For my first post, I wanted to cover a subject close to my heart – Leadership.
What follows is a transcript from an interview which I provided to Modus, the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) monthly magazine circulated to c.100,000 Members wordlwide.
The article, entitled ‘From The Top’, covered views from 25 inspirational people in the global real estate industry who have risen to the top of the profession to find out what leadership means to them. Only a small excerpt from the interview with myself was published – in the 10 Industry Leaders section of the article.
Q: What do you believe are the most important qualities for a good leader in the real estate business?
A: Questions about leadership qualities always generate responses full of adjectives seeking to capture the key ingredients to the recipe for leadership excellence and success. For myself, an individual must feel invigorated by the success of others to become a truly effective leader.
Teams perform at their best not when the boss demands it, but when their colleagues expect it. A good leader brings a team together around a common purpose, agrees upon goals & objectives and then uses the social bonds between members to influence their behaviour. The key is to get team members to work hard not to please you, their leader, but so that they don’t let everyone else down. This indirect approach is hard for some leaders but, in my experience, individuals perform better when they feel part of a team.
For specific individual qualities, the following version of the PRIDE acronym works for me:
- Passionate – a leader must be passionate about the goal, objective or purpose
- Respect – a leader must encourage and listen to the views of others and, from this, earn their respect which is so essential to achieving success
- Inspirational – a leader must have the charisma to generate interest and following in his/her ideas
- Daring – a leader must always test limits and push boundaries
- Expert – a leader must know the business in which he/she is operating
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it”. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Q: Are there special skills that a leader needs in the Middle East?
A: The Middle East is a multi-cultural business environment which requires a clear understanding of etiquette, protocol and accepted business practice – successful leaders need to be adaptable to all business environments.
The Middle East is still an emerging or developing market. There is still a very limited legal and regulatory framework for real estate – successful leaders need to be opportunistic to take advantage of these less well-developed markets and capable of working without structure.
Other characteristics of the Middle East include rapid change, uncertain pace of decisions and, at all times, a need to expect the unexpected – successful leaders need to develop a range of skills to protect teams from the impact of these issues.
Q: Thinking about the last few years and the issues facing the real estate industry today, what are the particular skills needed for future leaders?
A: Just one here – having the confidence to drive growth and set courageous goals!
A copy of the full article can be downloaded from my Publications page. Alternatively, use the following link to this edition of the whole magazine: