Leading Through Change
Don Casey - President and CEO, Anywhere Integrated Services
February 8, 2023
The real estate veterans out there have weathered the ebbs and flows of this industry. How effectively we respond during market downturns is as critical to our long-term success as our ability to capitalize on strong economic cycles. With challenging dynamics at play at the macro level, we need to sharpen our focus on those things within our control, one of the biggest opportunities here being how we lead our teams though tough times.
There are countless books and podcasts on leadership and I’m sure those of you who are leading organizations, teams and households have your favorites. Of the attributes consistently observed in strong leaders, there are a few that rise to the top, in my experience, especially during times of crisis and/or change:
Your attempts at frequent communication are only valuable if your message is received in the way you intended it. That means knowing your audience—their fears and their motivations—and understanding that your demeanor sets the tone for how others will react and perform. A Harvard Business Review report found that 71 percent of employers value emotional intelligence (EQ) over IQ, as leaders with high EQ are more likely to stay calm under pressure, resolve conflict effectively, and respond to co-workers with empathy.
A Deployment Focus
In Good to Great, Jim Collins writes “The moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone, you’ve made a hiring mistake.” Great leaders surround themselves with exceptional people, train them well, and then trust in them to execute. The ability to relinquish control over tactics and maintain a focus on vision and strategy is even more critical during times of change, when course-correction may be necessary.
Flexibility and Creativity
Research from workforce solutions company ManpowerGroup suggests that “40 percent of companies’ leaders are unprepared for the business issues they are facing now.” Uncertain times present tough decisions—and sometimes require pulling back on decisions you made just days or weeks earlier with full confidence. Maintaining an agile mindset is key to seeing the possibilities that exist, rather than the limitations.
Some food for thought as we navigate an ever-changing industry and economic landscape. These three characteristics are not easy to come by—certainly not in one person—but I’ve observed them time and again in leaders I admire.
I’m honored to have kicked off what will undoubtedly be a series of thought-provoking perspectives from colleagues across our company on this blog. Stay tuned here each month for insight from our experts.
Don Casey is President and Chief Executive Officer of Anywhere Integrated Services. He was appointed to this role in 2002, and the company has experienced tremendous growth throughout his tenure. Notably, in 2006, Don oversaw the acquisition of Title Resources Guaranty Company, a Texas-based title underwriting entity. Under Don’s leadership, Title Resources grew to be the fifth largest title underwriter in the country—operating in nearly 40 states, with reported revenues of approximately $400 million—and was successfully positioned for a joint venture with Centerbridge Partners, L.P., which was approved during the first quarter of 2022. Don is a member of the board of directors of Guaranteed Rate Affinity, LLC, and he is a Director of the General Partner of Title Resources Group.