A commentary by Tami Bonnell, CEO, EXIT Realty Corp. International

Recently I heard from a Broker/Owner who was feeling overwhelmed because she lost her top producer to another brokerage.  I asked her to share her concerns about the loss and to list the agent’s pros and cons – it turns out there were more cons than pros.  The Broker/Owner was naturally concerned about replacing the income she would lose, not just from the agent’s production but from the “pied piper” effect of having a high-profile agent in her office.

Each of us is a spoke in the wheel that connects us all.  No one human being is more important than another.  However, it’s easy sometimes to forget this when one of the spokes takes up a lot of economic or emotional space.  I suggested we reframe the picture.  Was it possible that other agents didn’t join her office because of this agent’s “cons”? Yes, she replied, eight people immediately came to mind.

The Broker/Owner had aggrandized this agent’s significance to the success of the brokerage and by doing so, had permitted the “cons” to continue for fear of losing the agent by addressing them.  What the Broker/Owner couldn’t see was that by allowing this behaviour, the healthy growth of her office by attracting agents who had more pros than cons was stunted.

I coached the Broker/Owner that she now had an excellent opportunity to lead by example by setting and enforcing new standards of behaviour for the brokerage.   I encouraged her to address this agent’s departure during a sales meeting and to apologize to her loyal agents for not keeping her eye on the bigger picture, to demonstrate humility and grace and to re-establish her commitment to reward good leadership, productivity and success.  It’s okay to make a mistake, I reminded her, as long as she admits what she did wrong, takes steps to correct it and doesn’t repeat it.

True leadership comes from owning your mistakes, growing as a result and sharing your experiences to mentor others.



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