“When we’re inspired, we see new possibilities, we’re receptive to an outside influence, and we feel energized and motivated. Fortunately, inspiration is not a static state of mind but a process that we can cultivate.”
So says leadership coach Kristi Hedges in a 2017 article for the Harvard Business Review.
In Hedges’ words, when we’re inspired, our work hums. Positivity, recognition, meaningful work—these are some of the elements of an effective and creative workplace.
As I assume the IREM presidency for 2020, those words ring particularly true, as my theme for the year will be “Inspire and Be Inspired.” It’s particularly important to note that, as Hedges points out, inspiration is a process. It’s much more than a concept from which motivational speeches are crafted. It can be achieved through modifying behaviors and being open to change.
Inspiration is also a business tool. When we’re inspired we feel energized, we’re more confident in our talents and abilities, we’re better able to find creative solutions to challenges, and we find meaning in our work. Maintaining an environment of positivity leads to positive outcomes.
Building and sustaining a work environment that keeps employees energized and engaged requires leaders to listen, observe, and add value. As property managers, we also engage with property owners, residents and tenants. Successfully managing all of these relationships requires us to build trust and credibility, which comes naturally when you and your team have a common sense of purpose in your work, and feel you’re doing what you should be doing.
Among other things, real estate managers are charged with providing safe, clean, and operationally efficient places for people to work and live. People count on us. To me, we’re all coworkers with the many people we serve, and I like to believe these relationships are enhanced by the positive energy we cultivate. As I visit IREM members around the world this year, I’ll be asking my colleagues to reflect on that. I like to think, as I’m inspired, I’ll be inspiring others.
I know that sounds like mom and apple pie. But inspiration is an essential tool of our business.
Besides, who doesn’t like apple pie?
In addition to her role as 2020 president of the Institute of Real Estate Management, Cheryl Gray, CPM, serves as the head of special projects and operational excellence at QuadReal Property Group in Toronto. She’s IREM’s first international president.