend went, are they okay, topics like that.

Tools For Success

Having real estate marketing tools in place makes everyone’s’ lives easier. Your assistant can handle working on a CRM so you don’t have to, so giving them access to your specific CRM would give you even more time to go out and make more sales. Having a communication system that allows your VA to have a voice is also a great tool. It solves the communication problem and it also empowers your staff, giving them the ability to voice out their concerns. Organizational tools other than your calendars, such as Trello or Hootsuite gives your VA the opportunity to be more productive and it saves them time, allowing them to perform other tasks, which in turn means you have more time for sales.

With all that freed-up time, you’ll be able to ramp up your sales numbers. Of course, it will take time for everything to stabilize and become self-sustaining, but the end result is what you’re after. Don’t think of your VA as a sidekick, this isn’t a Batman and Robin situation, it’s more of a Marvel’s Avengers situation. You’re a team and you’ll get more done and perform at your best when working as a cohesive unit.