Defining Leadership.

“If one’s actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, that that person is a leader” – John Quincy Adams.

Often in today’s society, leaders are portrayed as those who yell the loudest, have the nicest office, or simply have a natural “gift” to lead. But what does it really mean to “lead” or “coach” a student or team member? Why does one NEED a leader?

According to Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool, co-authors of Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, identification of the RIGHT mentor can mean the difference between harnessing one’s full potential, and simply giving up on an “impossible” task.

“Even the most motivated and intelligent student will advance more quickly under the tutelage of someone who knows the best order in which to learn things, who understands and can demonstrate the proper way to perform various skills, who can provide useful feedback, and who can devise practice activities designed to overcome particular weaknesses” (Ericsson & Pool, 2017).

Ericsson & Pool go on to explain several advantages to mentorship that teach students skills and techniques for life-long use:

  1. Purposeful Practice – The act of practicing a particular skill in a focused setting where one has a specific goal they intend to accomplish.
  2. Elimination of Naïve Practice – Simply participating in an activity without an intention to improve or develop new skills.
  3. Leave Your Comfort Zone – Without coaching and encouragement, students may not feel the need or desire to practice something new and instead continue with the same behaviors.

AFI has a dedicated Leasing & Collections (L&C) Department within our corporate infrastructure that is devoted solely to the assistance of, and continued success of our Onsite Teams. Too often we see “Leaders” rely heavily on phone/conference call-type lecturing to address operational deficiencies and performance concerns while completely avoiding the interpersonal interaction. Inside of AFI L&C, we recruit and train seasoned team members t serve as Property Mentors who are responsible for the mentorship and continued coaching of our teams ONSITE at the asset.

If you are someone that values leadership, has a passion for coaching/training others, or simply wants to learn more about services offered by AFI, we encourage you to contact us directly!


Ericsson, A., & Pool, R. (2017). Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise. Boston, MA: First Mariner Books.

Pereira, R. (2021, March 1). The Difference Between Naive, Purposeful, and Deliberate Practice. In Retrieved from deliberate-practice/

Colin CosbyDefining Leadership.