Multifamily psychologist and executive coach Ron "Dr. Ron" Beasley reveals the lack of archetypes behind industry leadership.
Source: MULTIFAMILY EXECUTIVE MAGAZINE
Publication date: November 11, 2008
YEARS AGO, PSYCHOLOGIST and family therapist Ron Beasley was recruited
by a large multifamily firm to help a challenging executive through an
anger management program. He found the experience so rewarding that he
launched Sage Concepts, a North Richland Hills, Texas-based executive
coaching practice that aims to provide multifamily firms and other
businesses with psychological insight to harness innate leadership
affectionately among clients as "Dr. Ron"—has since worked with a wide
range of multifamily firms including JPI, Gables Residential, and Post
Properties. Whether counseling teams or individuals, Dr. Ron employs a
one-on-one coaching style that emphasizes the recognition and
development of individual integrity and authenticity in setting
proactive goals for leadership success. MFE put Dr. Ron on the couch
for a debriefing on the psychological ins-and-outs of multifamily
MFE: What is your biggest challenge as a psychologist for multifamily leaders?
People have to see the need for change. There are times when I have had
to go in and counsel individuals who don't want to be worked with.
Those are the hardest clients. I'm not a disciplinarian, and if someone
does not see a need for change and isn't interested in improvement,
typically I'm not going to be able to work with them. People who want
to change and develop as leaders usually display a more outward
interest in bettering their communication skills. They want to improve
their own self-management.
MFE: But self-centricity and bullheadedness have often led to corporate success. Where does ego fit in?
There is a fine difference between a detrimental narcissistic
personality and someone who has a superego and can be a very effective
leader. Look at people like Jack Welch [or] Steve Jobs—those guys have
some super healthy egos, but it makes them competitive as visionaries,
and people follow them. The difference is that effective leaders also
have a compelling desire to be authentic and don't need recognition and
attention for their behaviors. They don't need to be patted on the back
all of the time.
MFE: Is it difficult for leaders to be self-critical?
Everyone finds it difficult to be self-critical and self-examining
unless they have a poor ego and low self-image. Most of us don't like
to be criticized, and we don't like to look on the inside. A healthy
individual selectively shows their authenticity. They are not afraid to
be vulnerable. The key to being self-critical is humility:
understanding you don't have all the answers and being able in the best
interest of others to admit you can be wrong.
MFE: Among the multifamily leaders you've coached, are there any commonalities?
Most CEOs and COOs want to improve their teams. They seem to have a
grasp of strategy and want to become more effective in bringing their
team up to a certain success level. Vice president-level executives are
more focused on individual coaching—how they can relate to their team
or be better leaders. The answers to those questions point to their
developmental plan. What level do they want to aspire to, and what are
the competencies that they need to achieve that?
MFE: Are there any personality archetypes or traits in multifamily leadership?
Archetypes are a dime a dozen. Is it management or leadership? Is it
translational or transactional? You go around and around and around in
circles and buzzwords. It confuses the concepts of leadership. My job
is to find out about you and your company and identify what your
success factors are. The success factors for leadership at XYZ company
will be completely different from the success factors for leadership at
ABC company. There's no such thing as oneleadership- model-fits-all.
MFE: Do leaders deserve to be rewarded?
Are there corporate positions that benefit from having compensation and
benefits perks? Yes. The question is whether or not the individual is
entitled to those perks. If you think you are entitled to something, or
something is due you, that borders on selfishness and integrity issues.
Back up what you say with what you do. Be careful about feeling that
you are ever owed or entitled to special treatment. Be authentic.