Building Management Hawaii - August/September 2012 - (Page 26)
The best idea may not always be your own.
At BMH, we know that managing property in Hawaii isn’t easy. For that reason, we’ve donated this page to you! We invite you, and your peers, to use this page as a forum to address common problems and share insights—helping you do your job even better. In this issue, we call on John Vallis, site manager of Hale Kehau, AOAO, on the Big Island. In 2011, Vallis was awarded the IREM Accredited Residential Manager of the Year award.
Over the past 25 years of being a manager, I’ve learned that one key principle—empowerment—is very important to resident and site managers. In fact, giving employees power has awarded me more wins than losses. Of course, nothing works every time for everybody, because it all comes down to dealing with people and people are different … some are very different. One of the most common mistakes made by managers is to place that “boss crown” on your head and strut around like some kind of monarch. Rather, it’s important to recognize your role in the operation. You are the choreographer that makes sure that all the dance steps come together in sync … that step one happens before step two. Part of empowering others is depowering yourself. Get the idea out of your head that if you want the job done right, you have to do it yourself. This philosophy will work you to death, because you can’t do everything. Plus, it actually makes you the weakest link in your operation. For example, if you’re sick or on vacation, your operation runs the danger of collapsing. Instead, your goal should be to create an operation that does not require you being there. This is contrary to a bosses desire to feel needed and important, but any successful coach with tell you that true power and strength come from a strong team, not individual stars. 26
True power and strength come from a strong team, not individual stars.
So, what do I mean by empowerment? Almost every task has hurdles to overcome. Although it may seem easier and faster to get the job done your way under your direction, it’s important to keep an open mind to ‘hear out’ alternative solutions. Often, the person doing the work knows where the inefficiencies are and has ideas of how to overcome them. If you can use their ideas, do so. A funny thing happens when you incorporate your staff’s ideas … the project is usually successful, because they want to make sure that their idea works. In seeing their own ideas develop into successful projects, they
will hopefully gain confidence in their job. This approach builds a strong, loyal and respectful team. Again, if the final goal is reached, you win, they win. Empowerment has other positive side effects. By listening to your employees’ ideas you are showing them respect. They feel like part of the operation and not just a cog in the machine (I have worked for companies that show more respect to their equipment than their people). By working with you rather than for you, employees will get a better understanding of your goals and the overall vision for the property. You will have also opened the door for alternative ideas on how to do the job better. This is important, because I can guarantee you that you will not always have the best idea.
John Vallis, site manager of Hale Kehau, AOAO, on the Big Island. August-September 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Management Hawaii - August/September 2012
Cover August/September 2012
A New Way to Ride
Let There Be Light
Be LED, But Not Astray
Corrosion Clean Out
Raising The Bar for Security Guards
On Site: Empowering Employees
Ask An Expert: Shifting Soil
Movers & Shakers
Resource Guide: Plumbing & Wastewater Maintenance
Building Management Hawaii - August/September 2012