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How Seeking Feedback Strengthens Leadership Ability

Nobody likes being criticized. Nobody likes being told they’re wrong. Nobody likes being told that there are things about them that they need to change. As leaders in our organizations, it can be really easy to escape that discomfort. Most of the people who come into contact with us each day are probably more interested in flattering us than they are in critiquing us. So, why wouldn’t we take advantage of our position and avoid the discomfort of feedback?

Well, if we’ve risen to positions of leadership in our organizations, we probably already know the answer to this question: without feedback, we can’t improve. We can’t grow. We can’t become better leaders. The fact that so many people are trying to avoid criticism of us isn’t a benefit; it’s actually a disadvantage. If we don’t have people who are willing to tell us where we’re going wrong, then how are we supposed to turn things around and continue heading in the right direction?

Here’s my advice: always be soliciting feedback from your people. At the end of every conversation, ask your people if they agree with you and why they feel the way they do. Conduct anonymous surveys periodically on the policies you are implementing. Have an open door policy and let your people come to you when they have suggestions. Feedback may feel uncomfortable in the short term, but it strengthens us in the long term. Being a great leader often means we’ve made a lot of mistakes…and then fixed them. Find people who are willing to point out your mistakes to you–that’s how you become a stronger leader.

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Leadership Runs on Passion

Leadership Runs on Passion

Passion not typically associated with the mortgage industry. From the outside, people often view anything within the financial sector as drab and uninteresting. As a result, many people entering the industry for the first time may be doing so simply because it’s a job. They may not fully grasp how fulfilling a career in the industry can be. As leaders in the industry, it’s up to us to show them.

It’s hard, however, to convince our people to be passionate about their work if we aren’t showing any passion in what we do. In the day-in, day-out hustle and bustle of business, it can be easy to start feeling like we’re going through the motions. Passion, sometimes, is not a natural disposition. As leaders, we’ve got to deliberately keep the fire fueled if we want to communicate the excitement we have for the industry to our people.

Our people will be interested to the extent that we are interested. Passion is contagious. You can’t be a great leader without a sense of passion for what you do. People want to be inspired in their work. If you aren’t passionate about your work, people will look elsewhere. Are you showing in your behavior that the mortgage industry is a fulfilling place to build a career? Do you run on passion?

Why are you in the mortgage business? What drives you? Until you answer these questions, you can’t really have the fire inside that spreads to your team. If you ask yourself these questions, though, and get a firm handle on your purpose, you’ll start the kind of fire that becomes unquenchable.