Seven leadership priorities for 2023
Jan 4th, 2023
I was delighted to be asked to write an article for PrimeResi to look at some of the priorities business leaders should have for the year ahead. The article below was published in its journal on 03 January 2023.
2022 was a year of constant change; from Prime Ministers, Chancellors and Monarchs to economic outlooks, geo-political stability and market conditions.
For some sectors in the property industry it has been a good year for business, whilst for others it has been challenging.
KPMG estimates that the economy entered a recession in the third quarter of this year and will contract by 1.3% next year and this will be followed by a partial recovery in 2024 in which GDP could rise by 0.2%
Making the most of 2023 to grab the opportunities that exist will be important. There are certain things that business leaders can do to ensure they and their team are well placed to make the most of them.
Here I have outlined seven priorities that property leaders need to consider in 2023:
1. Retain and develop your top talent
Retaining talent is going to be vital this year. The property industry is a people business. If you lose good people, you also lose their clients and connections and the opportunities that come to them, not to mention the challenge of being under-resourced during a period of growth.
Stay close to your team and understand their motivations and ambitions by having regular one-to-ones. Be careful this is not a side conversation while discussing other things – it should be a monthly, dedicated conversation with a plan of action so they can see their career developing. Be clear about what your team most need from you – you may not be able to give it to them, but at least you are aware of what would make the biggest difference.
Ask your team member(s) the question: “If there was one thing I could do for you that would make the biggest difference, what would it be?
2. Make sure people are in the right roles where they thrive
The CEO of a property development company recently told me his biggest lesson this year was promoting people too quickly to leadership roles. Exceeding in a sales role and building revenue is different from leadership. In hindsight he realised he should have managed the expectations of a top sales performer in what progression could look like. He should have encouraged them to do more of what they were good at and rewarded them for this. Instead he gave them a wider role with more people to manage. They did not enjoy it as much, their performance went down and they eventually left.
Understanding what people most enjoy and creating a role where they do more of this and have the potential to influence the business on a wider scale takes careful consideration.
Ask yourself “How can I build a career plan for people who do not necessarily want to lead a team, but want to be seen as progressing in the business”
3. Help with the cost of living in any way you can
A recent survey conducted by the Chartered Management Institute found that over 70% of managers have seen evidence that the cost of living crisis has increased anxiety within their team and that it was impacting productivity.
There are several examples of businesses that are finding alternative ways to help employees. Many have introduced schemes to help staff reduce their daily cost of living, such as signing up to employee discount schemes that offer discounts on day to day expenditure in high street shops, or subsidising travel costs. A housebuilder has initiated an initiative to provide a breakfast and lunch buffet in their head office every day.
What small step can you do that would support your team if you can’t reward them financially?
4. Stay close to your customers and clients
When I asked the managing director of a commercial property consultancy recently what she was going to do for her own personal growth in 2023, she said keeping close to her customers was key.
This meant not only contacting them regularly but building her knowledge and expertise in the areas that most affect them and their investments so her advice could add value. That included continual research on trends in interest rates, how retail sales were holding up over Christmas, and creative ways global competitors were growing their market share.
What is the biggest priority of your customer and clients? How can you increase your impact as a trusted advisor?
5. Work on your own personal brand and influence
Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room and it dictates the level of influence you have over people both inside and outside your organisation.
A client within a residential property agency wasn’t making the career progress he was hoping for. He was leading a successful team that was smashing targets, but was always being overlooked for promotions. He had never really been given specific feedback, so had no idea why. As part of a coaching programme, I gathered some feedback from his colleagues and managers and discovered that he wasn’t seen as being a team player. There was a perception that he was more focussed on competing with colleagues in other divisions, rather than collaborating for the greater good of the business.
This was not his intention, however his ‘internal brand’ was restricting his career development opportunities irrelevant of how well he performed financially, due to the culture of collaboration that was highly valued as a key leadership trait.
Are you aware of how you are perceived within the company and outside? Do you have trusted peers you can ask for honest feedback?
6. Set your team up for success in 2023
Start the year with a team meeting to share ideas about opportunities for growth.
One real estate agency acknowledged they have continually invested in their brand and technology to secure and retain their market leader position. For the first time since their launch in 2016, they invested in a team day in December so they could bring everyone together and explore ways to grow market share.
The Co-Founders appreciated the great ideas that came from this, but their biggest learning was the impact of bringing the whole team together and what it meant for all of them and their morale. They got to know more about each other, relationships were deepened, and the team felt even more committed as they shared their ideas on what would be most important to the business growth. As a result they have installed a new circular table in their office so they can continue these collaborative brainstorming sessions on a regular basis.
How will you begin the year so your team is motivated and recognise the opportunities ahead? What reflective questions will be valuable? … here are a few
What are our strengths that we can leverage?
What are our biggest challenges going to be and how can we overcome them?
What are the top 3 opportunities for growth that we will commit to?
7. Decide what is important for you.
The last few years have shown us how precious life is, so book that holiday, exercise regularly, tell that person how you feel, start that business, apply for that opportunity, learn that skill, take that risk. Make 2023 a year to remember.
What is your number one priority for 2023?
If you would like to talk more about how to put in place strategies for getting the best out of your team and yourself in 2023 please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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