The head of Australia’s largest real estate website believes a great leader is someone who is willing to invest in their people and help them be the best they can be.
However, REA Group chief executive Tracey Fellows told Real Estate Business that great leaders also need to have the ability to learn from their mistakes. Here, she shares her top five attributes of great leaders.
1. Be accountable
“When I look for leaders to join my team, I look for someone who will be accountable for the good and bad,” Ms Fellows said.
“I also look for people who have a sense of humour, can make personal connections with those around them, and people who understand and value the power of the team.”
2. Be authentic
Authenticity is essential in a leader, according to Ms Fellows who believes great leadership is synonymous with being genuine and authentic.
“There can’t be one person for work and one for home,” she said.
3. Have a diverse team
A good leader has a diverse team around them. According to the REA boss, when you surround yourself with people just like you, you get ‘group think’, which is not good for innovation.
“Great ideas come from diverse teams,” Ms Fellows said.
4. Have compassion
“When having difficult conversations with your people, do it from a place of love and compassion so that the person you are talking to can still walk away with dignity and respect,” she said.
“Over time I’ve learnt that it’s important to try to walk in other people’s shoes, even if it’s just for a moment. Otherwise it’s very easy to get judgmental, especially in challenging situations when the pressure is on.”
“As a CEO, you’re often put under pressure. It’s important to create a receptive environment built on trust where your team can provide you with honest and open feedback, and not be afraid to tell you when you’re not being a great leader or [not] motivating them.”
5. Be willing to change
You can’t ignore the results. Ms Fellows said you may sometimes need to acknowledge that your leadership style doesn’t bring out the best in people or perhaps doesn’t inspire them, excite them or energise them.
“That’s when you know you need to make a change, because that’s everything you don’t want to be as a leader,” she said.
“For me, I want to be a person who is inspirational when things are going well and also when they’re not.”
Ms Fellows has been chief executive officer at REA Group, parent company of realestate.com.au, since 2014. Prior to this, she was general manager at Australia Post and Microsoft’s Asia-Pacific region vice-president.
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