Creating a Shared Vision for You and Your Team is incredibly powerful to embracing a Remote First or Working Remote Culture. In this episode I talk about the importance of leadership but also your BHAG Around building an organization that is Remote First.
Glenn Sanford: 0:00
Hi, this is Glenn Sanford. And this is Episode Three of Working Remote. This is a podcast about helping you embrace the working remote lifestyle, helping you build your team and create outcomes that are really positive for you and your organization while working in this in this other way that maybe you're not used to. So hopefully these tips and ideas really powerful and really helpful for you, As you think about working remote hit me up on LinkedIn. If you're listening this podcast find me on LinkedIn, Glenn Sanford, you should be able to find me CEO of eXp World Holdings and Chief Strategy Officer for VirBELA. Send me a link. I accept most everybody's inbounds and then send me a message as to what you're thinking about questions you might have relative to working remote. And I'd love to address those, and obviously again, we're going to have some guests on here at some point in the future as well. So today we're again going to talk about creating a shared vision. How that vision can really drive you and your team forward to being really effective in growing an organization so that let's go on to the podcast. Thanks. Hi, Glenn Sanford here and today I'm going to talk a little bit about creating a shared vision. One of the things that you just want to think about as you are going on this journey of being fully remote is the is the idea that you really want to make sure that you've really built a vision for what it is that you want to do. Now some of this is iterative. There's no doubt about it, whether it be embracing different technologies to be fully remote. But part of it is actually driven by somebody who is effectively kind of a Monomaniac on a mission. I think that the idea that you know, back in 2009 we were able to go fully remote was partially because of my drive toward this direction. I was asked, quite frankly, when do we get our offices back? And as I mentioned a previous podcast, I think the intro podcast I mentioned to the team member that asked that I said, "We're not going to get our offices back. We don't know how long the market's going to have issues, and so we have to figure out a way to build a defensible business model that's not dependent on bricks and mortar." And so that really became the big driver for us over the months of April, May, June, July, August September to figure out what that ultimately meant. Now we were operating effectively remote through that whole period of time. But we didn't really have a tool set put together. We just had the vision, the direction, and the commitment. And one things I I think about is this concept of business constraints. And so for us that business constraint was that we needed to build the defensible business model without bricks and mortar, and that was for obviously, the real estate industry. But the business constraint of building the business without bricks and mortar was a non negotiable. For us, it was, we have to figure that out and and we've got to do it in a way that actually includes and engages our agents, our brokers and our staff, and the other part was, how do we or how can we distribute leadership in a virtual type environment. So it's our big, hairy, audacious goal. Our BHAG was to build a defensible business model that wasn't dependent on bricks and mortar. And on top of that, it needed to be, to have the trappings of an enterprise that people would actually want to be a part of. And so that was really the thing that we were working on, trying to figure out what those ingredients were and would ultimately translate into a business that actually could scale. So some people talk about the concept of massive, transformative purpose. And so what is it that you're ultimately trying to do to ultimately make an impact on the world in hopefully a very positive way? And for us, it was: How do we build a compelling business model, one that people would want to be a part of and yet not have the physical bricks and mortar component. You know, another piece that you want to think about is, is what's the size of your vision if you're going to go and build a fully remote organization and as you can tell, I'm pretty passionate about this. I've built a fairly large enterprise with a number of teammates over the last number of years. That's now, you know, one of the largest single real estate brokerages in the world. Over 28,000 agents and brokers and with staff were now over 29,000 individuals. And then, if you extend that to what we're doing on the VirBELA side and how were growing that side of the business, and then we have a number of smaller enterprises inside of that, and we've done it without investing in any bricks and mortar that wasn't required from a compliance perspective. So in some some states, some jurisdictions, there's a requirement that you have to have an office with the door someplace that the state can come in and audit the files. Now most states have actually adopted requirements that are less stringent. But where we have to have those offices, we have those offices and we have to comply with local license law, et cetera. But for most of the country that's allowed us to actually, now most countries, that's allowed us to actually grow something way bigger than we could have ever built if we were dependent on the financial inputs that would have needed to put in that infrastructure. So with the idea that being remote gives you certain financial benefits that your bricks and mortar competitors don't have, there's a lot of leverage in going fully remote or embracing this remote first paradigm. So think about what's your vision. Is it big enough? is it? If it's big enough, people will follow you. People actually follow people with big visions. So when you're thinking about what is your vision as a as a team, as a leader, what is it that's ultimately going to be big enough that people are going to want to follow you and want to be part of this shared vision? Now one of the books that I read back late in the eighties was the book, In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, and in it they talk about one of the concept is a Manomaniac on a mission. And so who is it in your organization that truly is going to drive this remote first culture? In our case, I was that big driver. But as soon as people started to see the benefits of being fully remote, all of a sudden we got an entire lift of the organization going. Man, this is really cool. Why aren't more people doing this? I can't believe nobody else is doing this. We shouldn't tell people what we're doing, because this is so cool. But yet at the same time, we were very overt about how we were operating. It was one of the unique, value propositions that we had, which is the idea that you could be working with the best people in the company, not just the best people in your office. And we developed another term that came out of the book in search of excellence was Management by Walking Around and MBWA and I think it was coined probably back in the GE days. Or maybe with Peter Drucker. And this whole concept of being able to go and get close to your people, get close to your your team, get close to the folks that actually make things happen. Get close the front line and get close to the customer was a concept that was was really promoted from that probably the fifties on and this this whole concept of being working really close with your team. And so we developed the term Management by Avataring Around. And really, that means the ability to go room to room, space to space, sit with your team, brainstorm. And a lot of these things now are even easier than it was back in 2009. And even before that, We've had instant messenger around since the AOL days, and I remember, you know, AOL instant messenger and Yahoo Instant Messenger and then eventually you've got the Google chats. And now you've got the Facebooks and LinkedIn's and the Microsoft Teams in the Workplace by Facebook and the Slacks and those types of tools, which is amazing, especially the ability stay in touch between, when you have the meaningful collisions. But the idea that when you're you're in the office and your checked-in, and you've in your domain and you're having the serendipitous meaningful collisions with other people in the organization, and you're able to kind of move the ball forward in a meaningful way. It's a pretty powerful paradigm and also encourages creativity. Another another topic item is the Do it, Fix it, try it. You know, when you work closely with the team, you could do a lot more safe to try experiments and you can see Hey, does this work? Does that work? Okay, that didn't work. Let's fix it. Let's try it again. And when you're working together very collaboratively in this way, then you're able to get things and try things and fix things and try him again and do it again and and fix it and try it. And so it really allows you to really work in a much more iterative process. One of my mentors taught me years ago and this probably in the nineties, was if you find one thing that works really, really well and for us, operating in a fully virtual environment really worked well for us. It was also something that we said, Hey, if we don't figure this out, we're gonna go do something else for a living back in 2009. But when you find something that works really well for you, then scale it. Scale the heck out of it. And what are the tools that you can you put into your business that ultimately scale you and give you an unfair advantage in the marketplace. Now not unfair in a moral way, but an unfair advantage because you've got a different set of operating principles from an economic perspective or from a social perspective that gives you an ability to compete in ways that your competitors can't. And when you've got the ecosystem, when you have got a shared vision, when you've got these big, hairy, audacious goals to sort of change the world and the way people work, you've got your massive transformative purpose. and the vision is so big that people want to be on your team. It's pretty cool. So, you know, today just create a shared vision. Think about how being remote can be part of that, even if you're not. If that's not your thing, create a shared vision. What is it that you are ultimately trying t achieve? And how are you gonna go about achieving it? And how can you get people to want to be part of what you're doing? And it's a really powerful way to to operate. And it's something that I think is really important, especially as you're thinking about how to embrace a working remote culture and lifestyle. So with that, I'm gonna sign off, and I hope to have you on another podcast. Thanks again. Hey, thanks again for listening to episode number three of Working Remote. It's really enjoyable to present this podcast. Just a just a couple days we've already had hundreds of downloads of our 1st 2 episodes are getting lots of positive feedback for doing these. So expect that this is going continue on for a while with lots of great information, tips and ideas and things we've learned over the years of building one of the largest fully remote organizations on the planet. So with that, I'm gonna sign off and again hit that subscribe button and talk you soon.