New Year’s Resolutions
It’s 2018! How will this year differ from 2017, and all the years which preceded it? What will each of us do differently and, hopefully, better? Here’s my list of ways I hope to be a better leader and example, along with one resolution for our residential industry as a whole:
- I will be more responsive. I will respond to every meaningful e-mail and text within 24 hours, hopefully far faster if I receive the communication during business hours. There are solicitation e-mails to which I never plan to respond, although I am increasingly attempting to respond with a simple “No, thanks.” I try to clean up my e-mail every evening before I leave the office to make sure I haven’t missed anything; my goal is to have an inbox with no more than 25 items in it (and those are usually left there to remind me about something.) If however I receive an e-mail or text AFTER business hours, I reserve the right not to respond until the next day.
- I will be less responsive. Yes, I know I am contradicting myself. But I am increasingly aware of how compulsively attuned to my mobile device I am. So now I try to take some time off both evenings and week-ends. I leave my phone in the other room, or I turn off the ringer. It’s amazing how much personal interacting, reading, music listening, and thinking I can get done when I am not checking my phone every thirty seconds. Nothing, it turns out, is SO important that it cannot wait a while during off hours.
- I will finish what I start. A challenge of my job (and probably everyone’s job) is chronic interruption. E-mails appear in the corner of my computer screen. The phone rings. People come to my door. Distraction is the enemy of efficiency. So in 2018 I will finish what I start before I turn to something else. The e-mail, the phone call, the person at the door: they can almost always wait until I finish. Then I can turn to them with a clear head.
- I will encourage a real exchange of ideas. I don’t much like having people disagree with me. But it’s the only way to craft a better organization. I need to hear from my people when they think we are not making the best choice. Much as I hate to acknowledge it, I don’t know everything. Having smart people around me only helps the company if I listen to what they say, maybe especially when it suggests that we have not yet come up with the best solution.
And this one applies to the whole residential industry here in New York:
- We may be competitors, but we accomplish more by working together. Our residential industry has undergone radical change during the past five years. Technology has both accelerated the pace of interaction and created the perception (often false) of greater efficiency. Aggressive recruiting calls pepper the days of every good agent at every company. In this environment, it has become easier and easier to regard the competitor companies as enemies. But we wield real power as a collective. Whether it relates to sharing listings, pushing back against outside forces attempting to undermine or monetize our business model, or seeking the best business technology, we are stronger together.
Every new year begins filled with possibility. 2018 will have its own triumphs and disappointments, but each of those represents an opportunity to do my job as both a leader and a colleague better. I will try to rise to each of those occasions. And you?