How to Retain Agents: Commitment, Accountability, Tension, Measurement, and Risk
Back in my General Manager days, responsible for driving growth in 3 states, my mentor shared a lesson I hold close to this day, “Jon, to be a great leader you need to be willing to take risks in relationships.” My immediate thought was, “Oh great, is this his warning shot to how he is going to be leading me .” Oh, by the way, it was both, how he was going to lead me and how he would mentor me to lead others.
Yes, he was more than willing to take risks with me in our business relationship. I was challenged and held to the highest level of accountability as any time in my life. You learn real quick the solution to tension is results. That tension served me because it facilitated creativity. Thanks to him I was able to contribute to the growth of the company at a very high level.
It’s important for me to also point out that all things have their polarity and on the flip side was the other risks he was willing to take. There were of course the risks in testing me at the highest levels with expectations and accountability that served me, but there was also another risk he was willing to take. For my development as a leader he was willing to put me in leadership situations I had never been in before, well knowing if I blew it there could be fallout in the company. His exact words, “Jon, I am willing to risk the company in return for your personal growth.” Sounds a little over the top, good in theory, but did he really live by it? Every single day. In return he had the strongest and most productive leadership team I had ever seen assembled and to this day I use everything he taught me. The results each person generated because of his leadership was unmatched.
So let’s take a look at your current status as a leader. You may be an agent leading a team, a broker, owner, manager or executive. Are you willing to take risks in your relationships to facilitate creativity and in turn productivity? Have you stepped into your leadership?
In my previous blog post, “How to Retain Agents Part 3: Accountability” I shared the highest form of love we can show a human being is accountability. In my work today as a coach and consultant that principle carries stronger than ever. I walk the same path you do as a leader knowing at any time a client could not be comfortable with the process and fire me. I will take that risk as it’s my responsibility. The other option is to give information. I have a ton of it I can share from practical and applied experience, but what is that worth if someone doesn’t take action with it? In the end it’s my responsibility. I must be attached to the process with conviction at the highest level and detach from the outcome. If not, at some point in the relationship the client is not getting value, experiencing change, and I’m responsible because I did not serve them with accountability.
Well enough about me, let’s talk about you. Everything I have shared is a parallel with you and is your responsibility as a leader, whether an agent leading agents or a leader of a real estate company that leads agents. The principles are universal.
You must be willing to take risks and at the end of the day and know that you have held to a process of integrity that serves a human being at the highest level. Pictured is a message I received recently from a one-on-one coaching client.
Support doesn’t always look and feel like support, but believe me if you follow the processes of commitment and accountability I have outlined in “How to Retain Agents Part 3” you and those you lead will experience a result like you never have before.
Get commitment, have a deadline, check-in, facilitate tension, take risks, and acknowledge people for what was accomplished. Recommit and repeat the process. This is what people are looking for from true leadership. Are you willing to go there or stay in a pattern that is not serving you and those you lead?