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What makes a good leader? This is a complex question that leaves many of us struggling to understand why we have underperforming team members or have a constant turnover of key players.

I managed one of the top RE/MAX teams in the Southwest region for over 15 years, and, in that time, I learned a few key components of good leadership:

  1. You must have the right person in the right seat on your bus.
    You might have an awesome team member, but they don’t have the skillset or the right personality for the job description. A great example I can share is an admin hire we made over happy hour, and her job offer was literally written on a cocktail napkin. She was a very high “I” personality, and while she was fun, passionate and enthusiastic (and did I mention fun?), she couldn’t sit at her desk for more than 15 minutes before she was up and wandering around the office looking for people to talk to. We ended up letting her go, and she went on to become an agent and thrived as a salesperson. Great person, but wrong seat on the bus.

The DISC assessment results don’t lie, and using this tool will ensure you don’t set someone up for failure in a position they just aren’t a match with based on their natural gifts and abilities.

  1. Do you trust your team, and, more importantly, do they trust you?
    If you don’t trust the person on your payroll, then you need to take a closer look as to why. Sometimes trust is a matter of additional training, better systems or learning to let go of the need to be in control. In order to be an effective leader, you must have trust in your organization. Nothing kills a team environment quicker than a lack of trust in you as the leader and your mission as a team.
  1. Learn to delegate…and let go of the outcome.
    Empowering your team to make decisions and think outside the box is a part of effective leadership. The right training makes delegation easier. Most team leaders are high “D” personalities, which means they have control issues and have a deeply rooted belief that their way is the only way. Despite how great your idea is, there is always more than one way to accomplish a task—and, dare I say, sometimes your team members have a better, more efficient idea. Delegation is just one part; then, you have to let go of the outcome because you have faith in your team to follow a process that achieves the best result.
  1. Above all else, lead by example and your flock will follow.
    The most important leadership skill is to lead by example. You must intentionally and consistently walk your talk if you want those around you to follow you as their leader.
  1. A team that plays together, stays together.
    Your team environment needs to be rewarding and fulfilling in order to build long-term team players. Recognize their achievements, celebrate their wins and support them when they need it. Good talent will demand accountability, training and a leader they can rally behind because they believe in your cause and vision.

Sarah Michelle Bliss is a coach with Workman Success Systems. She has been in the real estate industry since 1995 and is an original founder at RE/MAX Professionals, where she has been a part of the Nate Martinez Team since 1997. Over the past 20 years, she has taught locally and nationally, and coached and influenced her peers through team management, agent development and training. Bliss is currently the director of Agent Development for RE/MAX Professionals in Glendale, Ariz. For more information, please visit