Successful Leaders Know That One Cowboy Doesn’t Have All the Answers

by Elizabeth Dukes on May 12, 2015

Whether you are at the top of your profession or working your way through the ranks, those who wish to successfully lead their team must possess certain leadership skills. Sure, you can learn a lot about your chosen profession through education and experience, but being a leader is a learned skill that can only be gained through real-world experience in the field. These experiences afford a deeper understanding of the intricacies of your organization, your teammates, as well as your workforce as individuals. This To be a successful FM you must ask some tough questionsunderstanding enables you to confidently make decisions under high-pressure situations, as well as predict and overcome hardships before they negatively affect the business. Being a true leader means looking within oneself first and foremost, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and making adjustments accordingly. It also means understanding and appreciating the strengths and weaknesses of your teammates, playing on those strengths to encourage success at every level.

Never Stop Asking Questions

Those who have risen to the top will attribute a portion of their success to an insatiable hunger and thirst for knowledge. Whether you think you have all the answers or not, obtaining alternate views and opinions offers you a different perspective that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. Your quest to consistently better yourself is enhanced through the wisdom and experience of those around you.

The Most Innovative Ideas Are Born Through Campfire Talks

Between an ever-evolving workforce and advancing technology, we are at a remarkable place in the history of the workplace. The workspace is filled with unique opportunities and it is your job, as the leader, to tap into these possibilities. We are the cowboys of the modern age, seizing the moment and exploring uncharted territory. But we cannot do it alone; it requires collaboration on an organizational level.

“An aspiring facility leader must have a clear appreciation for the power of collaboration, rather than control, to encourage those around the leader to come to the right decisions.” -Stormy Friday

Perhaps one of the most valuable creeds we can take away from the cowboy code, is getting together for the roundup. The cowboys learned early on that no one could survive and find success out on the open range without collaboration amongst the team. This was not only critical for their success, but to their very survival.

Much like the cowboys, the modern day professional is assigned their individual job. However, management has learned the value of gathering these individuals together to share thoughts and ideas, inspiring innovative approaches to things that might otherwise have been ignored. The iOffice team takes this code very seriously, gathering around the campfire with not just our teammates, but our customers as well. We have learned that the voice of our customer is a very valuable asset; one that has resulted in newly paved paths and successes for both our clients and our team.

Your Customers Are An Integral Part of Your Team

The most effective method in which to deliver what your clients are looking for, is to ask them. As the Customers are an integral part of your successful fm teamfacilities manager, you find yourself with two equally important sets of clients- your workforce and the company’s customers. Your employees work on the frontline day in and day out, so it makes sense to seek out their opinions regarding operational processes, as well as how to fulfill the company’s clients needs. But recent studies have revealed that less than half of employees feel comfortable speaking up regarding company issues and need for improvement. As their leader, it is your job to maintain a steady flow of dialogue, allowing team members to have a voice. Without, the entire workplace culture and productivity will suffer, often leaving great ideas unborn.

An equally important part of your team, are the company’s clients. Is there really any better way to understand the needs of your customers than to ask them? This communication stands to offer you key insight into their needs, where your company currently falls in meeting those needs, and where improvements can be made. This will, more often than not, pave the path for future clients as well.

Every company’s position is unique, but the driving force behind successes is the same – innovation. As the facilities manager, inspiration and change often begins with you and the relationships you foster. You are expected to lead by example, putting personal ego aside and encouraging an open and honest leadership style. By showing your employees you value their ideas and opinions, recognizing no one person has all the answers, you build team confidence. Trust, confidence, honesty, and “good conflict” are where the most innovative ideas are born.  


Elizabeth Dukes

Elizabeth Dukes' pieces highlight the valuable role of the real estate and facility managers play in their organizations. Prior to iOFFICE, Elizabeth was in sales for large facility and office service outsourcing firm.

Capterra Ratings: ★★★★★ 4.5/5