Lessons Learned from Leadership Class

Posted By: Joel Sanders Blog,

A lot of people focus only on their wins at work or in life (you know those Instagram types, right?). I’d like to address the losses too and what can be gleaned from them. Here are 4 leadership mistakes I’ve made as a leader and career entrepreneur in the apartment industry:

  1. Thinking Like a Victim

This can be a hard one to shake at all times. I’ve found myself blaming others for my lack of success at something. These can be both big and small issues. Was I late today because of traffic or because I didn’t leave early enough? Did I not close a big deal because the client was difficult or because I didn’t make the merits of my value proposition clear enough? When I think like a Player rather than a Victim, I’m working towards a solution and controlling what I can control rather than blaming others for what I can’t control. By properly controlling your mindset as much as possible, it will yield many more wins than losses.

  1. Not Being Vulnerable Enough

There is power in showing resolve in front of your Team in the face of adversity. However, there are many times that vulnerability is highly appropriate and potentially even more powerful. There have been times when I have not been open about weaknesses enough with my Team. However, when I have done so, it’s been liberating to me and, more importantly, eye opening to them. They care about you and the Team’s efforts a lot more than you might think. When I let them understand me as a person a lot more than just a colleague or boss, we have been able to achieve great things together. The lows were certainly not as low, and the highs were a lot higher. 

  1. Sugarcoating Too Much

The dirtiest little secret in business that I know is Candor. There are times I catch myself beating around the bush and 10 minutes later, I haven’t made my point or the point isn’t clear or understood. You know that “What I really mean is….” point? Once I learned how to shoot it to people straight, both good news and bad, so much more got done so much faster. With more practice over time, you can be clear and candid while also delivering it with a level of finesse.

  1. Not Giving Enough Scheduled Feedback

At times my feedback to my Teams has been too off-the-cuff and not thought through. I’ve learned that your Team should know where they stand at all times. Are they doing well or can they improve? If they can improve, exactly what do they need to improve? I’ve found if you’re clear with them on where they need to improve, a lot of times they will do so! If you’re not however, no one improves and no one wins. Through pre-scheduled meetings where you can provide performance feedback that has been carefully considered, everyone brings their best selves to the meeting and a lot of excellent things can happen.

As a leader, you are in a powerful position. It’s incumbent on you to use that influence responsibly.

Joel Sanders is the Founder of 3 successful companies in the apartment industry. He is currently CEO of Apartment Insiders, a Nashville, Tennessee-based real estate brokerage that takes the stress out of apartment searching by connecting apartment seekers with their perfect apartment through a hyper-personalized approach combined with superior market intelligence. https://apartmentinsiders.com/