Is leadership something you are born with or is it learned? There are undoubtably a few rare people who are born with the skillset and natural ability to excel as leaders but for the 99% rest of us I believe it can be learned.

In the book Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud, he found that great leaders aren’t emotionally attached to outcomes and are able to make tough decisions. He argues that most managers are too attached to their pet projects or too loyal to nonperforming employees or that the longtime product is a money maker so no change is needed. People see endings as painful instead of as an opportunity for something better.

No one really likes to change since it means work.  But, knowing when to end something is what creates the momentum and energy to invest in a new project.  If you aren’t changing, you’re dying. Take Kodak, they were best-in-class but didn’t see the digital camera coming and eventually closed after more than 100 years in business.  Look at Motorola, a leader in analogue cell phones but didn’t see digital phones as the future.

NARPM’s vision from its inception has been to raise the professional level of property managers and provide a place for support and education.

I believe NARPM is still the standard bearer of developing opportunity for property managers to become leaders not only for the organization at large but for their own businesses. The key to success lies in cultivating strong leaders who can navigate challenges, foster growth, and build cohesive teams. Best-in-class leaders possess a unique blend of skills, experience, and qualities that enable them to excel.

So how are leaders developed and what can we do today to start or continue the process of creating best-in-class leaders? This article will outline strategies for developing exceptional leaders in property management, empowering them to drive success and enhance the overall performance of their teams.

Identify and Nurture Leadership Potential

The first step in developing best-in-class leaders is to identify individuals with leadership potential within your organization. Look for employees who demonstrate strong communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and a natural inclination to inspire and guide others. Providing opportunities for professional development can help nurture their potential and prepare them for future leadership roles.

Invest in Training and Education

Property management is an ever-evolving field, and leaders must stay ahead of industry trends and best practices. Investing in continuous training and education is vital for cultivating effective leaders. Offer workshops, seminars, and certifications that focus on leadership, communication, financial management, and strategic decision-making.

Promote a Culture of Accountability

Best-in-class leaders must be accountable for their actions and decisions. Establish a culture that fosters accountability by setting clear expectations and goals, providing regular feedback, and encouraging open communication. When leaders take responsibility for their actions, it creates a ripple effect within the organization, promoting a culture of accountability among all team members.

Foster Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) plays a crucial role in effective leadership. Leaders who possess high EI can empathize with their team members, manage conflicts more constructively, and create a positive work environment. Implement EI training programs and encourage leaders to understand their own emotions as well as those of their team members. This empathetic approach will lead to stronger relationships and increased productivity.

Encourage Innovation and Creativity

Innovative solutions can set a company apart from its competitors. Encourage leaders to think creatively and explore new strategies and technologies. Create a safe space for sharing ideas and taking calculated risks. Emphasize that failures are valuable learning opportunities that can lead to growth and improvement.

Lead by Example

Effective leaders are not only proficient in their roles but also lead by example. Demonstrating integrity, dedication, and a strong work ethic sets the tone for the entire team. Leaders who are willing to roll up their sleeves and work alongside their team members inspire respect and loyalty. Encourage leaders to remain approachable and open to feedback, fostering a collaborative and supportive environment.

Provide Opportunities for Leadership Experience

Theory alone is not enough to develop best-in-class leaders; practical experience is equally important. Offer opportunities for potential leaders to take on leadership responsibilities, even in small-scale projects or temporary assignments. These experiences will enable them to hone their skills, gain confidence, and discover their leadership style.

Develop Effective Communication Skills

Communication is the backbone of successful leadership. Leaders must be adept at conveying information, providing feedback, and listening to their team members. Provide communication training that emphasizes active listening, conflict resolution, and public speaking. Effective communication will foster trust, transparency, and stronger team dynamics.

Emphasize Customer Service

In property management, customer service is paramount. Leaders should understand the importance of meeting client needs and exceeding expectations. Encourage leaders to prioritize customer satisfaction and ensure their teams are well-equipped to deliver outstanding service.

Growing leaders requires dedication and investment from the organization. By identifying potential leaders, providing training and education, fostering emotional intelligence, encouraging innovation, and leading by example, property management companies can create a pipeline of exceptional leaders who will drive success and take their organizations to new heights.

Nurturing a culture of accountability, offering leadership experiences, and emphasizing effective communication will solidify the foundation for these leaders to flourish and make a lasting impact on the industry thus continuing the vision of NARPM to elevate the profession and the professional.