Leadership is commonly defined as the action of leading a group of people or an organization. However, commonly published leadership author, Warren G. Bennis, ventures that being a “Leader” is more complex than simply having “Followers.” “Leadership is having the capacity to translate vision into reality” (Forbes, 2013).
Who then, by Bennis’ definition, can qualify as a leader? Someone who simply barks orders and demands that his or will is implemented without a second thought? Or perhaps it is the individual that aligns their subordinates under the common goal or mission of that person/organization? Forbes.com identifies the following traits that almost all successful leaders possess in one capacity or another (Forbes, 2017):
- Effective Communication – Leaders can clearly and succinctly explain to their teams everything from an organization’s long-term goals, to specific tasks or duties.
- Accountability & Responsibility – An effective leader must take responsibility for their own mistakes/shortcomings and encourage team members to do the same while driving towards constant improvement.
- Team Building – Successful leadership is dependent upon the people a leader can bring around them and align in the direction of a mutually beneficial goal.
AFI is responsible for the onsite operations of thousands of units across the country and effectively manages these assets through the implementation of a lean manufacturing model. Therefore, ensuring that the skills/resources necessary to effectively manage hundreds of individuals remotely are readily available is of the utmost importance. Often, one-on-one, in-person, and individualized instruction/guidance has no substitute.
Some advantages of onsite, in-person mentorship are:
- Outside Perspective – Without being physically present onsite at the asset from time to time, it can be easy to misunderstand or underestimate the magnitude of work onsite teams may be completing or issues they may be facing.
- Task Importance – By spending a few days (or even a few weeks) to work with the management team at the property, we assure our onsite staff that their work is not just important, but critical to the continued realization of our company’s Mission, Prospering All Stakeholders.
- SUPPORT – Sometimes onsite teams just need help. An extra set of hands a few days a month has proven to make a big difference to team morale and performance.
We believe the willingness to physically travel and be present where needed, when needed, is an obligation of AFI as the property operator and should not result in a significant addition to incurred expenses at the asset. To that end, AFI REFUSES to incur hotel charges and instead lodges onsite in a vacant unit whenever visiting (often sleeping on air mattresses). Everyone from our Interns, to company Leaders/Executives understands the importance of providing support and leadership to onsite teams whenever needed and minimizing costs all along the way.
Kruse, Kevin. “What is Leadership?” Forbes, 9 Apr. 2013, www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2013/04/09/what-is-leadership/#1b31f0395b90
Patel, Deep. “11 Powerful Traits of Successful Leaders.” Forbes, 22 Mar. 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/deeppatel/2017/03/22/11-powerful-traits-of-successful-leaders/#5e2b412a469f