Thoughts on Leadership: Extraordinary Quality Service, Convenience and Value

This week my travels first found me in beautiful Anguilla for the 2019 Berkshire Elite Circle Conference. The exclusive Caribbean oasis—measuring just 16 miles long and three miles wide—is the ideal spot to celebrate the achievements of the top 50 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network brokerages … and the illustrious leaders who lead them. Standing among the network’s elite brought to mind an important question: What turns a leader from a front runner into a champion?

The question circled in the warm, Miami air yet again this morning as the announcement was made that EWM Realty International, one of the largest and most respected firms in South Florida, joined our Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brokerage network, now operating as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty. I met with Ron Peltier, executive chairman of HomeServices of America, Inc. and Ron Shuffield, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty, who noted, “There’s a lot of strength gained by working with each other.”

I completely agree.

Ron Shuffield and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty team are a testament to what you can accomplish with strong leadership and a willingness to go above and beyond, to push the limits of what you think you’re capable of achieving to find extraordinary success.

Books have been written, podcasts have been recorded and speeches have been delivered on what makes a company or person successful and still, after decades of hearing various versions of a response from all different sources, the answer remains the same. There’s one clear way to the top.

Do you know what the single, toughest thing for the competition to duplicate is? Not just “service” but extraordinary quality service, convenience and value. And do you know why? Because extraordinary quality service, convenience and value requires the most effort. And you know as well as I do that most companies and most people are not willing to put forth the extra effort. Do you know why? Because it’s hard. But it’s the hard that makes you great. It’s the willingness to do the hard that makes you great. It’s the willingness to do the hard that separates you from the competition.

It’s difficult to talk quality service without bringing up the example of The Ritz-Carlton, which developed its Gold Standards as the foundation of the company’s culture. The Gold Standards are the values and philosophy by which all Ritz-Carlton employees and team members operate.

Some of these important Gold Standard values are:

  1. I build strong relationships and create guests for life.
  2. I am empowered to create unique, memorable and personal experiences for our guests.
  3. I continuously seek opportunities to innovate and improve customer experience.
  4. I own and immediately resolve problems.
  5. I create a work environment of teamwork and lateral service so that the needs of our guests and each other are met.
  6. I have the opportunity to continuously learn and grow.

So, what’s the message? Imagine if every brokerage, every agent and every business operated with these values in mind. They would provide the cornerstone for the type of organization rooted in extraordinary quality service, convenience and value. When we think about the true competitive advantages we have in our respective marketplaces, we should not only analyze our systems and processes but also ourselves, ensuring we’re doing those things—like Ritz-Carlton employees, the Berkshire Elite Circle leaders and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty team members—that require the most effort and highest reward for the customers and clients we serve.

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