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The deafening sound that can be heard around the world today is the absence of leadership. In countless industries, we see leaders paralyzed, afraid of making the wrong decisions, therefore making no decision at all.

During an interview the other day I was asked, “What do I do? I have all these people that are counting on me.” The advice I gave was easy. However, doing it is not.

Right now, your people are looking at you to lead. It’s easy to lead when the tide is rising and the market is going up. It makes even the bad leaders look good. It’s times like these that we separate the wheat from the chaff, and the “entrepreneurs” from the “wantrepreneurs.” Below are six areas that leaders today need to focus on today.

Health and safety

No issue is more important than the health and safety of our staff, agents, clients and communities. If anything, the global shutdown due to COVID-19 has proven that. We will go to some pretty extreme lengths to protect it. As a leader, you should have a clear direction that aligns with your heart. Create your policy based on that direction. Be quick, proactive and empathetic.


You can either be the lion, or you can be eaten by the lion. Your choice. The truth of the matter is, top performing leader seek out challenges. They don’t run from them. This is when we sharpen our axes and test our skills. We were built for this!

Leaders make sure that their minds are focused on the right things. It will require great discipline to say “yes” to what’s good and beneficial, and “no” to what doesn’t serve you, your agents, staff and community. One place to start would be your MEDS, which stands for meditation, exercise, diet and sleep.


Is knowledge power? No, wisdom is power. Knowing what is happening or likely to happen financially is great, but taking action to prepare (or even benefit from it) is where the power manifests. The truth is, no one knows what will happen economically. Someone will be right, but we have no way of knowing who just yet.

What we can do in the meantime is plan for the worst. We can take action to protect our companies and lead our teams to follow suit. The CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) are all there to help your companies, agents, staff members and communities endure this challenging time. Seek out that information, take action based on it, and lead others to do the same.


No one likes to lose agents or staff members they care deeply about. It’s in times like this that we need to show our value to them while appreciating their worth. If leaders are absent during this time and fail to provide direction, confidence, knowledge and inspiration, their agents and staff are going to find someone else who will. If you lean in and lead with passion and purpose, then you’re going to have an incredible opportunity to grow.

Talent attraction

If you are a leader, and you’re not focusing on — even doubling down on — attracting staff and agent talent right now, you may be missing a chance of a lifetime. Agents, staff members and communities are starved for leadership right now. So many “leaders” have gone silent, paralyzed with the fear of making the wrong decisions or taking the wrong “fork in the road.”

As a result, their people are lost, and they are looking for their proverbial lighthouse. There is a saying that goes something like, “in the absence of value, price is all you have to offer.” Well, today, talent is on sale to the leaders who’re leading. Lead staff, agents and communities, even if they aren’t yours.


I’ll say it again — lead people even if they aren’t yours! Unapologetic leadership is all about having knowledge, wisdom, passion, empathy and taking action. That’s what we’re all looking for, especially in times like these.

As a great leader, these are the things you can offer. It’s easy to lead when things are easy. It’s a different story today. Today, we need leaders who can bring calm to the storm. We want people who have a track record of navigating tough situations and are confident in their ability to lead us through this. Be that leader!

Todd Conklin is the Chief Executive Officer at Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties and CB Commercial Prime Properties with offices in Idaho, Montana, and Colorado.  You can connect with Todd on LinkedInIstangram, or Facebook.

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