How To Be An Accountable Leader

March 5, 2024

How To Be An Accountable Leader

Recent business headlines suggest a concerning trend—accountability is becoming a rarity within many organizations. In the dynamic world of real estate, where leadership plays a pivotal role, fostering a culture of accountability is not just beneficial; it's essential for sustainable success.

The Challenge of Holding People Accountable

Why does holding people accountable seem like such a difficult task in the realm of real estate leadership? The complexities of the industry, coupled with the high stakes involved, can create an environment where accountability takes a back seat. As leaders, addressing this challenge requires a strategic approach.

1. Leading by Example: Start with You

The first and foremost step in promoting accountability is for real estate leaders to set the standard. Holding oneself to a higher standard than the rest of the organization is a cornerstone of accountable leadership. This involves keeping personal integrity intact and consistently doing the right thing, even when faced with challenges within a potentially toxic culture.

2. Navigating Challenges: Cut Your Losses If Necessary

While noble actions are commendable, they may not always be universally accepted, especially in a competitive and demanding industry like real estate. Leaders must make a critical choice between job security and personal integrity. A good salary and a respectable title may be enticing, but they are no substitute for a clear conscience. There may come a time when cutting losses and moving on becomes a necessary, albeit painful, decision.

3. Creating a Safe Environment

In the real estate sector, where transactions and negotiations are high-stakes endeavors, creating a safe environment is crucial. The fear of retaliation and job loss can inhibit leaders and employees from doing the right thing. Real estate leaders must actively work towards fostering an environment where concerns can be voiced without apprehension, creating a culture where open communication thrives.

Addressing the Fear of Accountability

What if I’m Wrong?

The fear of being wrong often hinders individuals from holding one another accountable. In the real estate leadership landscape, where decision-making is critical, this fear can be particularly paralyzing. However, leaders must recognize that addressing concerns transparently empowers their team and contributes to a culture of continuous improvement.

What if I’m Right?

Conversely, the fear of being right presents its own set of challenges in real estate leadership. Confronting a respected colleague or leader engaged in poor behavior can be daunting. However, leaders must consider the larger consequences of not acting. Ignoring valid concerns can lead to workplace issues and potential harm to the organization.

Rewarding Accountability: Setting the Tone

The age-old adage "what you permit, you promote" holds true in real estate leadership. If employees witness leaders getting away with unethical behavior, it sets a precedent. Conversely, recognizing and rewarding accountable behavior sends a powerful message—that accountability is valued and celebrated. Rewards need not be solely financial; acknowledgment from senior leaders or shout-outs at meetings can be equally impactful.

In real estate, where attention to detail is paramount, organizations can establish means to recognize staff for accountable behavior. Whether it's preventing errors in transactions or ensuring ethical practices, creating a culture that values and rewards accountability is instrumental.

Conclusion: The Journey to Accountable Real Estate Leadership

Becoming an accountable leader in real estate is a challenging journey, considering the intricacies of the industry. However, the long-term benefits for both the individual leader and the organization are immeasurable. By leading with integrity, creating a safe environment, and actively rewarding accountability, real estate leaders can pave the way for a cultural shift within their organizations. In an environment where accountability is upheld, real estate teams thrive, transactions are conducted ethically, and organizations stand resilient against the challenges of this dynamic industry.