Making the Most of Your Leadership Journey

By Tami Bonnell, Co-Chair, EXIT Realty Corp. International

Following the recent elections, many people in our Women’s Council of REALTORS® family are assuming leadership roles for the first time, and many others are striving to build their leadership skills.  Everyone’s leadership journey is unique and personal. 

As John Maxwell famously said, “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” Over the years, I’ve found that the more I lead with deliberate intent, knowing exactly what I want, and encouraging others to know exactly what they want, the more purposeful the journey.  Ask yourself these effective questions to bring those wants into focus:

  • What mark do I want to leave?
  • What specifically do I hope to accomplish over my leadership term?

I believe that most people join Women’s Council because they want to be better and improve themselves in every avenue. We’re all leaders here and I’m likely “preaching to the choir” so to speak, but here are a few reminders which I hope you will find helpful on how to get more and better out of that journey both for yourself and for the people you’re leading:

  • Get to know the people with whom you serve. Discover their dreams, not only for their service to Women’s Council but also their dreams for their life. The closer you become the more rewarding your relationship will be and the more you will be able to help them. 
  • All of us have a responsibility to the people we're leading to help activate their potential. It’s said that road to hell is paved with good intentions because there's a very big difference between good intentions and action. One way to inspire people to act is to catch them doing something good and show them that special something in themselves that perhaps they didn't see. This may light a spark in them to make them want to do more. 
  • As leaders, we need to continually learn and grow. People are attracted to people who are growing. It’s easier to attract than it is to recruit, whether you’re attracting new members to Women’s Council, or attracting agents to your brokerage or team. 
  • Meet with at least one new industry leader every week to add to your market knowledge. The more knowledge you have, the better you are going to be able to serve and the more influential you will become. 
  • Connect people. By getting to know people and building relationships, you may be able to become a business matchmaker, connecting one person with another, thereby bringing the best out in each. 
  • As a leader, there are times when you have to decide whether you are the sage on the stage or the guide on the side.  Is now the time to influence everybody and present the big vision, or will a whisper in someone’s ear on the sideline help them to grow? It's not about you; it's about getting more and better out of others. 
  • Wow one person a day. You might do this by doing your homework on them to help get them unstuck.  Maybe you can recognize someone's achievements or connect with them on a deeper level. The key is to be intentional. 
  • Before you go to sleep at night, ask yourself, who did I help today? How did I take Women's Council further? 
  • Ask yourself, what do I want to be known for, and then, what am I known for? The closer the answers to those two questions match, the more successful you will be. 

When you get tired (and we all get tired), try this. Let’s say you’re starting your one-year term on January 1, 2022, and you have goals you want to accomplish - bringing in new membership, building more leaders, hosting events that really get people engaged. Now visualize the end of your term, and imagine you’ve accomplished everything you set out to do.  How do you feel?  Pretty great, right?

As you begin or continue your leadership journey, hold on to that sense of pride in a job well-done and approach everything you do as a leader with strong deliberate intent.  You will thrive and so will the people you’re leading.