What I Learned from Working with the Same Leader for Ten Years

On May 1, 2020 I celebrated working with Ron Henderson & Associates for 10 years. More specifically, I celebrated working with Ron as my leader. The rest of the team has changed over the years, but Ron and I have been the main two members: he works as CEO and I work as COO.

I thought it would be interesting to delve into just a few of the things I’ve learned from working these past 10 years under the same leader, so here goes.

There’s a right leader for you. It’s easy to stick around for a decade when the leadership style of your boss is in alignment with how you like to be led. If you’re not with the right leader for you, go find her. She’s looking for you as well.

Not all real estate businesses are the same. There are models and best practices that work really well and yet those models and best practices require a certain type of leader to follow them. If your leader has a different set of standards and requirements just make sure they are documented and followed consistently.

Be valuable. Constantly learn and grow. Work on developing your strengths. Learn new skills. And if your leader doesn’t offer pay raises and bonuses regularly, demonstrate your value by showing your leader what you’ve learned, how you’ve grown, and what you’ve been able to create because of those things.

Work for results, not for time. Ditch the hourly pay and time sheets. Get rid of limited vacation days. You are not a factory worker on an assembly line. Define the results that are needed to run a successful business and the time frame in which those results need to be delivered.

Go to the same conferences and classes as your leader. Sit side-by-side through most if not all of it. That way you’re listening to the same speaker, but you’ll each hear different things. Compare notes afterward and decide what to change or implement together. The why is more important than the what or how, and if you hear the why together, the what and how is so much easier to figure out!

Teach others. Your learning is fast-tracked when you stand in front of a classroom and teach something to other people. You get much better and more efficient with that tool or concept which benefits the business immensely.

Play to your strengths. If calling new leads makes you want to cry, explain that to your leader. Do the things that make you incredibly proud and give you the sense of accomplishment you need. When you’re happy at work, you’re much more productive and way more likely to stay with your company or with your leader.

Get a side hustle. It’s much easier to understand how business works when you’re in business for yourself. You’ll stretch your learning, vulnerability, and resiliency all of which benefit your company and your leader. Sell handmade items on Etsy, start a coaching business, tutor kids after school, etc.

Get good at hiring. When you study the hiring process and get good at recognizing and recruiting talented people to your company, your work life is so amazing. Surround yourself with people you like and who meet and exceed expectations.

Be willing to get it wrong. Hiring a new person means you’re taking a risk especially if you are new to the hiring process. You’re going to strike out several times. It’s OK if your new hire doesn’t work. Pull the plug and move on. If you’re uncomfortable with a person on the team, that person is uncomfortable too. Admit your failure and do better next time.

This blog is actually a culmination of everything I’ve learned over the years. I started it because I knew it would help people in similar positions to mine get new ideas and teach them how to think differently.

I hope you get the opportunity to spend a decade working for a great leader too!

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