Single person being followed by many people

January 18, 2022

Nobody wants to be managed

Nobody wants to be managed. 

Management, teamwork and leadership – what’s the difference?

Thriving organizations in the real estate and mortgage industries have leadership teams empowered to be agile, decisive and client focused. This decentralized style of leadership empowers individuals to achieve extraordinary results. 

We embraced this culture at Pacific Union International growing from $2 billion in sales volume in 2009 to $14 billion in 2018 when we were acquired by Compass. Each member of the leadership team developed and owned their budget, had hiring authority within their region, and enjoyed bonuses based on the fiscal performance of their department or region. We led 2,000 real estate professionals with 200 employees.

As a multiple sport athlete throughout high school and college, I learned the power of teamwork. One individual can indeed make a difference, but rarely can one create a championship in team sports. The same principles are true in business. The CEO can indeed make a difference, but the operating leverage comes from empowering leaders to be decisive and making decisions as close to the client as possible.

Will there be mistakes? Sure, but they will be recognized quickly, and course correction comes “in flight.” A centralized decision-making model tends to stifle innovation, creates complacency, and course correction takes time. We referred to large, centralized competitors as the aircraft carriers; we were the fighter jets coming back for fuel and returning to the field.

We experienced this firsthand when acquiring Pacific Union. All significant decisions were made by GMAC, centralize on the east coast. We immediately empowered the leadership team – some embraced the opportunity and responsibility, others self-selected out.

The right leaders [athletes] are required in the right roles. The best athletes generally love to run, create opportunity and bask in their results. They do not ask to be managed!

Let’s break it down.

What is the difference between management, teamwork, and leadership?

  • Management is the art of conducting a task, a project, or a group of people.
  • Teamwork is the synchronized art of working together towards the same goal.
  • Leadership is the art of articulating vision and inspiring others to pursue the vision with you.

Manager vs Leader graphic

Leadership generally does not require authority as the vision is compelling enough. Leadership and vision inspire through the noise of everyday business. Focus is maintained on vision and not distracted by competitive sprints.

Peak performance also deserves significant incentive compensation. Pay it timely if no somewhat early!

A team of empowered leaders will always outperform a tightly managed enterprise.

How does your organization thrive?

This is where we are now.



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