15 Ways for Homebuilders to Inspire Leadership in 2020

Key Points:

  • Jennifer Castenson, a contributor at Forbes discusses the challenges ahead and how homebuilders can inspire leadership in 2020.
  • Don’t waste your time motivating people and create relational capital are among the ways to boost leadership.
  • Be transparent and leverage your best people in 2020.

How Homebuilders Can Inspire Leadership in 2020

With many challenges including hiring and retaining top talent, ahead for homebuilders in 2020 and beyond, inspiring leadership is as important as ever.  Forbes followed leadership experts at the World Business Forum and those that presented at the HIVE conference to learn what is important in leadership in 2020.

Through the decades, housing has benefitted from some extraordinary leaders. Now we are entering into a completely new era of leadership. Leadership is being redefined by experts and those in housing adaptable and flexible enough to reimagine their roles are paving new paths forward.

With challenges such as labor constraints, rising product costs, escalating land prices, pressures of more data and evolving technology, plus extreme weather events, those leading today and tomorrow will have their hands full. So, how can they manage and continue to manage? Some experts in business leadership who presented at the World Business Forum along with housing leaders who presented at the HIVE conference shared their thoughts.

1.    Be humble. Leadership expert Jim Collins reminds us of the importance of humility. Make yourself subservient to the cause or company that you lead.

2.    Don’t waste time motivating people. Collins says you need to lead in a way that does not demotivate. The right employees will be self-disciplined and focused because you can’t motivate people into being the right people.

3.    Take care of each other. Simon Sinek, author, and leadership guru, points out that in today’s business environment there are lopsided incentive structures, which is a failure of leadership. Plus, many leaders only measure during their tenure, not taking into consideration what happens after they leave. Leadership is hard and thankless and lonely most of the time, so taking care of each other is the absolute single most important thing to do to play in the infinite game.

4.    Build leaders. In business, we know how to train managers, but we do not know how to build leaders because of our hopelessly entangled administrative hierarchy and leadership, says Gary Hamel, academic and director for the Management Innovation eXchange. If the leadership team is referred to at an organization, it usually just refers to the people at the top. Learn from the military, one of the only organizations that has been able to successfully create leaders, and create a program that works.

5.    Create relational capital. In our hyper mobile, digitally intermediated world, relationships are hard to come by, so it is critical to create a culture based on community. Gallup found only 2 of 10 employees have a close friend at work. Hamel says employees will never be engaged with the company if they are not engaged with each other. Plus, solving new unusual problems requires a lot of relational capital.

6.    Change the way we think about work. From a macroeconomic per person viewpoint, productivity hasn’t budged since 1983. Management strategies that we have used in the past are no longer yielding productivity and engagement is just as low. Marcus Buckingham, author and expert on talent and strengths-based leadership, says it’s because our go to work method is assembly line style, dismissing the critical aspect of teams. Work should always be team work.

7.    Get curious when things work well. Buckingham also advises not to stop at telling someone “good job” when they do something well. Probe them. Ask them how they accomplished what they did and how they can recreate it.

8.    Bring mission and purpose into the team. People don’t care what company they work for, they care which team they are on. You join an industry, how long you stay and how productive you are depends on what team you are on, Buckingham says.

9.    Leverage your best people. Collins also warns not to put your best people on the biggest problems, but to assign them to the biggest opportunities.

10. Don’t be isolated. Isolation is the enemy of innovation. We have set up systems to constantly receive passive data that we are basing strategic decisions on. But, really, leaders need to be put in uncomfortable positions. Collins suggests doing an audit to see when you were last uncomfortable—if it has been more than a week, then you are isolated.

Check out the remaining 5 tips by Jennifer Castenson at Forbes here.

More on How to Inspire Leadership at Your Company

Just as important as inspiring leadership, it’s also important to hire leaders for your organization.  As an HR professional or business owner, you may also be interested in our recent posts featuring 8 Actionable Tips for Improving the Candidate Experience and How to Make Better Hires With Evidence-Based Recruiting.


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