The Duality of Being a Business Leader


No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. This one, for me, monumental miss on all fronts, I have missed the law of connection. I am just head down, and get stuff done 99% of the time. Just recently, within the last few months, I realized that even though I have that one day in the office, my goal is to be out, connecting, and talking. It took a lot of courage for Chris to call a meeting with me, he called me out on this. He said "You're in the office on Tuesdays, but even when you're talking, you're kind of doing stuff and busy and just not connecting."

Some of you are naturally better at this than me, but for the entrepreneur types, this is an easy thing to miss. You're just like "Get this done" and you don't go there. But people really need you to come alongside them and really connect with them. It's actually fun when you do it. I did it on Tuesday, I didn't die. I did a whole hour of connecting with my team. I made it through it, it was really good. So, how do you connect?

First, you've got to have some level of awareness about yourself working. I covered it, just being open and sincere. If you share your truth and your insecurities with your team, they will view you differently. Just be sincere about it, know your audience, and what they're in and what they're going through. I still learn things about our agents that are like "Oh, that kind of makes sense now" If they have a real bad financial situation, going through a divorce, or whatever.

Then just live the message, practice what you preach. Go to where they are. Even when I held one on ones with my team, it was always "What have you done for the team?" you need to have meetings like that, but rarely did I go into where they were and what they were going through, and I think that's way more important than checking how many hours they logged or how many meaningful conversations? You need both.  Focus on them, not yourself. Same thing. Believe in them. I know people don't have cheerleaders.

Chris sold two homes in 18 months before he joined my team. He wants to be a developer, that's his dream. I think I've talked him into not quitting real estate. At one point he came in and quit and wanted to start his own thing in real estate. He is building his third or fourth home and I've supported him in that.

I've called him out in team meetings and honored him for that. I want people on my team to achieve what they want to achieve. Just having someone that believes in you, I don't think it happens enough in the world. Hope for a better future. It's definitely not easy, I'm not good at it most of the time but it does take a conscious awareness. There's an old saying, to lead yourself, use your head, to lead others, use your heart. Always touch a person's heart before asking for their hand. 

Then the Exit phase. The big thing here is really just a clear organization in treating with accountability, roles and responsibility. This is all about "You're not that important." You're getting out of production and realizing the world doesn't revolve around you. Those are some tough things to realize. It's all about margins.

At this data company, people make comments like Lars is all about margins and about numbers. And I am, because here's the thing, you can't impact lives unless your company is making money. You'll go out of business if you don't monitor that stuff. So, I am the guy that is in there looking at what's working, what's not working, where the margins are. Our buyer slot slide is slow this year, but the listing side is kicking ass. We've got 76% margin on the listing side and even though our buyer side is sluggish, it's okay. We're still hitting our gross margin numbers and it's all about ROI.

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