Though he was speaking to an audience of association executives, entrepreneur and speaker Josh Linkner’s presentation this morning at NAR’s AE Institute in San Diego, Calif., was applicable to anyone who works in real estate. Linkner, who has started and invested in a number of technology companies over the past two decades, says a problem plaguing not only this industry but the entire business world is a lack of creative thinking.
According to Linkner, virtually everyone has some capacity for creativity. However, from an early age, this instinct is suppressed by external forces — particularly school and work. “Our creativity is declining,” he says. “We don’t grow into creativity, we’re growing out of it. The lesson society teaches us is to not be creative, just do what your told and don’t take risks.”
This is a huge issue, though, because creativity and innovation have become more critical than ever before. In a recent survey of 1,500 CEOs around the world, creativity was cited as the most important attribute of leadership today, Linkner says. Moreover, the tendency to do things the way they’ve always been done and avoid taking chances is a recipe for disaster in a rapidly changing business environment.
“Playing it safe has become the riskiest move of all,” he explains. “If you run that game plan in the real world, it’s a surefire path to mediocrity.”
In his presentation, Linkner offered the following five tips for people who want to accelerate their business through creativity: Continue reading »
In less than four minutes on a chilly January afternoon back in 2009, U.S. Airways Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger made a series of focused, yet impossibly calm decisions that saved the lives of 155 people. “I had to set priorities. And thanks to a lifetime of training, I was able to synthesize what I knew to solve a problem I had never seen before.”
A flock of Canadian geese disabled the Airbus aircraft shortly after takeoff from New York’s LaGuardia Airport, forcing Sullenberger and his crew to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River. Beyond the extraordinary skill required to land the plane safely in the frigid waters, Sullenberger was hailed for his personal commitment to ensuring that every passenger and crew member was safely evacuated.
As the concluding speaker at the NAR Leadership Summit on Tuesday, Sullenberger noted that he spent those critical moments before the landing neither thinking about his family nor praying, but rather concentrating single-mindedly on getting the plane and his passengers through the ordeal. “I had to focus on the task at hand, despite the stress,” he explained. “I only did the highest priority items and I had to do them well. This required the discipline to ignore everything else.”
In many respects, this was the day he had been training for during four decades as a pilot. “My first thought was, ‘This can’t be happening.’ Things like this don’t happen to me. I had never faced a situation in 42 years that I couldn’t immediately resolve.”
Sullenberger’s feat in the cockpit, widely described as “miraculous,” has led to a new career as an author and on center stage, in which he reflects on the attributes and experience that led to the successful outcome. “Never stop investing in yourself. Never stop investing in learning,” he said. “We have to keep growing and we have to keep reinventing ourselves. And change before you are forced to by circumstances.”
A longtime leader to improve the already exemplary professional standards in his industry, Sullenberger noted that he had been working for years as a safety advocate before he became an instant media hero. “Remember that your reputation is built on one interaction at a time, one day at a time. With each interaction, there is an opportunity for good, ill, or indifference. We have to choose which it is going to be.”
By Amy Konstas, Content Strategist, REALTOR.org
Call them the “leadership whisperers.” To a packed audience, three past presidents of NAR talked leadership and the qualities necessary to be a strong REALTOR® leader at today’s “Leadership Express” session at the 2010 Midyear Legislative Meetings & Expo in Washington D.C.
Those characteristics may surprise you. They did me. My pen poised, I was expecting bold pronouncements, such as the importance of being fearless or brave. And yes, those were mentioned as being key qualities for successful leaders. What resonated with me, though, was more subtle, but no less compelling: To be a good leader, you must be a good listener. In other words, understand your members. Learn what their needs are.
Dorcas Helfant-Browning, NAR’s 1992 past president, certainly did. The “three R’s” she mentioned are a good place to start: Continue reading »
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.