The spotlight worldwide is shining very brightly right now on leadership. And over the past few years in particular, we’ve globally been witnessed to some good and not so good leadership from COVID 19 and lockdowns to natural disasters. And the current war with Russia leadership on all levels has really been amplified as nations, community businesses, families, and individuals. We’ve had a lot to deal with and a lot to overcome. Some of us have thrived while others have only just survived. So what’s the secret leadership ingredients that we all need. Is it resilience, tenacity, and humility, or, all of the above?
So, let’s dive into leadership because let’s face it there’s leadership… and then there’s leadership in property management. Property management is fraught with a whole new layer of leadership issues, stress, conflict workload. I’m super excited to chat with my guest this week. Ron Jelich has been both my business and personal coach and mentor for almost a decade give or take. He’s helped me with my business and me personally overcome some pretty dark and tough days as well as been there to celebrate some of the massive wins along the way as well. Now, as a leader, he not only talks the talk, but he’s walked the walk as well.
Having spent a large portion of his life in insurance sales, he was also one of the founders of financial company, Storm Financial and he’s personally experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in business. He now shares his journey, passion and huge heart with others, mainly in the real estate space, guiding mentoring and teaching others, not to just succeed, but to excel in both their lives and their businesses. He inspires them to become great people, to live by their beliefs, to serve others, and to lead with heart. So let’s dive into the interview with the man, the myth, the legend .. Ron Jelich.
GETTING STARTED IN LEADERSHIP
‘You know, I stumbled across the high performance, personal development space, really back in the eighties when I got into sales and, uh, it was a passion of mine. I was totally intrigued by why some people did exceptionally well. Some people did okay. And some people floundered and, uh, you know, as I aged, you know, you get to know a lot of people, you form a lot of good relationships and where possible you lend hand and try to help people do better in life, generally, which in an extension of that is doing well with your career, whether it’s real estate or otherwise. So it’s, it’s been a natural evolution, I think, and it’s something I’m very passionate about. It’s also something I’m very fortunate to be able to do.’
BREAKING DOWN LEADERSHIP
Ron has been part of our coaching team in our real estate business, iThink Property for a long time. Leadership is a big topic, but there’s some fairly basic principles around it. Can you break down in your own words, um, leadership for us?
‘Well, right now I would think it’s probably the most discussed topic in the world, right? So whether we’re talking pandemics, whether we’re talking, you know, global wars or conflicts, whether we’re talking, um, us politics or Australian politics, I think business sales, global issues, leadership is the hottest topic on the planet today. And I think it could be broken down into many people are good leaders. Many people are very accomplished leaders, but I think what you are really asking me to do, you know, leadership with a heart is what differentiates the great leaders from the rest. I, I sense that’s where your probing and by the way, it’s been an absolute pleasure hanging onto the coattails of the Walker real estate world for the last five to 10 years. It’s been quite a while now and it’s been a lot of fun.’
LEADING WITH HEART
There is leadership and there’s different styles of leadership and then there’s leading with heart. Is somebody who leads with heart is a better leader or a stronger leader. The definition of leading with heart, is somebody who leads with empathy and compassion, and emotional intelligence.
‘Again, you know, it, I think it depends on, on the, on the industry, on the task at hand, on the challenge, you know, you can have leaders who are perhaps in the military where there’s only one mission to be accomplished, where you can put a lot of noses out of joint and have people never talk to you again yet, still have done a great job. Those people may never talk to you again, but in that specific little project, you know, it could be considered a success. But I think there are several factors leading with heart, leading with passion, leading with empathy that lead to consistently superior results in my view. And I, and I think, you know, that’s something that I’ve tried to understand more and practice and pass on to others wherever I could.’
THE MOST ESSENTIAL LEADERSHIP SKILLS
‘To go to that great level, you know, to go from good, to accomplish, to very good, to really being at the top of your game. In my view, at least I think it starts with looking in the mirror and having a good understanding of self. You know, I don’t think you can lead other people unless you’ve got a very good grip on where your core center, where your moral center of gravity lies, your personality style, your profiling, the, your own personality, your leadership style, and, and truly understanding that what, what makes you tick once you have a good group of that, I think it then allows you to share and understand the group of people that you want follow you and treat them accordingly, treat them according to their personality and, um, leadership styles. That’s the first thing, understanding self. I think the second one is having clarity around where we want to go and, and getting people to buy into the next destination.’
‘I like to call them base camps. They could call them goals. You could call them, you know, the end results, you know, whatever the term is. And you can share that with people via your knowledge system, which is effective because knowledge is not that difficult to absorb or obtain, but if you actually share the destination through your belief system and what you de deeply believe in, and then get people to buy into your belief system, I think they’ll follow you at the end of the world, Kylie, you know, so it’s getting to know yourself first and then leading with your belief system, as opposed through your knowledge system. I hope that makes some sense.’
I can totally attest to the value of getting to know yourself, before trying to lead anyone or getting anyone to follow you. I had absolutely zero emotional intelligence when I started a business, and I knew even less about myself. So, leadership for me personally has been something I have been very passionate about, and it has been a journey that I have had to learn. And in a lot of ways, the hard way, because I’ve lost a lot of really great people in my business because I wasn’t a great leader and I’m not, I’m not too proud to admit that.
LEADERSHIP IN PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
Leadership in property management can be fraught with a few complications. There’s a high level of stress. There’s large workloads, there’s a lack of training and mentoring.
‘Yeah, well, frankly, I don’t think there’s that much difference between say a property management challenge in the leadership space or any other small business business related sales service related industry. I truly think it’s about serving other people, you know, so knowing yourself first, getting to know the people that are in your world that matter, taking them on a journey, a destination through your core beliefs, and then, and then truly serving the people, you know, as a leader, you are the servant and the provider of guidance, empathy, advice, shoulder to cry on. You serve many roles as a leader in, within any group, including property management. So you are the servant as the leader in a property management organization of the people within that group. And you serve them the, the deliverables, which is often emotional support, which is self-belief, which is technical training. There’s a whole range of things that, that they require, particularly in the high stress situation that the leader needs to provide. So serving others as a, I think is one of the traits of great leadership. And as individuals, we tend to probably get satisfaction out of personal accomplishments and we feel good and get an adrenaline rush and, you know, all the gushy, warm feelings about doing something well for ourselves, but great leaders, I believe get a sense of self-satisfaction or more self-satisfaction out of seeing their team members do well.’
‘We have been trained with the top down approach. You know, the dictatorial finger pointing here are your tasks. This is what you must do. You must report back into me as opposed to reversing it. Where, what can I do? How can I make you perform better as a servant? You are literally a great leader is really a servant of the people that are following him. And, and, and, and the people that are following actually feel that if it’s authentic, they will follow you to the end of the earth. If it’s done on your belief system, there’s a high level of empathy. And, you know, you’re there, you’re getting a kick outta their accomplishments in the group accomplishments, as opposed to it’s all about me, me, me.’
HOW TO BRUSH UP ON YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS RIGHT NOW
‘Now, Jim Collins wrote a fantastic book called good to great. And he talked about the five levels of leadership. Um, and again, I think this is really difficult to absorb consistently into your life and the two qualities, two qualities that refers to are tenacity. Okay. So having the tenacious ability to deal with bottlenecks and roadblocks and not give up. Okay. So that’s the first thing would do because our lives daily are filled with roadblocks and bottlenecks too often. You know, we tend to just say, this is too hard. So tenacity is one of the key ingredients. I think of level five high level great leadership. The other one, the other one that I really love. And it takes a long time, again, to accept this is humility. So ego stays out, humility kicks in. You stay under the radar. You do not big note. You give credit to others when success is amidst our world, and you take responsibility when the hits the fan.’
‘So the there’s a couple of other things I wanna touch on, but it’s certainly humility and it’s tenacity the resilient ability to say, we’re going to have roadblocks. We’re going to have bottlenecks and we’re gonna get through them. We’re not going to give up. So that’s that, that’s one little bit of advice. The other one is the world is a better place with great leaders, high level, top level leaders who every single waking moment, they should be identifying, nurturing and recruiting talent. And I, I wanna leave you with that message because if we have good people who spend their existence over a lifetime, identifying talent, recruiting talent, and then polishing it up to make them better people, whether it’s in their home, their sporting life, their hobbies or their career or their business, if we just concentrated on those three things, imagine what a great place the world would be.’
‘I just want to share with you how much I admire people that work in your industry in the property management space, because it is a constant barrage of principles, managers, BDMs, tradies, floods, landlords, tenants, and it, it’s a never ending vicious, juggling act, trying to make it all work. So it’s complex, it’s difficult, it’s challenging, and anyone that can succeed and do well and enjoy that space deserves every accolade.’
‘Leadership is a lifelong journey. It’s not something that you can read in one book or pick up in a podcast. I think, you know, I was fortunate enough to, to start going to international conferences in 1981, you know, and I’m still going. So the journey never ends about trying to be better in that space. It is, it is such an important, relevant topic to live well.’