Developing a successful commercial real estate brokerage office and winning three Super Bowls on your way to becoming the all-time leading rusher for the National Football League gives you ample opportunity to fine-tune your leadership skills. Emmitt Smith recently offered up some of his leadership wisdom to the Associate Leadership Council Class of 2017.
Your Time as a Leader is Determined by Your Time as a Follower
- You may have great natural ability, but you need others to help you learn and develop before you can truly be successful.
- Put away your arrogance and learn from others. Use your own time and money to make it convenient to learn from those with knowledge you need and want.
- Take the time to learn so you are prepared to step up or go out on your own when an opportunity is presented.
- Learn early to share the spotlight because you will never succeed on your own.
Begin with the End in Mind
- Own who you are and what you want in life. Don’t be afraid to achieve the work/life balance you want.
- Leadership is an earned privilege, not a guaranteed right.
- Learn and work today in a way that equips you for the future.
- It is all about consistency, self-encouragement, character, ethics, and work ethic.
- Consistency conveys the importance of what you are doing to others.
Learn to Engage, or even Re-Engage, the World Around You
- In a world with varying cultures, backgrounds and other factors, we are all behind at some point. We must engage with the world around us to learn and be successful.
- Don’t just rely on one skill or area of expertise. Look for ways to continually learn and grow.
- Relationships must be reciprocal and you need to maintain relationships. Don’t treat people and relationships as though they expire when the lease or deal is done.
- It is okay to demand excellence of ourselves and others.
- Tell others what you expect from them and give them the resources to perform.
- Life is full of disappointments and successes. Pay attention along the way to learn the subtle lessons in both.
Aaron Echols is a commercial real estate lender and has been with Frost Bank since December 2011. Aaron has been a TREC member since 2014 and has served in numerous capacities. Aaron and his wife, Courtney, live in Plano with their two children, Ripken and Millie.