Top 10 with Nigel Marsh #AREC16

Welcome to Day 2! I’m live-blogging #AREC16 from the Gold Coast. Here are my top learnings from Nigel Marsh: Pretence, Purpose and Nudity.

Thanks to all the people who signed up yesterday, and for the great feedback I’ve had walking around the Conference. A reminder you can sign up for the Real Estate Grow #AREC Pack by clicking here. And I’ll be around during all the breaks today looking forward to meeting you!

Nigel has an extensive background in marketing, and woke up one day to realise that most of the people he knew (including the businessmen) talked a lot of rubbish. His goal is to speak from the heart about leadership in a time of change, rather than pretending to be an expert telling us what to do. Here come the lessons!

  1. Leadership ought to exist at every level of an organisation. It’s about self-mastery and leading yourself as much as it is the director/s in charge.
  2. We need to define a reason for what we do. Many companies are a prison for the human soul, and ‘enhancing shareholder value’ is not a reason for people to wake up each morning. Some CEOs say this is a little bit soft! But if 88% of the Australian workforce is disengaged with their company, imagine the competitive advantage (retention, productivity, happiness) you can create when you have this clear WHY.
  3. Business is constant whitewater. Stop equating ‘having problems’ with ‘personal failure’, because there will always be problems. Our job is to be given unreasonable problems and to deal with them with calm and positivity. Good leaders have a way of staying calm and composed, and Nigel uses two tools to avoid panic when a problem arises:
    1. He asks himself 3 questions: “What’s good about this (bad situation)?” “What can I learn from this?” and “How can I improve the situation now?”
    2. Being really clear about his motivation (aka purpose, context, why). He has three – make a valuable contribution, make meaningful human connections, and be present in the moment.
  4. Don’t be swayed by the latest management fad. This includes the crap business books (mine comes out later this year, fyi) full of repititious, platitudenous claptrap. Who Moved my Cheese? Who gives a crap! Like these from the same New York bookshop:
    The Martha Rules: 10 Essential Rules for Achieving Success
    The 12 Factors of Business Success
    The 100 Unbreakable Laws of Business Success
    Winning Without Losing: 66 Strategies for Succeeding in Business While Living a Happy LifeThis probably explains why Nigel has written two books … which are both memoirs, not business advice!
  5. Nigel Marsh’s 6 Rules of Business – that will save us having to buy any business books ever again. (Incidentally, email Nigel if you think he’s wrong, and these are incorrect or missing anything.)
    1. Satisfy your customers
    2. Motivate your people
    3. Work Hard
    4. Behave Consistently
    5. Prepare for the Future
    6. Control Cost
  6. The World Is not Purely Rational. (Yes, I’m going past 5 Learnings.) I’ve seen this video before and it’s BRILLIANT! If you haven’t clicked yet the importance of Marketing in Real Estate, this will help! After all, we’ve all listed properties that are rad to the power of sick…
    Side note: I tried this when selling my Toaster and Kettle before moving to London. It was, um, less successful (I’m grateful the purchaser of both rounded up and paid me 5 cents.)
  7. Being Creative means Taking Risks. We are all born creative, but have it beaten out of us. Life expands or contracts in direct proportion to your courage. Sometimes many of us need a loving nudge to help us step outside our comfort zone. As Greg Vann once taught me – by definition, it’s uncomfortable outside your comfort zone! Embrace that – as Fredrik Eklund discussed yesterday, listen to the fear of failure radar and lean into it instead of running away!

    In our personal lives, it’s self-evident that the best returns come from the biggest risks – think risks in love, for example. And the same applies in business, especially for leaders (if you’re not taking risks, you’re a manager).

  8. I’ve only just realised Nigel is running through his list, and he’s up to 6. I’m obviously learning things he didn’t realist he was sharing! Leaders are great at implementing meaningful, proper, permanent change. And they don’t do this because of other people – “the only victory that counts is the victory over yourself”. Because ultimately, other people mostly don’t want you to change so won’t provide the ongoing, permanent motivation you may need – it has to come from within.
  9. Avoid the Cult of the Hero – they always seem to let you down (*cough* Lance Armstrong *cough*), but more importantly Leaders don’t achieve anything on their own. It’s a Team, not a Hero, not great inividuals but great groups (like the Hero Archetype from the Branding world).
  10. Nigel leaves us with a quote: “We are enriched by what we cannot do, even more by what we choose not to do. The secret of being human is learning to enjoy our limitations. If we could do everything, we wouldn’t need other people.” And so ultimately, one of the keys to Leadership is having the team to lead.

Great way to start a conference day – Nigel’s calm energy really brought the thousands of people here into the room.

Our next speaker is Phil Harris – live blogged here.

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  • The 5 Mission Critical Lessons real estate principals need to take away from #AREC16
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  • PLUS Real Estate Grow newsletter membership.

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Fancy a coffee?

Jacob Aldridge is a co-founder and business coach at Real Estate Grow.

If you’re a real estate Principal looking for fresh ways to help you work on your business, let’s chat. Contact me on either 0427 151 181 or

Not ready for that level of commitment? Follow me on Twitter @jacobaldridge

Nigel Marsh
Nigel Marsh

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