Education & Training with Performance Development Strategies

If you are building your real estate brokerage I hope that you are not picking leaders and then setting them up for failure.

Unfortunately, this seems to happen most often by default. The most common mistake is taking an individual performer and promoting that person to supervisor without any training at all. The newly promoted supervisor still sees the jobs of the people he or she is supervising through his or her own individual performer lens. What is needed is an understanding of motivation, leadership and interpersonal skills in addition to knowledge of the job.

But it does not stop there. All leadership roles are not the same at all levels. Managing other managers is different from managing individual performers.

According to Lawrence Peter, author of the Peter Principle, companies make a flawed assumption that because a person is good at one job, he will continue to be good as he moves up the ladder. Inevitably, according to the Peter Principle, the person ends up being promoted to a job where he or she is no longer competent. This is referred to as the "level of incompetence". The person has no chance of further promotion, thus reaching his or her career's ceiling in an organization.

We can see examples of The Peter Principle in many of our businesses.   Let’s use an example. John is a very highly performing salesperson. He meets and exceeds sales quotas. He is always winning the top sales awards. Because of this he is promoted to sales manager.  Here are two questions.

  •  What skills did John use as a salesperson?
  •  What skills does John now need to use as sales manager?

Nothing is wrong with promoting John. In fact, we would encourage it. However, if you do nothing more to assist John then you are setting him up for failure. The skills that John used to perform as a salesperson are different than those needed in his new role as manager.

This skill curve below illustrates this point.


As we can see here, in order to be effective as an individual performer you must utilize about 90% technical expertise with only 10% people skills.

However, at the next level in the organizational structure, the supervisory level, the curve makes its most dramatic shift, and the necessary knowledge and skills you now need to be effective on the job is about half and half. You still need a great deal of job knowledge—to train, to substitute, etc.; but, now your Number 1 responsibility is developing other people—to develop other high performing workers, to teach, to lead, and to manage.

Then, as you can see from the shift in the upper levels, the higher you go in the corporate ladder, the less you need technical skills, and the more you need good, effective management and human relations skills. At the management levels, more behavioral and management skills are required for your success.

Are you promoting and hoping for success? What do you need to do differently?  For a similar post on our web site see TAKE YOUR LEADERS' SKILLS TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Do you have a succession plan? Are your leaders ready for their next role?

Contact us to learn more

or call 914-953-4458.


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 03/18/2020 01:00 AM
Real Estate Best Practices
New York Westchester County
Coaching and Mentoring
leadership development
developing leaders to achieve results

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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Grant, for sharing your experience and your advice.

Mar 09, 2020 05:12 AM #3
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

You make an excellent point, Grant. I saw this in the corporate world, as well... people who were great salespeople were suddenly promoted to supervisory and management positions in sales or marketing... and had no clue what to do.

Mar 09, 2020 05:20 AM #4
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

One thing that I learned from coaching basketball is that the team changes each and every year since the players have different skill sets.  In order to continually have success, the coach needs to put the team members in the best position to succeed with their skill set in order for the team to be successful.

Mar 09, 2020 07:59 AM #5
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Grant Schneider top producers do not always have the leadership ability to manage a real estate office..... the manager must wear many hats, and knowledge of real estate transactions is but ONE.... 

Mar 09, 2020 08:03 AM #6
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Grant Schneider - Another good observation about business.  I have seen the Peter Principle in action many times. It can be a real shame. 

My husband's company would have 2 major staffing meetings every year.  Each division manager would hold one with his managers and then there would be one at the district level where all the division managers met. In those meetings, they discussed the areas where they wanted individuals to gain experience to rise up the ladder. This helped to eliminate the Peter Principle effects and give people the help or skills they may have lacked to move up. 

Mar 09, 2020 08:10 AM #7
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


 We have all seen this in the business world.  Some people just do not have the wherewithal to manage others.  I remember my father in law and his brother talking about an individual that was brilliant at sales, but had no skills when it came to management.  Thank you for another great post. A 

Mar 09, 2020 08:30 AM #8
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Agree completely. And some people are just not cut out to take charge over other people. It's not a failure, it's just reality.  Putting someone in a role they are not prepared to handle, or lack the skill-set for, is setting them up to fail.  Great post, Grant. 

Mar 09, 2020 08:34 AM #9
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Grant,  it is funny that sometimes because someone is great at one job and get promoted and has a problem.


Mar 09, 2020 10:04 AM #10
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Grant you are correct, many times promotions do not come with training.  It is kind of like sink or swim.

Mar 09, 2020 04:40 PM #11
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Roy - thank you for tyour support.

Nina - at the least they should be trained.

Brian - I love your analogy.  Sports is a very good comparison.

Barbara - and yes and if the don't have the other skills gthey have disunity.

Sheri - that is a very good system.

Ron and Alexandra - thank you so much for your kind words.

Debb and Bernie - some companies just never learn.

Will - just recently I see someone being forced into a job they don't want.

George - many of these issues can be mitigated with training.

Mar 09, 2020 06:48 PM #12
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Grant- this is excellent information. And I can speak to this from my personal experience. When I was promoted to the position of Office Manager I was given no training in being a manager. Thankfully, Larry who is an excellent manager was my mentor. 

Mar 09, 2020 07:16 PM #13
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Grant.

I know it took me about two years to feel comfortable in the role I'm now in.  Had no training, it was difficult at best

Mar 10, 2020 01:27 AM #14
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Grant - as many others have commented and experienced it seems obvious but not always apparent in practice.   A word to the wise?  Perhaps.  

Mar 10, 2020 07:50 AM #15
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Kathy - not everyone fails some are determined to learn on the job.

James - I am sure you were a quick learner.

Michael - you are right.  Many training systems are informal.

Mar 10, 2020 08:59 AM #16
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Grant, indeed, most Realtors make company changes for three reasons: 1. the do not like the Manager, 2. the do not like the environment the Manager creates and 3 least they do not like the money i.e.: the split and lack of benefits.... so two thirds of the change is done because the manager lacks people skills. Loved your post, Endre

Mar 11, 2020 09:56 PM #17
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Grant, great post again, and so true.  Even though a sales person may have the desire to move up into management, doesn't mean they have that skill set.

Mar 12, 2020 06:12 AM #18
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Interesting.  Surround yourself with good people when you get to the top and their skillsets make a good team!

Mar 20, 2020 09:48 AM #19
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Reaffirms people do not leave companies, they leave other people.

Apr 08, 2020 07:53 AM #20
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Grant, it has been nice to have a bit of extra time, and learn some new tips and tricks for our business.

Apr 12, 2020 06:48 AM #21
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Joan - that is one good thing about this.

Apr 12, 2020 09:29 AM #22
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