This month, I’m taking what I’ve learned as a musical performer from age 4 to the world of leadership and sales. (And, read my musical quotes at the end of each blog. I hope you’ll get a chuckle!)
Are You Prepared–or Just Hopeful?
My son owns a real estate company, and I help him initially screen candidates for manager and assistant manager. He has created a very detailed job description for any of those applying. Yet, we see two problems:
- Most of the candidates do not meet the qualifications the job requires
- Even the borrderline candidates have done nothing to prepare themselves for the job
For several years, I was a regional director of now the largest real estate company in the world. One of my jobs was finding and screening leadership. Boy, did I learn a lot! So, with that experience, I’m writing some tips here for those of you who want to step from sales into management (and for those looking for leadership). I’m not going to address the first problem. For example, some candidates just haven’t had job experience of any type in real estate. Although I know there are exceptions, generally, if you haven’t successfully sold real estate, you won’t understand, emphasize and be able to ‘develop’ agents successfully.
The Principle to Prepare: Perfect Practice Makes Perfect
Of course, this principle comes from my world of music. I learned this from my college piano professor. In order to play perfectly, one has to practice perfectly. That means hundreds or thousands of hours in the practice room, not in performing! (In other words, you have to practice your little heart out before they’ll let you loose in front of discerning people!) It’s drudgery and you wonder what you’re accomplishing. But, this perfect practice pays off when you have to perform in front of thousands and put to use your ‘muscle memory’. When you’re performing all those notes so quickly, you don’t have time to consciously figure out where your fingers should go (just like you do’t have time in an interview to figure out a good interview process!!!!)
What This Means to Your Preparation for Management
Here’s a straightforward job description for a successful leadership-manager:
Finds and develops people
Skills you need to effectively develop individuals:
- Lead generation/recruiting/presentation skills
- Interviewing/selection skills (both for agents and staff)
- Coaching skills (along with a proven coaching approach)
- Training skills
- Management: Ability to create and implement a business plan
- Ability to create and implement a training plan as part of your business plan
- Ability to create and implement a leadership council, for participative management/ develop that leadership
- Ability to create meaningful office and staff meetings
How Are You going to Develop Those Skills–Before You Get into Performance?
Go through the checklist/description above. Ask yourself: Have you developed those skills? If not, are you going to wait and ‘wing it’ on the job? As a pianist, I wouldn’t dare ever get in front of people to perform without having practiced!
Next blog: Suggestions in how to do that perfect practice in each of these areas.
Managers: Share this blog with those who are interested in going into leadership. In later blogs, I’ll share some analytical tools I’ve developed to help you help others develop their leadership skills.
Just for chuckles:
“I can’t listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland.” — Woody Allen