Leaders need to create an environment where people can feel safe to be themselves.
Topic – The best and worst of growth
Mentor – Megan Jaffe
- People are at different levels
- Share your stuff-ups
- Show how real you are
Developing your leadership style – Jacob Aldridge
As you look to sell, building that Business Broker relationship is valuable.
Kevin: Delighted this week that our guest is Megan Jaffe, Megan from Ray White Remuera, Auckland, in New Zealand. If you’ve not been there, let me tell you, I’ve been there, and many people from Australia, and even around New Zealand, have gone to visit as well, and quite a lot of people from overseas. The systems inside that business are quite phenomenal, they’re built for growth, and as we acknowledged yesterday and on Monday, the growth inside that business last year was 10% in a tough market.
Kevin: So, Megan, thank you for joining us again. I wonder if today you could just describe for me the actions of the leader of the business when you’re taking your team on this journey with you. What do you say to them?
Megan Jaffe: Well, I say lots of things, but when you use the word action, the number one fundamental is that your actions are in alignment with what it is that you’re saying, for your vision, for your people, with your people, so actions are really important. As leaders, we create an environment where people can feel safe to be themselves, and they can blossom amazingly if you create safety for them. So the actions that you’re asking for is inside here, it’s very much about we and not I. We collectively, we together, are doing these things to achieve an overall good for everyone inside, turning around to the outside so that everybody that we work with benefits in some way.
Megan Jaffe: It’s about openness and transparency inside the company and creating that environment as a leader. For me, it’s about having no favourites which, in order to do that, you need transparency around the policies and procedures for not only the real estate piece, but more importantly, for the DNA or for the culture that you’ve built inside your company. Also, to have mechanisms in place so that you can change and evolve over time as your company grows, because having put 10 years in, the way that we are today is very different from year three and year seven.
Megan Jaffe: One of the curiosities for me is that at year seven, a bunch of people joined because they wanted the success of the people that were in the company, not necessarily because they were totally aligned with the values of the company. So they came and, yes, they adhered to the values, but they were there because they wanted to ride the curve of success. So as a leader, you have to really manage and hold to your values, to hold your company, because it goes through these phases and it’s really our responsibility as leaders to stay on the north for your company.
Megan Jaffe: I very much have to lead by example so that I can pivot around, and every other person in the company also has to lead by example. What that means is being their best selves every day, and if they’re not their best self, stay home. I think, as leaders, it’s important that if you stuff up, it’s okay, you share it. You also are allowed to have foibles, I’ve got loads of them. But I do share my idiosyncrasies quite openly because I’ve got heaps of them, and I’m trying to show people that I’m real, because we are all on a learning journey and we learn from each other.
Megan Jaffe: Probably the number one thing I’ve learnt to do, and shared with others, and we’re getting really good at it, is that not only do I sit in my shoes and see what’s happening and going on with you, but I can pivot myself and I can actually see what’s going on from your perspective. Learning how to give consideration from other people’s perspectives, it’s an exceptional skill as a sales person, but once you’ve got every person inside your company able to do that, so property managers, everyone, you then have a really considerate and powerful group of people who create this environment which is … that’s where the growth comes.
Kevin: Just, I want to pick up on a couple of things now, if I may. One of the things I noticed about you when we visited was that your … you walk around, you talk to people, and you talk to the teams, and you ask them those questions to try and identify where they’re at, how they’re going. It seems to me that … well, it’s obvious that people all grow at different levels, at different speed. In a growing business like yours, how do you accommodate for that?
Megan Jaffe: Treat every single person as the individual person that they are. The most important thing is when you’re with any person, that you’re fully present. There’s all of that work that’s going on about customer experience. It’s awful if you have to define it and process map it because what I look for is that when I’m with you, you see me. And when I’m with you, I see you and I’m there for you, and it’s you, the individual that you are.
Kevin: I know you well enough, and you and I have had a number of really good conversations, to know that you will always tell me exactly what you think, and you’ve done that on a number of occasions. I do respect that. I respect it greatly, and that’s, I think, the mark of a great leader, is that you have no fear about being brutally honest. I admire it and I’m sure your team do as well.
Megan Jaffe: Most of the time, but sometimes it hurts. However, in return, I need to have that feedback as well, and I’m sure that it’s difficult for some of them, but it’s about growth, learning and development. So that’s not financial growth, and as long as you’ve got their interests at heart with what it is that you’re doing, and you explain it, and if we get it wrong we can clean it all up, but I am absolutely coming from a place of helping people be their best selves. And so they are learning, themselves, how they can then make the changes that will help them become their best selves, and from that, a lot of people can get growth and advancement at whatever level they define. So it’s very much about just becoming your best self, and that’s evolutionary.
Kevin: It’s such a great skill you have. I’ve interviewed many, many leaders over the years, but you have that ability to be able to say something that is extremely cutting but when you do it, the person receiving it has to take it on face value, and not as a criticism. You and I had this conversation only a matter of days ago, and the point you made to me was so obvious when you made it, and I thanked you for doing it, because it’s something that I hadn’t seen. So I think it’s a great skill of yours. I’m not expecting a comment from you, I just wanted to make that comment about your leadership style, Megan.
Kevin: I’m going to leave it there for today because tomorrow I want to talk to you about the stages that you notice along the way, and any times when you had to readjust the plan or the stage that you were at. So, Megan, thank you for today, look forward to talking to you tomorrow morning.
Megan Jaffe: Kevin, can I finish off with one important point today, please?
Kevin: Yeah, sure. You always love to have the last word and I love that, too, yes.
Megan Jaffe: Not at all, it’s just what you’re saying is so important because every single one of us, myself included, and so much so, the number one question it seems to be, if we’re honest, that we’re asking ourselves all the time is, “Am I good enough?” And, yes, you are good enough. I’m good enough. We’re filled with flaws, but I tell you, if we’re just working on that every day, we are all so good.
Kevin: Inspiration. Love it. Megan Jaffe, thank you so much. Talk to you tomorrow morning.
Megan Jaffe: Absolutely. Thank you.