Six strategies to drive motivation in your business.

Sep 13, 2023
Discover six core focus areas to close the motivation gap

In old-school corporate Korea, there's an unwritten rule that you can’t leave work before your boss.

I lived and worked in Seoul for over a decade, and my observation was that this rigid practice didn’t lead to increased productivity, nor did it drive employee motivation.

So instead of applying strict rules, here are six strategies that leaders in commercial real estate businesses can deploy to close the motivation gap between themselves and their teams:

  1. Create a Vision 🌟 help your team understand the bigger picture and their role in it.
  2. Align Values 🤝 communicate your values to reduce the likelihood of a mismatch.
  3. Set Expectations 📊 set clear standards that are in-line with your expectations.
  4. Define Roles and Responsibilities 📝 make everyone's job crystal clear and include it in their performance plans. 
  1. Show Appreciation 🙌 when your team excels, your expressed gratitude will fuel motivation.
  2. Offer Support 🤗 sometimes people want to give more but don't know how; provide guidance when needed.

For a greater understanding of the components that contribute to a high-performance culture, join me for episode 157 of CRE Success: The Podcast


Episode transcript:

Picture this: you're working in the office late or maybe you're in the office on the weekend.

And you're wondering, why am I the one who's working so hard when everyone else in this business, everyone else in this team is checking out mentally, physically every single day at 5pm.

Now, this is a common issue that I've seen inside commercial real estate businesses.

The gap that exists between the commitment of the leader and that of the team.

So, what I want to do in this episode is talk to you about why that gap exists, and what leaders can do to close the gap.

There isn't this huge amount of disparity between a leader’s level of motivation and the commitment of the team.

Hello, and welcome to episode 157 of CRE Success: The Podcast. My name is Darren Krakowiak. I help commercial real estate leaders to accelerate growth in their business.

This is the final episode of CRE Success: The podcast. No, I'm not throwing in the towel, but I am going to do a little bit of a relaunch of the podcast.

When we come back, you're going to see new imagery.

We're going to have a new name. I'm going to do it in a new studio.

There's going to be new episode artwork, it's going to be a whole new look and feel coming up next episode of the show. I'll tell you more about that really soon.

Well, today I'm talking about the difference between leaders’ motivation, and that of the rest of the team.

And this got me thinking about when I lived and worked in Korea for over a decade, one of the old school corporate rules of Korea is that you do not leave work before your boss.

So even if your boss is sitting there playing on his phone, then the unwritten rule, but definitely not unspoken, is that you don't dare leave work until your boss leave works.

And I guess companies feel that, that means that people will be working longer, which contributes to them working harder, but it doesn't actually work like that, because of things that I've noticed without going down this whole rabbit hole of what's going on in Korea.

One thing I noticed was that well, in Korea, if you stay at work past 6 or 7pm, then you're automatically entitled, for example, to expense dinner.

So, you know a lot of people are just hanging around and get a free dinner. And they're sort of finding out ways to work the system.

And I don't know if necessarily there's this huge increase in productivity. But that is beside the point.

What I guess I was pointing that out to mention is that making it a hard and fast rule isn't the way to get more out of our people, I think.

So, what I want to do today is talk about how we can increase the motivation of our teams and get it to somewhere which is closer to where the leader’s level of motivation is.

And look, a lot of leaders believe, rightly or wrongly that the team should be working just as hard as them.

And when you believe that, it can create resentment. Because leaders feel that their people should be working harder.

And when you start to resent the fact that people aren't working as hard as you that can lead to confusion amongst your team because they can feel that resentment.

So, the question I first want to ask is, do you think it's reasonable for you to have the expectation that if you're a leader, your team members care just as much as you?

Whether you're a business owner, or whether you're in a leadership position in a company, you probably got in that position, because you obsess more about your work than other people do, right?

It's your baby. You want it to grow. You're taking on a huge personal responsibility.

There's also more financial upside, when the business does perform then for the other people in the business, or at least in that team.

So, this is also important, I think, not only for leaders, but also for people who aren't leaders. And I'll tell you why that is just as a sidebar.

The reason is because if you are not feeling motivated to work at your best to achieve everything that you're capable of, then perhaps you should find a leader who will help you get to that level.

But back to talking to our leaders now. If you're a leader, and you've seen that this gap exists, recognize that maybe it's not reasonable for me to have everyone care as much as I do.

But what can we do to close that gap, and to, I guess, increase the level of motivation that exists amongst our team members in our employees across the organization?

Well, I'm going to give you six things right now that will help you do that. Let's go through the list.

The first one is creating a vision.

I think when people know what the purpose of the business is, what it is that we're trying to achieve, they'll be able to connect their role and their position inside the organization to that bigger vision.

So, it's about setting a bigger picture, but also talking about it in terms that they understand.

And I do a lot of work with my clients in this area, because I find that a lot of leaders do have a vision, but it's locked up inside their head.

And it's generally thought of in terms that's relevant to them, and perhaps not communicated at all, or if it is communicated, not in terms that are relevant to the team members.

If you can communicate your vision in a way that others understand, you'll then activate those people to be, I guess, operating in a way, which is more aligned with the business achieving that vision.

The second thing that I wanted to mention today is about an alignment of values.

So common things that I see inside businesses might be simple things like dress standards, for example.

And the boss has a certain idea about the way that people should be dressed for meetings in the office, or maybe it's about punctuality.

For some people being five minutes late is no big deal. "Whatever, I was five minutes, like, who cares?"

For other people, it's a huge deal. And it's very important.

If we don't have an alignment of values, then there's going to be this resentment that can build up.

And we're not going to be seeing the levels of motivation and performance that we would like to say.

It could also be around communication, right? How long it takes to respond to clients? Or, how clearly people are communicating sharing information amongst each other?

So, if we're talking about our values, from when we're hiring people, but also regularly to our team members, and we're talking about what those values mean, in terms of behaviors, attributes, actions inside the business, then that's also going to, I think, close some of that gap between what the leader is doing and what they expect, versus what the team members are doing and what they believe they need to be doing.

Number three is to set expectations.

So, I don't know if we can expect that our people will care as much about the business as we do.

If you have been in a leadership position, if you've owned a business, it is all consuming.

It can be something that you think about when you're lying in bed at night, it can stop you from falling asleep.

I'm not sure if that's the same thing for all of our employees. It would be a good thing, I think, in some ways, if there were.

But it's also likely that they've got other things that are going on that aren't as important to them, or are higher priorities for them than the business is for you.

So, given that, what can we set as expectations as minimum standards that we're looking for in the business?

Let's move on to number four. Define roles and responsibilities.

People have certain things that they need to achieve in their role.

But if they don't know what those things are, then I don't know if it's reasonable for us to expect that they're going to deliver those things.

A lot of times, I asked people, "Do you have position descriptions? Are the roles and responsibilities of that position clearly state?” And sometimes they are and sometimes they're not.

Now, if they're not, then I don't know if it's completely reasonable for us to expect that the person who's going to perform all of the roles and responsibilities and duties of their position, if it hasn't been stated, if it's just locked up in your head.

So, making sure that it is clear from the outset what the roles and responsibilities of that position are and making sure that people's performance plans are actually reflecting what their roles and responsibilities are inside the business.

We'll go some way to closing that gap between what it is that you're doing and the level of work that you're getting from people in your team.

Number five is about expressing your appreciation.

When people are doing the right thing, it is fantastic. If you can let them know that you appreciate that.

I think one of the reasons why some people don't go above and beyond or don't do a little bit more than just the minimum standard is because they often don't feel appreciated.

And if you can take the time to let people know that you really appreciate what it is that they do, that they're not just phoning it in, that they're not doing the bare minimum or even less, let people know that you appreciate their efforts.

I think that's going to go a long way to raising their levels of motivation and making them feel that it's actually worth them giving more and perhaps being just a little bit more motivated and closing that gap between you and their level of commitment.

And number six is offering your support.

So, I think sometimes people do want to do more. Some people want to be performing better, but they just don't know how.

Maybe they feel overwhelmed, because they're stuck, or there's a lot of things that they've got to do. And they don't know which one is perhaps the highest priority.

Sometimes I speak to leaders inside businesses, and they're like, "I can't believe that this person didn't do this."

And it's something that, that leader knows is important based on their experience.

But I don't know if it's always reasonable to expect that somebody else would just know that is something that's important.

People don't know what they don't know. So, I think, we've got the opportunity to tell people what's important to share with them how they can improve.

And that's all through offering your support. And it's really about communication.

So, I think, when it comes to raising our people's motivation, this list is really about where your responsibility lies, what you can do to help people to be more motivated to perform at a higher level inside the business.

It's about your vision, it's about your values. It's about making sure that you're doing regular one-on-one meetings with members of your team.

It's hard to find people at the moment, it's even harder to find good people.

But I believe it is possible when you have a vision that people can believe in, when you're doing those meetings that do matter, and when you have done the work to embed a high-performance culture, there are a few of the things that we work with our clients on inside our CRE Suite program.

If you're a commercial real estate leader, and you want to know some more about how that works, we can jump on a quick confidential call.

The purpose of the call is to find what are the main things that are stopping your business, the bottlenecks that are stopping your business from growing and what we can do to create a plan to fix that.

If that's something that you're interested in, you can email me the word leader in the subject line and send it to [email protected]

We'll put that in the notes of this episode as well.

That's our final episode of CRE Success: The Podcast. We'll be back with an entirely new podcast coming out very, very soon.

For now, thank you so much for listening, and I will speak to you soon.

About the author


Darren Krakowiak, Founder, CRE Success

Darren Krakowiak, the driving force behind CRE Success, brings over 20 years of hands-on experience and a legacy of success in Commercial Real Estate. His passion for the industry is matched only by his commitment to nurturing the growth of others. Darren’s vision extends beyond coaching; it’s about building a community of thriving professionals in Commercial Real Estate.

About the author


Darren Krakowiak, Founder, CRE Success

Darren Krakowiak, the driving force behind CRE Success, brings over 20 years of hands-on experience and a legacy of success in Commercial Real Estate. His passion for the industry is matched only by his commitment to nurturing the growth of others. Darren’s vision extends beyond coaching; it’s about building a community of thriving professionals in Commercial Real Estate.

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CRE Success

Level 1, 10 Oxley Road
Hawthorn VIC 3122

+61 3 9005 8473
[email protected]

© CRE Success


Sign up for the latest news and free training from CRE Success


CRE Success

Level 1, 10 Oxley Road
Hawthorn VIC 3122

+61 3 9005 8473
[email protected]

© CRE Success