The Collier Companies recently sent our entire team of six regional community managers (RCMs) to New Orleans for a National Apartment Association conference. RCMs typically are responsible for between 5 to 9 communities or 1,000 to 2,000 apartment homes. RCMs are the backbone of our company, the key drivers of results, and the primary dispersers of our culture.

These managers committed to sending back via Blackberry email real-time summaries of the seminars they attended. The goal was to share with their teams the take-home value while it was fresh in their minds.

It was exciting to receive their messages and sense their enthusiasm and excitement (we also received a few after hours pics from the French Quarter!). Below are some of their thoughts (my comments are in parentheses):

“How well we communicate is not determined by how well we say things, but rather how well we are understood.” (This relates to the NLP Principle: “The real world meaning of any message can be found in the response you receive.”)

“As leaders, we can’t motivate our team members (TMs)…what we CAN do is provide a motivating environment.” (Relationships LIVE in communication——how connected are YOU with your team?)

“If you put a picture in front of someone, they get it in 10 seconds…put a bunch of papers, they probably will never read them. Keep it simple, make it matter. (And break it up into small, easily-digestible bites, repeated over time. Repetition and follow up is vital!)

“Leaders have to be comfortable being uncomfortable…” (So true. Leaders must push themselves and others forward into the new and unknown; this requires courage. Every new skill feels awkward initially.)

“People can FEEL perfection. Ross Perot said, “Walt Disney, when an employee told him he was too much of a perfectionist: ‘When I look to assemble a team, I first look for those who love to win and hire them…when I run out of those I look for those who hate to lose…and hire them.’”

“Companies that have CULTURE react FAST because their employees know that time is of the essence.”

Culture Barometer:
– Do teams know the company’s vision?
– Do they know the unique identity and sense of pride?
– Is there commitment?
– Do we retain the best?
– Do we have systems to TRAIN culture
– While measuring it, and
– Keeping TMs accountable to create it?

Leaders Program
– Walk of fame and trophy collection
– Create celebrities out of star performers by doing interviews of their success and broadcasting on webisodes
– Rewards should focus on TMs

Important key to a happy workplace: Tell me my role, tell me what to do, and give me the rules.

“Great ideas alter the power balance in relationships. That’s why great ideas are initially resisted.”