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As leaders in the mortgage industry, we can sometimes put the cart ahead of the horse. We want our people to respect us and follow our lead, so we take the reigns and start barking out orders. We try to motivate people by setting goals and pushing to reach those goals. Nothing wrong with that, of course. It's just that, in doing so, we get a little ahead of ourselves.
Before we become great leaders, we must become great listeners. Rather than going to our people and telling them what we need them to do, a better strategy would be to first go to our people and ask them what they need from us. How can we make their jobs easier to do? What frustrations and concerns are they dealing with that we can alleviate? When we get this feedback from our people, we learn of the underlying obstacles that are really preventing our organizations from succeeding. Then, we can make leadership decisions that take those challenges into account.
Listen, learn, lead: that's the proper order of things. Not only will you be able to know how to better lead your people if you first ask them about their challenges, but you will also gain their respect. People work harder for those they respect. And their is no quicker and more impactful way to gain the respect of your people than by simply listening to them and learning from their concerns. That's how great leaders are made.
David Lykken is 40-year mortgage industry veteran who has been an owner operator in three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As a former business owner/operator, today David loves helping C-Level executives and business owners achieve extraordinary results via consulting, coaching and communications, with the objective of eliminating corporate dysfunction, establishing and communicating a clear corporate strategy while focusing on process improvement and operational efficiencies resulting in increased profitability. David has been a regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News and currently hosts a successful weekly radio program, “Lykken on Lending,” that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. He produces a daily one-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper Web sites across America. He may be reached by phone at (512) 501-2810 or by e-mail at email@example.com.