The Leader Magazine

MAR 2017

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56 MARCH 2017 F E A T U R E A R T I C L E results and CRE strategy. The other condition required for success and greater responsibility described by several participants is feedback from and reputation with other non-CRE executives. P8 expressed this as the CRE department having a good reputation with other executives. P7 described it as creating a conversation with executives to get guidance on their performance expectations. Success, therefore, is not determined strictly by the numbers but also includes a social or emotional component. CREM executives who have cultivated their ability to understand and apply the important nuances of their corporate culture are seen as more able to work within the corporate framework (Schein, 2010). It also seems likely that CREM executives with greater emotional intelligence (i.e., higher levels of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills), are more open to and aware of the CRE needs of other executives (Goleman, 2004). RQ #4: What recommendations would CRE leaders make to help others achieve suc- cess for their organizations? Recommended leadership practices and strategies. Over 70 percent of the executives interviewed felt that understanding the core business of the company is imperative for a support organization such as CRE. This comes as no surprise and echoes the accepted wisdom of Joroff, et al., who point out that "neither the CREM leader nor his/her leadership can be effective without understanding the core business of the corporation" (1993). CRE leaders need to speak the language of the business unit, not expect the business unit executives to learn the language of real estate (Manning & Roulac, 1996). Proactivity on the part of CREM and making CREM knowledge available in understandable terms (and then seeking to understand business unit needs in a holistic fashion) are key elements in the process (P13). Communicate consistently and honestly. The need for consistent and honest communication can hardly be understated, as it is the only way to build common understanding and trust. The need for honest communication is so fundamental that P8 articulated the fundamental law of successful CRE as being, "communication, communication, communication." Even if the news to be communicated isn't good news, if communicated honestly and directly, P11 believes that even negative news can have a beneficial impact on the business relationship. Have your own vision and strategy. In order to successfully take on the work necessary for a successful strategy implementation, a CRE leader needs to believe in (P2) and be passionate about (P5) the strategy selected. Mastery of the strategic concepts and passion for their execution give the staying power and energy with which to overcome the inevitable obstacles strategy implementation entails. Without a personal commitment and passion for their plan, it seems unlikely that any CRE leader can produce a vision that motivates their organization to achieve exceptional results. Final thoughts When asked about skills they had found successful in their role as a CRE leader, one participant captured very eloquently the sense of the leadership qualities that many of those interviewed also espoused. "It's all about, in my view, being a better person and a better leader. By which I mean (that) the more of a leader you need to be, or you want to be, the more you have to have people believing in you and what you're saying. Which means you have to be more authentic, which means you have to understand who you are and what you stand for more, and what you believe in. You have to be honest, truthful, and open on everything, and be visible. Stand up and make clear what you believe in. Don't try and pull the wool over people's eyes or if you don't believe in something, say it. Be straight, and that's very difficult." (P5, personal communication, May 5, 2016) Bibliography Ali, Z., Adair, A., McGreal, S., & Webb, J. (2008). Corporate Real Estate Strategy: A Conceptual Overview. Journal of Real Estate Literature, 16(1), 3-22. Andrews, K. R. (1971/1980). The concept of corporate strategy. Homewood, Ill.: R.D. Irwin. Bass, B. M. (1998). Transformational leader- ship: industrial, military, and educational impact. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Bon, R., Gibson, V., & Luck, R. (2002). Annual CREMRU-JCI survey of corporate real estate practices in Europe and North America: 1993- 2001. Facilities, 20(11/12), 357-373. Chandler, A. D. (1962/1990). Strategy and structure: chapters in the history of the indus- trial enterprise. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press. George, B. (2003). Authentic leadership : re- discovering the secrets to creating lasting value. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Goleman, D. (2004). What Makes a Leader? Harvard Business Review, 82(1), 82-91. Retrieved from login?url= px?direct=true&db=buh&AN=11800993&site =ehost-live&scope=site Joroff, M., Louargand, M., Lambert, S., & Becker, F. (1993). Strategic Management of the Fifth Resource: Corporate Real Estate. Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading change. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press. Manning, C., & Roulac, S. (1996). Structur- ing the Corporate Real Property Function for Greater "Bottom Line" Impact. Journal of Real Estate Research, 12(3), 383-396. Quinn, J. B. (1995). Strategies for change. In H. Mintzberg, J. B. Quinn, & J. Voyer (Eds.), The strategy process (pp. 7-12). Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall. Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership (4th Edition ed.). San Fran- cisco: Jossey-Bass. Dr. Robert Schuur is a retired CRE leader whose research has primarily focused on topics related to leadership, strategy and performance management.

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