My Role as a Servant Leader

I am often asked by friends and clients (as well as my six year old daughter and four year old son) what I do each day in my role is as a branch manager for Prudential Northwest Properties. Actually, I am not a big fan of the title, branch manager, because I believe that the real estate industry has moved beyond the need for those in leadership positions to be just managers. If you are in charge of a team, responsible for a budget, and accountable for a team's performance and profitability, you will need to do more than just manage; you must lead. How you lead and your personal leadership style will ultimately define your role as well as the influence and impact you have on others.

When I was in sales it was a joy to serve others as I helped them to buy and sell property. Yet it was not my true passion. I have always been drawn to participating in the personal and professional development of people. It took me a while (and several different jobs) to understand the true meaning of this and know that to be happy I would need to use my gifts and talents in the way that God designed me to use them. Over the past few years I have focused a great deal of my time and effort on defining my purpose, mission, and ministry in my business. These 3 areas will always be fairly consistent in my life no matter how my job description evolves.

For you to better understand my role as a servant leader, I want to share with you the high-payoff activities that I focus on each day.

Coaching - I make it a point to meet at least twice a month with my admin staff and the brokers on my team to discuss goals, successes, challenges, and key improvement projects. These sessions are often the highlight of my day for they allow me to get to the heart of helping those on my team develop into leaders in all aspects of their personal and business life.

Training – My goal is to be providing a training experience for my team at least once and hopefully twice a month. My training program is divided into three different categories. First there are the training courses which focus on hard skills. These include instruction in real estate contracts and the laws, rules and regulation of the state of Oregon. The second category is soft skills; courses which focus on the development of sales skills, understanding different personality types, and developing a "sales voice". Third and finally, there is the "Champion Training" program which helps agents identify their own unique value proposition based on their gifts, their talents, and their skill set. The goal for this program is for agents to learn to focus their time and efforts within their strength zone. As an extension of my team training I am blessed to help coordinate the training and development for our entire company and management team at Prudential.

Recruiting – Our management team jokes that recruiting is very similar to evangelism. This part of my job allows me to share my vision with non-Prudential brokers and ask them to consider joining our team. This is when I have the opportunity to listen to people's needs and desires and to know if I can offer that one item of value that is missing in their current firm. This is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job and by far the most challenging. When you truly believe in your vision, your team, and the direction of your company you want to share that with others and create a desire to be a part of your team. This requires great patience as you might not have positive results for many months. However, when you do have a new recruit, it can be like a cold glass of water on a hot summer day; both satisfying and rewarding.

Sharing the Team Vision - I love sharing my team's vision and it is vitally important for me to do this with my team as well as with our community leaders, the general public, and brokers that do not currently work with me. I do this to demonstrate transparency and to encourage a dialogue about our current reality and envisioned future. A team vision lays out a clear and concise road map for what you want to achieve in the strategic areas of the business. Vision provides your team with hope and direction in challenging times. Vision also helps me to make good decisions while providing me with clarity each time I share and discuss it with others. A leader's vision acts as a "pull" towards their company as opposed to a "push". Most people I know do not want to be pushed toward anything; instead they want to learn about someone or something and feel naturally "pulled" towards it. This is known as the Law of Attraction and sharing my vision allows me the opportunity to attract (or pull) people towards my company and team.

Connecting with our Community - It is very important for me to be connected with the communities served by my team. I must admit that this is one area where I often struggle and must make an extra effort to concentrate and focus. It is important to give back to the communities you profit from through your services. Over the years I've connected by volunteering my time on the City Planning Commission, chairing events for the Chamber of Commerce, and giving presentations to local groups like Rotary and Kiwanis.

Maintaining a Social Media Presence - While this might sound like "playing", social media is quickly becoming one of the most important strategic areas in the business world. I utilize my blog (, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn to keep my team, my vision, and my brand in front of as many people as possible.

Branch Administration - This aspect of my role includes the review of financial statements, budget setting, purchase decisions, handling human resource issues, leading my administrative staff, and reviewing every listing and sale that my team generates while handling all client relations. I am blessed with an amazing that staff that makes this part of my job very easy and in turn allows me to operate in my strength zone.

By maximizing these 7 high payoff activities I am driving the "vehicle" of real estate management in a way that brings me closer to my purpose and allows me to engage in my passion of developing people. In life and business our roles (vehicles) may change but the passion and purpose we have for our mission and ministry does not. In this season of my life, my role is that of a Servant Leader for Prudential Northwest Properties.

My role is relatively easy to understand, challenging to execute and the greatest part is that I wake up every day excited to go to work!

My question to you is: What is your role and how do you impact others while bringing value to your organization, team, and community?

Here are some great resources that will help you answer these questions:

These four books have had a profound impact on me personally and helped me to shape my mission and ministry as a business leader. I hope that you will find them just as valuable as you develop a plan to lead with purpose in your life and business.

Make it a great day!

Coach Dan

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