Listen to The Story

To kick off the first of my columns as Chair, I sat down with Jamie Wickliffe (1994 Chamber Chair) to hear her thoughts about leadership. My husband Dan and I moved to Midlothian in 1998 and quickly came to admire Jamie Wickliffe for her leadership roles in our community and in her business. In 2004, we hired Jamie to help sell our house, mostly because I wanted an opportunity to know her better. Fast forward almost 15 years and Jamie wears many titles for me: friend, client, real estate broker, go-to real estate appraiser, office neighbor and landlady, and most importantly, trusted advisor. Jamie graciously shared her thoughts about the values and leadership skills that guide her professionally and personally from her office in downtown Midlothian.

Within Jamie’s organization, leadership is not about the title or the designation. Leadership is an opportunity for every individual to inspire excellence and to influence others. Jamie describes her real estate brokerage and appraisal team as facilitators of facts and knowledge, with a very important emotional component. A critical leadership skill for the emotional aspect is the ability to listen carefully – a skill that Jamie admits requires constant work, particularly when clients expect you to be the expert and to have the answers. To succeed as a trusted advisor, however, Jamie believes you first have to “let people tell their story.” Only after you genuinely listen to people share their own experiences, goals, and emotions, will they be receptive to expert advice.

Because a New Year’s post has to discuss goals, I asked Jamie about hers. In 2018, Jamie hopes to deliver the same quality of service in her role as trusted real estate advisor, while truly making spiritual, family, and personal time her first priority. To accomplish these goals, Jamie plans to let go (just a little) and allow others on her team and in the real estate community to use their respective talents and expertise to fill the gap. Stop by Jamie’s office (her name is on the door) and tell her your story and perhaps she will be able to refer someone your way.

Listening to and learning your story is also a key priority for the Chamber team as we develop a strategic plan to guide us through the next three years. We will be sending out a survey to members and stakeholders later this week and we genuinely welcome your input and insight. You are the chamber and your voice matters to your leadership team – cheers!

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