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I’ve spent a good amount of this year traveling, visiting with ERA® brokers across the country. Of course, we talk about their companies, current market conditions, business drivers and emerging trends. But what also invariably comes up in conversation is the topic of leadership. It’s a critical component, not only for running a real estate brokerage, but for any company committed to success.

During the course of my travels, I’ve been fortunate to be able to tap into the experience and wisdom of the ERA community, a true reflection of ERA Real Estate’s collaborative spirit. And I have gleaned several inspiring leadership tips that would work in any business environment because they focus on people, what they do best, and their sights for the future.

What I’ve learned from David Moody at ERA Sunrise Realty in Canton, Ga., is that success starts at the individual level, which is why he promotes business planning not just for the company, but for every single agent. Agents who use business planning become invested in their own success by creating an avenue for ownership and accountability to their goals. As he says, “it’s not my plan, it’s their plan.”

That approach also plays out in Robyn Erlenbush’s company, ERA Landmark Real Estate in Bozeman, Mont. She empowers people to make decisions and solve challenges. And she supports them every step of the way—a great way to build an effective and successful team.

In a similar vein, Eddie Wilder with ERA Wilder Realty in Columbia, S.C., treats all of his agents like partners. He views his primary responsibility as making sure they are “all in,” all the time. He told me he can do that because he doesn’t look at his work as a job or a career, but a calling—a way to make an impact. Frankly, I don’t think he knows any other way to be.

And one thing I always liked about Larry Strother at ERA Strother Real Estate in Fayetteville, N.C., is that he leads by example. He never expects anyone to do anything that he’s not prepared to do himself.

In speaking with our proven business leaders, it’s clear that at the end of the day, leadership is about surrounding yourself with great people, tapping into their talents and creating a shared vision for success.

Charlie Young is president and CEO of ERA Franchise Systems, LLC. For more information, please visit