Thoughts on Leadership: Learning from other leaders

Last week, I attended a three-day meeting in Chicago with a CEO think tank group called Trendsetters, a network of real estate company owners who share their best ideas and advice with each other, as well as financials and discussion of changes in the business. The Trendsetters strategy group meets twice a year and provides a wonderful opportunity to share ideas, brainstorm, and discuss trends with the heads of other brokerage firms. Topics for discussion included new tactics for improving revenues, effective recruiting in this market, improving productivity and the changing role of management.

Michael Golden and Thaddeus Wong from @Properties hosted this past meeting. I left with further insight about what I need to do as a leader.

Members of the group include 10 leaders from brokerage firms all around the U.S. The group's executive director is Steve Murray of REAL Trends in Denver. Each leader noted that the Trendsetters meeting is something that they can’t do with direct competitors in their respective markets.

What exactly are these meetings like? Imagine getting confidential input and advice from other business leaders when you face a difficult decision. Imagine an open forum to discuss professional and personal goals. Imagine a group of peers who will not only support you but also hold you accountable to the commitments you make.

This illuminating think tank does just that. Every head of each brokerage firm is given uninterrupted time to focus and shed light on strategic issues that are vital to their company’s future. This small group of business peers offers diverse perspectives to support you in achieving goals. Taking part in the peer review critique twice a year has made me realize that we all share similar issues, similar leadership items to work on.

After three days, I walk away with creative business solutions, a stimulating community of peers, comradery and friendships, business and life strategies.

Throughout my real estate career, I've realized that what I learn from other leaders – such as my friend, mentor and business partner, Bob Moles, Chairman of Intero Real Estate Services – is what has had the biggest impact. I've learned a great deal of leadership skills from Bob and value his advice. This realization is why I became a member of the Trendsetters group. Networking and sharing with other leaders provides the kind of learning I just can't get anywhere else.

You can use this same concept in your own leadership pursuits. Stop and think about what you can improve in your business. Who are the peers that you can meet with to discuss your success and struggles? Remember, the advice and information you receive from others can help the development of your own personal business and career and help you to become a more successful leader.