Good morning Mr. Collier,

I’ve been pondering the below questions, would love your insight.

How do you keep good team members? How do you keep team members happy?

There is no perfect, universal formula that always works. Treat them with respect, give them opportunities to grow. The bigger the organization, the more removed you are from personal interaction and the more you must rely upon others. Work hard on your company culture, never stop because entropy sets in immediately. Create opportunities, events that allow for bonding as a team. Culture, Culture, Culture. Be different, be better.

What personally makes you a good leader?

The question includes a presumption: that I am a good leader : ). Many answers to that question, it’s complex. One quick answer is that I am blessed in that I am able to work with good followers who are in turn good leaders for others. Another answer is that a LONG time ago I realized that I could only reach my goals in life with the help of others and that help had to be willingly, cheerfully, enthusiastically given. To get what you want, you must give others what they want/need and a decent compensation only addresses the first level of Maslow’s hierarchy. Create a dynamic, energetic company culture embracing excellence, give it purpose (we are entrusted with people’s homes, something foundational to their emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. That is an honor that creates a corresponding deep and abiding sense of duty) and set forth clear and compelling goals.

Is your hunger natural?

In the beginning it was natural; when still “chased by the wolf”, memories of experiencing poverty in my childhood, hunger, utilities being cut off, constructive eviction, living in a car for a short time with my mom, bro, and sis. Later it was more of a drive, a drive to be the best I could be at my chosen profession, the belief that to give anything less than my best was to sacrifice the gift. Some of it came from my dad as a role model of excellence who also taught me (by his example) that the successful life is a balanced life. “For what doeth it profit a man if he gain the whole world but lose his own soul?”

Can hunger be developed in other people or do you have to be born with it?

I believe humans have an innate desire to grow, a yearning to do something of significance with their lives. That drive can be nurtured or suppressed/diverted. Vital to always remember the direction that drive takes them is unique to the individual and must be honored and accepted (within ethical reason). Many a parent has had to learn this lesson.

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier