Thoughts on Leadership: Acknowledge Your Team

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me at home, starting my week with my typical Monday W.I.G. calls. On Tuesday, I attended the Berkshire Hathaway Energy Executive Team Meeting and filmed in our Los Altos, California studio for various company awards events and for the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Convention. On Thursday, I attended the launch event (via Zoom) for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox Cities Realty and I was thrilled to help welcome them to the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network.

All in all, it was a week of celebration and acknowledgement, and it’s the latter topic I want to talk about for our blog post this week. (And yes, our blog post. Thoughts on Leadership is as much yours as it is mine.)

For leaders, it’s important to acknowledge team accomplishments. Proper acknowledgement is the method of support that will show your team members their work is seen and heard as a significant contribution toward the achievement of collective company goals. Gallup polls show employee recognition is the key factor influencing not only employee engagement but also overall organizational performance.

Translation: To create—and retain—extraordinary performers, you have to acknowledge just how extraordinary they are!

Consider Zappos, for example, which was acquired by Amazon in 2009 for a deal worth about $1.2 billion. Zappos has a peer-to-peer acknowledgement program where employees earn rewards via recommendations from other members of the team. The rewards differ by location because each office has its own unique perks. At the Las Vegas office, covered parking is an issue, and an employee can nominate a colleague for a special, covered parking spot as a “reward.” The takeaway? Acknowledgement comes in all forms, but it shouldn’t just be a plaque or a ribbon. Think about ways you can acknowledge employees that will be meaningful to them.

GE, famously once run by one of my favorite business mentors, Jack Welch, is also well-known for an amazing recognition program. (Side note: Welch joined GE in 1960 where he actually worked as a junior chemical engineer at my place of birth, Pittsfield, Massachusetts in the heart of the Berkshires, so I feel a particular kinship to him and his leadership philosophies.) When the company restructured between 2010 and 2014, employee acknowledgement took center stage as a way to bridge the gap between organizational change and sustainable growth. During weekly meetings between employees and managers, a wall-mounted dashboard displayed an employee’s performance and achievements. As I like to say, “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.” The takeaway? A simple, visual, personal example of success and approval can go a long way. Like the videos I filmed for award presentations, I make it a point to speak each of the award winners’ names and discuss directly what they did to achieve an award.

In 2020 at Apple, CEO Tim Cook gave every employee the entire week of Thanksgiving off. (The memo also instructed managers in other countries to find an appropriate holiday and give employees a week off then.) In addition, he added three paid vacation days to every employee’s calendar and told retail teams that had to work over Thanksgiving—one of the busiest shopping times of the year—they’d get a week off at an alternate date. The takeaway? Acknowledgment should surprise and delight all team members in some way. Every member of your team should feel proud, honored and above all, recognized. Because if they’re on your team, it means they’re dedicated to personal and professional growth, continual learning, focus, commitment, dedication and all the important facets you’ve instilled in them as any great leader should.

So, what’s the message? In real estate, late winter and early spring tends to be “awards season.” And this awards season, make your recognition personal. Make it visible. Make it universal. Make it creative and make sure it motivates your employees to keep doing what they’re doing, so they feel supported to achieve even more.

Thoughts on Leadership: Laugh It Off

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me at home, starting Monday with my typical WIG calls. On Tuesday, I attended the Berkshire Hathaway Energy Executive Team Meeting followed by the HomeServices of America Corporate Team Gathering—a virtual gathering, of course. Yesterday, I was in a studio in Silicon Valley, California, safely filming videos for the upcoming Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Convention.

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Thursday Thoughts on Leadership: Lessons from the GOAT

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me at home, starting the week with my typical Monday WIG calls. On Tuesday, I attended the Berkshire Hathaway Energy weekly executive team meeting and for the rest of the week, I planned for the upcoming HomeServices of America monthly CEO leadership meeting.

Of course, all week I was energized by Sunday night’s Super Bowl, when Tom Brady, in his first year as quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, won his seventh Super Bowl championship.

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Thoughts on Leadership: The Power of Discipline

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me at home, kicking off Monday with my typical Monday WIG calls followed by the Long & Foster Shareholders Meeting. On Tuesday, I participated in the Berkshire Hathaway Energy Executive Team Meeting and virtually presented on time management to the team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty. On Wednesday, I virtually joined the launch of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Zambito REALTORS® and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Western New York Properties. I also filmed videos for Prosperity Home Mortgage Chairman’s Club, ReeceNichols Top Performers and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM awards event. Today, I virtually presented on time management to the team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Texas Realty.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Leadership Lessons from Hank Aaron and Larry King

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me at home, starting the week with my typical Monday WIG calls. On Wednesday, I participated in the Berkshire Hathaway Energy Weekly Executive team meeting. My WIGs for this week were to film seven videos, present Time Management (virtually) to the team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Keys Real Estate and hold three virtual interviews for the regional mortgage manager position at Prosperity Home Mortgage.

In between meetings, I also got a call from Bob LeFever. I’ve known Bob for years, since we were both senior vice presidents of NRT. (But more on Bob later because he’s really the connection to everything I’ll write about in this post.)

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Thoughts on Leadership: Lessons from MLK

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me at home, but actually going into the Cupertino, California office of Intero to safely host the virtual HomeServices of America CEO Leadership Teleconference. The conference covered topics ranging from productivity to positive culture, Diversity & Inclusion and best practices for remote leadership.

And speaking of leadership, earlier this week, we celebrated and commemorated the life of an incredible leader – Martin Luther King Jr. He was truly an extraordinary leader whose words and example continue to inspire us to eliminate racial injustice. For inspiration this week, there are a few key leadership lessons from Martin Luther King Jr.:

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Creating Leads Through Technology: Are Real Estate Agents Behind the Digital Curve?

A white paper study by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ re_think Council leadership.

The national re_think Council kicked off 2017 at the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ corporate office in Irvine, CA for a two-day conference of collaboration and learning. Council members wanted to dive deeper into what makes them successful and went back to the basics. Instead of focusing on next-level tools, the Council unanimously agreed it’s not about technology; it’s about leveraging technology to streamline a profitable business. This white paper, “Creating Leads Through Technology: Are Real Estate Agents Behind the Digital Curve?,” covers the national re_think Council leaderships’ findings to take lead generation to the next level. Read it today.

Latest Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Survey Reveals Millennials Exercise Patience in Quest for Homes

 

The concept of a starter home may be a non-starter for millennials, at least according to findings from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ latest Homeowner Sentiment Survey. The study found that besides saving for a down payment, 37% of millennial renters indicated they are interested in buying a house only when they’re ready to afford their dream home, relegating the concept of a “starter home” to virtual non-existence. 

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