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Can a Strong Leader Really Make a Difference?

In times like these, the actual power of leadership is sometimes doubted.

Can strong leadership really master the challenges everyone else is still battling?

Can a strong leader actually navigate an organization through the obstacles that are paralyzing others?

Are there some leaders that are so good that, no matter what hardships they face, they will triumph?

Let me tell you the story of one such leader.

Several months ago, I was honored to be part of an educational event called Reinvent Yourself ‘09 which was put together by Michael Saunders and Company in Sarasota, Florida.

If you are unfamiliar with what has happened in the Sarasota real estate market, let me paint you a picture. Florida was one of the hardest hit states in the country and Sarasota was one of the hardest hit communities in the state. The market was collapsing quickly with no end to the free fall in sales or prices in sight.

Realizing something needed to be done immediately, Michael put her group of several hundred agents in a room and spelled out exactly what were the obstacles in front of them and what was needed to overcome them. She (yes, Michael is a woman) challenged them to meet with their clients and spell out the realities of the current market.

In these tough economic times, Michael spared no expense to make sure that, throughout that day, she empowered the agents with the tools they needed and the training they required.

Michael ended the day by discussing the obligation the company, as the premiere company in the region, had to correct expectations of both sellers and buyers. She then gave them their charge in a mantra:

“If not Michael Saunders and Company, then who?”

The results of that day?

Hundreds of homeowners adjusted prices for their homes so they would be in line with the current market. In the next 90 days, over 165 additional houses were sold. The Sarasota market began to turn for the better.

Why this blog post months later? A few days ago, I was watching The Today show on NBC. Al Roker was interviewing real estate expert and talking head Barbara Corcoran. He asked her: ‘Where was the best place to buy a home today?’

Without hesitation, Barbara said: ‘The BEST market in the country is SARASOTA, FLORIDA!’

Michael Saunders, her son Drayton, her leadership team and the agents realize they still have a lot of work left to do. But, they can hold their heads high knowing they are turning that market around.

Can a strong leader really make a difference? Michael did!

Are you making a difference in your market?

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