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Business Leadership Tips From a Tomcat Pilot | Buffini

Brian Buffini’s Mid-Year Bold Predictions 2024 registration is now open. Has there ever been a more complex time in the real estate industry? Brian will give you the inside scoop on what’s taking place behind the numbers at 10 a.m. PT on July 22. Register now.

As a former lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, Carey Lohrenz has the honor of becoming one of the first fully qualified female naval aviators to fly the F-14 Tomcat in the U.S. military.

Now a leadership expert, Lohrenz shares insights on how real estate team leaders can use lessons she learned as a naval aviator to navigate the challenges faced in the ever-shifting market.

Three Traits You Need to Stay Relevant

Throughout her career in the navy as well as private business, Lohrenz identified three traits leaders must exhibit to stay relevant, regardless of what’s going on in the world around them:

  1. Exhibit a lot of courage. Learn to feel fear and keep forging forward anyways.
  2. Continually work the “tenacity muscle.” Lohrenz said this trait can sometimes be interchanged with the need to build grit.  
  3. Operate with a lot of integrity. It’s important to have the “audacity” to do the right thing, even in difficult circumstances.

These traits will help you — and your team— build resiliency and stay strong for when things are challenging.

Relentless Preparation and Critical Debriefings

When you get distracted by things out of your control, you lose your focus and thus lose your power, Lohrenz said.

She stressed that “relentless preparation” before a phone call or meeting will help you target and create a plan that will focus on the most important things.

It’s just as important to “immediately debrief [after the call or visit] to review what worked, what didn’t, and why.”

Who’s on Your Team — And Who’s Not?

Early in her naval career, Lohrenz believed that working hard and never complaining was key.

“I legitimately thought as long as I perform well, nothing else matters,” she said.

Then she realized that there were what she calls “cave people,” i.e. “citizens against virtually everything.”

Cave people could be someone on your team or a competitor, she noted.

“You either need to figure out very quickly how to manage that and get ahead of it, or simply say, ‘You know what? That may be their perception. It’s not accurate, and then you keep going.”

It can be more difficult, she acknowledged, when criticism comes from your own inner trusted circle. In that case, it is fine to be a “little mopey” for a day or two, but then you need to move on.

“If you give away your power and your agency, you’re going to be sunk. Having that resiliency to get yourself out of victimhood and focusing on what you can control and looking for a positive way forward, that’s a life skill,” she said.

The Curious CEO

In a recent interview on “The Curious CEO,” hosted by Buffini CEO Dermot Buffini, Lohrenz shared the lessons she has learned not only as a naval aviator but also as a top leadership expert and bestselling author.

Watch The Curious CEO with Carey Lohrenz now.  

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