I just finished reading a book called Remarkable Leadership by Kevin Eikenberry which I highly recommend. I have now moved on to a book called how…

The Dream Manager

For those of you who know me, you know that I fell for this book the second I laid eyes on the title. Keep the wit and sarcasm to yourself. On second thought share if you must…

I will be digging into this book next week and will share my thoughts at some point as it relates to apartment marketing, apartment management or leadership of amazing apartment professionals.

Internal Blog

Seth quips on the value of an internal blog. I set up an internal blog for the Portland Area of Equity Residential, the largest owner operator of apartments in the country. It lives on today despite the fact that I left the company some 8 months ago.
It is aptly titled; Portland Rocks Newsletter and it is full of the amazing accomplishments of the the amazing people that make up the portfolio dating back to 2006. It has and continues to be an enormous boon to the innate sense of awesomeness this group has come to enjoy.

Action is a character in collaboration

Definitions of action on the Web:

  • 1. something done (usually as opposed to something said); "there were stories of murders and other unnatural actions"

  • The purpose of my post today is to expose the, "they’s and them’s" that hold great apartment manageent teams back.

    Let’s start with the Number 1 "They/Them;" Those who have nonactionitis. You know the ones; we can’t do that because…, we tried that and…, yeah, but…, I hate to play devil’s advocate here, but…!

    All that being said there is value to an alternative view and or opinion. I know that to be true in my world as I tend to be the guy with the way over there ideas and if I didn’t have people around me willing to slow me down or temper my focus then I would surely be void.

    I firmly believe it is all in how you couch it.

    I feel like I am a highly paid baby sitter

    Have you ever said that? I know I have at different times in my property management career; right wrong or indifferent. I read the following quote today and had an a-ha! moment.

    "If you treat employees like children, they will behave that way."

    Margaret Heffernan , author, “The Naked Truth“

    Change Management

    Cool Question: What’s not going to change in our business over the next ten years? With so much focus on what is going to be different about our business wouldn’t it be smart to ask the opposite question.

    I got the question from an article about Jeff Bezos founder of He and his team of innovators ask themselves the question on a regular basis to ensure they don’t focused on the pillars of their business.

    What do you think will be the same 10 years from now in our business?

    Say No to No

    I flipped open this months issue of The Harvard Business Review and caught this ad for Shell. Putting all views of the  world of oil aside, I love this ad.
    It made me wonder out loud about how many times I may have stuffed a good idea because I said, "No, that won’t work, we’ve tried it before."
    If you are faced with the powerful motion of NO tomorrow, try saying Yes, Do that!

    4 Steps to growing Property Managers

    There are many variations of the following principle out there so I’ll make no claims of a new approach. That being said I think there is a tremendous value in creating goals and or targets to shoot for in your personal and professional life. To illustrate, I heard a speech sometime back given by the famed Zig Ziglar where he quipped, "How can you hit a target you do not have?" It was an a-ha moment for me and I have since made it an annual exercise to write down some goals, usually around New Years Day.

    The goals were usually targeted for the following year and they were more about things that I wanted as opposed the person I was to become. Please note that I am not suggesting that "thing goals" are not good or necessary. They are very necessary. However, that should not be the end of the exercise. If it is, that is somewhat short-sighted. I decided that my targets should really be further out there, more big picture if you will.

    All that being said, I want to share this as an exercise you can do with those you lead. Try it and let me know how it turns out.

    1. Have your direct reports Imagine that they are deceased. Morbid I know but stick with me.

    2. Then have them imagine that they get a chance to come back to address those they provided influence to in their lives. Both Good and Bad.

    3. Have them write a speech or create a power point presentation. *Note, it’s not an apology speech. It is a speech about the lessons they have learned via this vehicle we call life.

    4. Have them deliver that speech to their associates.

    What does this accomplish? Clarity and Purpose. Do you want to develop amazing leaders in this industry? Do you want to be one yourself? Do you want to be responsible for the development of amazing people? Take the time to have them complete the above steps and be patient.

    The assignment will be challenging and heartfelt if taken seriously and it will define the absolutes that guide ones life. Values, if you will.

    Once those goals and or targets are defined we can go to work helping the person(s) become the great leaders of tomorrow.