Resource Options, Inc.

Key Components to Leadership Development with Michael Feldman

Leaders have a unique ability of encouraging others to work towards a common goal. Leadership development is an important topic to focus on when looking at how to have more successful organizations. Do you have a particular leader you look up to?
Today, on behalf of our Design Staffing team, we spoke with Michael Feldman, CEO of Feldman Surveyors about what makes a great leader and how you can improve your leadership skills.
Question 1: What is your definition of a great leader (in other words, what are the essential components to leadership)?
Michael Feldman’s Answer: I think there are many key components to leadership:
  1. The Power of listening: When you listen, you can learn something new and convey to someone that they matter
  2. Be genuine: People will trust you when you are authentic and genuine
  3. Empathy: Being able to understand the needs of others. By understanding and providing your team with what they need to succeed, leaders can build a sense of trust. This strengthens the relationships they have with others and that leads to improved productivity and teamwork.
  4. Operating with a level of humility: Being humble makes you human. It is an understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses that signals both appreciation and your contribution to others.
  5. Hold people accountable: Be clear. Follow up regularly in a manner that shows that you are invested without micro-managing. Share the truth, and then coach. You’ll not only enhance the accountability of your team, but you’ll become a stronger leader as a result.
Question 2: What steps have you taken and are taking in your career to be a great leader?
Michael Feldman’s Answer: I am still working on this. For all of us, it is a process. Leading people is all about knowing your audience, empathizing with them, caring about them, being excited about your company, being honest about what is important to you, exemplifying your values and then getting everyone on the same page. I try to keep up with leadership development articles. I meet with a mentor; someone I consider a great leader. Having a mentor or consultant is one of the most powerful ways to become a good leader. Reach out to a mentor, no matter what stage of your design career you are in or how accomplished you are.
One of the most influential readings I have read is Customer Comes Second by by Diane McFerrin Peters and Hal F. Rosenbluth. The idea is put your people first and watch them succeed. If you treat your people well; make them feel valued and engaged, and in turn they will serve your customers well. Your team members are your greatest asset. Putting your team first, essentially means putting your customers first, as well.
Question 3: How do you attract and keep great people, land surveyors and tradespeople and inspire them to perform at their best in achieving business results?
Michael Feldman’s Answer: We continue to work on our corporate culture and branding.  I try to talk to everyone and attempt to know a little about everyone and have meaningful interactions with them when possible.  The people who work for you are essentially ambassadors of your company. They are the ones advocating why it is a great place to work. Having a clear, defined mission, vision and values of your company is important. You have to stand by your company values and not just write the words on a wall.
We use design staffing agencies like Resource Options, Inc. to help attract surveyors. They do a great job of understanding the needs of your business and implementing a strategy that’s right.
Question 4: What advice would you give anyone looking to become a great leader?
Michael Feldman’s Answer: You do not know it all and you cannot do it all. Surround yourself with great people with varying leadership abilities. Reach out to mentors and consultants inside and outside of your industries. Be a well-rounded person. Show the people you work with that you care about every individual working in your business. Be authentic and real. Shoot from the hip, mean what you say. Share as much information about what you are thinking, where you are heading and the mission, vision and values of the business. It will keep people on the same page.
Question 5: How do you deal with people who disagree with you?
Michael Feldman’s Answer: Unfortunately I sometimes get frustrated and impatient. However, taking the time to listen makes all of the difference. If you wish to be heard, listen. Always seek to find the best way rather than insisting on your way. Progress is difficult when you won’t listen. You need people to disagree with you. Understand their point of view when differing perspectives arise.
The points Michael shares above are invaluable to everyone in their design career. Whether you are looking to run your own company or simply have more impact in your company, these lessons strengthen your abilities.
About Michael Feldman:
Michael A. Feldman is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Feldman, the leading professional land surveying firm in Massachusetts.
About ROI: 
RESOURCE OPTIONS, INC. (ROI) is a full-service construction staffing, design staffing, environmental services staffing and emergency response firm. Founded in 1998, ROI provides customized staffing solutions to clients servicing the built and natural environment. Recognized on five different occasions by Inc. Magazine as one of “America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies”, ROI demonstrates a proven ability to deliver highly qualified candidates in a timely fashion.
Check out our available positions, design careers and apply today!
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