5 Transformational Leadership Strategies for Commercial Real Estate Executives
All other strategies and tools aside, an enterprise and the team that powers it is only as good as its leadership. Despite sufficient capital, the best people, and a well-thought-out strategic plan, a venture won’t get far unless its leader knows how to inspire and support followers.
What is transformational leadership?
Leadership styles and strategies that provide motivation and enable team members to grow, flourish, and attain professional and personal fulfillment.
Let’s look at what commercial real estate executives can do to foster alignment with team members’ values, provide a clear vision and a workable path, and support professional development and satisfaction.
1. Align with stakeholders’ values
A leader’s first responsibility is to create an organization and company culture that speak to the needs and values of its stakeholders. And perhaps the most important constituents are employees and other team members.
Today, people in general, and professionals in particular, look to collaborate with companies that share their beliefs and values. Team members want to know that what they’re working toward positively impacts society and the environment.
Some of the highest-priority concerns include:
- Social responsibility.
- Support for the community, i.e., giving back.
- Environmental sustainability.
- Equitable working environments.
- Spirit of service — emphasis on providing solutions.
This list resembles the start of a values/ethics statement. If you haven’t previously thought this through, draft your organizational values and share throughout your operation and with external stakeholders.
But don’t stop there — it’s more vital to embody your expressed values. Ensure the stated values and ethics are reflected in your behavior, the way you communicate, how you treat everyone, and the plans and projects you implement.
2. Inspire with vision
Establishing and sharing your values is the first step toward creating inspiration. What’s needed next is a vision and mission that give form to how the organization will bring life to those values and communicate your high-level objectives.
Preparing vision (to be) and mission (to do) statements is a helpful exercise. When formulating these, reflect on the following:
- What role will your organization fill in the industry/world?
- What do you want to become, and in what timeframe?
- Why was your company created, what is it working toward, and how will it change lives?
- What value will you generate for the community?
When assembling and developing your team — including employees, partners, investors, and vendors — push the boundaries of what they think is possible and encourage unmitigated creativity and innovative thinking.
Demonstrate the venture’s viability, impact, and upside, and earn stakeholder buy-in by presenting detailed strategic plans and real-world data drawn from credible sources and backed by expert analysis.
3. Provide a workable path
To fulfill our vision and mission, our teams require a well-defined route to get there and a way to measure progress that keeps everyone engaged and morale high.
Create a set of long-term objectives that are specific and quantifiable, along with achievable annual, quarterly, and monthly milestones.
While big jumps in progress and growth sometimes happen, focus on consistent growth, even if very gradual, throughout each period. Over a year or several, small improvements accrue and bring us to our destination, often sooner than expected.
Though ‘thinking big’ has its place in inspiring teams, realistic sub-goals and celebrated wins along the way build confidence and enthusiasm and help us see land on the horizon.
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is a useful goal-setting and measurement model employed in commercial real estate with great success in providing structure and accountability — we leverage it at Thirty Capital across our brands.
4. Support and compensation
Our team members need professional and personal support to make it possible. It’s our job to help them reach the height of skill, creativity, collaboration, and job satisfaction — to ensure optimal productivity and elevate society and quality of life one person (and family) at a time.
Further, the labor market is highly competitive, and just like our clients/tenants/users, employees and other stakeholders want practical value in return for pledging their time, lives, and resources to our cause.
Here’s a quick list of tips to bring out the best and give the most value to our teams:
- Listen attentively to everyone’s needs.
- Provide professional tools and training.
- Supply constructive feedback — and request it.
- Solicit and incorporate fresh ideas and perspectives.
- Create a specialized plan to enable each person according to their unique working style, personality, capability, and preferences.
- Provide competitive compensation/returns and benefits.
- Reward generously (and sometimes unexpectedly).
- Give and share credit for successes freely — and take mutual responsibility for setbacks.
5. Represent the Future
We advocate for a better future through our values and vision, giving our employees and followers the sense they’re part of something forward-thinking.
Team members also want to feel they’re doing something innovative, equipped with the most advanced technology, tools, and business models/practices — nobody wants to be outdated or limited.
Internal and external team members find confidence in our strategic plans and leadership, knowing we’re harnessing every emerging advantage available as an organization.
Leadership that helps each stakeholder evolve is our most crucial function as an executive — we’re here to facilitate transformation. Embrace the role and responsibility by aligning with team members’ values and expectations.
Give them a vision that imbues purpose and a sense of working toward the greater good, personally and globally. Show them how we will get there, guide them along the way, and give them the support, tools, encouragement, and reward that keeps them inspired and invested.