Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Leadership Unlocks Potential

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Leadership Unlocks Potential

Article excerpt

Can new management techniques and leadership skills be the key to increasing your profits and improving employee relationships? Roger Herman, a keynote speaker and strategic business futurist, has written ten books on business future topics and their importance in the rapidly changing workplace. He is CEO of The Herman Group, a firm of Certified Management Consultants based in North Carolina. According to his most recent work, Signs of the Times, change is everywhere. But trend indicators can give real estate professionals advanced notice of how to prepare themselves and their properties to take advantage of these changes.

JPM: Your book Signs of the Times lists more than 100 indicators of change in the workplace. What "signs" will take precedence over the next year in the business world, especially in the real estate marketplace?

Herman: The economy is going to continue in a boom pattern for the next decade, and that boom is going to create mote jobs. This is going to exacerbate the labor shortage. What we are seeing now is a temporary slowdown in the overall economic cycle. In all industries, including real estate, more people are going to be asked to do a lot of additional work, and they will be time challenged.

You are also going to see more convenience service, concierge services, personal service companies that will be growing to service those needs. And people are going to have lots of choices about where, when and how they work. In order for real estate management companies to attract these people and hold onto them, the employers are going to have to modify many aspects of the way they operate. To become an employer of choice in the industry, companies are going to have to reshape their cultures and make substantial changes in leadership style.

JPM: Many times the terms leadership and management are used interchangeably. Are these traits the same or distinct, and how can real estate professionals utilize each to improve themselves?

Herman: Over the past few years, there has been a lot of talk about the differences between leadership and management. And that is the problem. Workers have heard talk, but have not seen action. They are looking for a change in the practices of their superiors, and they are not satisfied with the progress.

Leadership means giving workers more responsibility, more freedom, more power, and more accountability. In the real world, executives, managers, and supervisors are still managing... even as they call themselves leaders. Managing includes directing, organizing the work of others, close monitoring, and discipline.

The techniques of management impede corporate growth, especially when desired growth requires original thinking, creativity, innovation, and risk-taking. Such behaviors are very difficult in a traditional management environment, like real estate. Traditions die hard, and the idea that "we've always done it this way" is ingrained in the mindset of many property managers and companies.

To survive--and thrive--in the fast-changing business environment of today and tomorrow, the practice of leadership can make a substantial difference. Without enough people available to do all the jobs, workers must be empowered to take whatever actions are necessary to accomplish work and serve customers. …

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