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Balancing Management and Leadership

By Laura Melcher, Manager, Editorial Development, REALTOR.org

Michael Staver, professional speaker and leadership coach, opened his “Balancing the Management and Leadership Relationship” session on Friday with a few exercises to get Midyear conference attendees’ blood flowing. REALTORS® in attendance were asked to pick a partner and to designate one person “A” and one person “B.” The partners touched palms, and Staver directed the A group members to push against the B groups members’ hands. Not surprisingly, the B group pushed back.

Staver said he uses this activity to illustrate that “by and large, human beings don’t like to be pushed – and if you have to push someone, you’re not leading them, you’re annoying them.” He defines leadership as the extent to which you influence others to achieve results that exceed their expectations of themselves, and he stressed the importance of creating a clear and compelling vision that motivates others to do their best.

Once a vision has been set, Staver said, a clear path to achieving the vision needs to be determined and communicated. The focus should be on identifying “high-gain activities” and critical success factors early on. He said common pitfalls (and “cures”) of leaders include the following:

  • the need to be be right (cure: ask more questions, gather more information)
  • the need to be in control (cure: let it go; control is an illusion)
  • the need to be all things to all people (cure: set boundaries and learn to say “no”)

Staver highlighted the discussion with some hilarious personal anecdotes and jokes, which engaged the crowd and emphasized his points. He left the audience with the following advice:

1. Accept your circumstances as they actually are – have the courage to face the reality of the situation.
2. Take responsibility. Take ownership for your leadership behaviors and the consequences.
3. Take action – do something.
4. Acknowledge progress and create a culture of celebration. Focus on incremental successes.
5. Commit to lifelong learning.
6. Kindle new relationships, and develop new and productive relationships with every experience.

For more information about Michael Staver and his company, visit The Staver Group Web site.

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