Leadership with Direction and Compassion | Janet Miller Colliers International Nashville | Propel Change
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Leadership with Direction and Compassion | Janet Miller Colliers International Nashville

Leadership with Direction and Compassion | Janet Miller Colliers International Nashville

Today’s video is with Janet Miller, who is the CEO of Colliers International Nashville. Janet has made an enormous impact in Nashville and has been a significant player in the growth of Nashville.

Watch as she discusses “Leadership with Direction and Compassion”.


DONNA: Janet, you’ve grown Colliers International Nashville 300% in the last four years.


DONNA: That is quite a feat. You’ve done the same thing with Nashville, I know.

JANET: Oh, yes, I did that, too.

DONNA: But what we want to know is a little bit about some of the magic that you used to move this organization forward to get that type of growth.

JANET: I would say that the number one thing that I have learned over the last four years is how to manage with directness and compassion. As you can imagine, this is a sales organization, so I have 45 highly motivated, highly driven, all commission sales individuals. They are responsible for the outcomes in the company. Each one of them you have a different relationship with because they’re motivated differently. So what I think I’ve learned over the last four years is it’s a one-on-one relationship, just to be my authentic self, and you know me, I’m no Audrey Hepburn. I’m more of a Lucille Ball type. But I also have learned that directness is the key. It astounds me the number of CEOs in the world and leaders in the world who are reluctant to make decisions, and they kick cans down roads, and they delay. I have found that it’s unfair. It’s unfair to the people that you’re managing, and it’s not going to build a successful organization. So, every day, I try to manage with compassion, which is I have a personal connection with each of these people. I love working with these folks. But I also am responsible for outcomes, so managing them and being direct. So when something’s not working, let’s call it and say here’s the situation. My experience is if you manage with compassion and directness, then, 99% of the time you’ll have a successful firm.

DONNA: So, Janet, one of the things that I’ve noticed because you’re a friend and a client, is when you’re working with people, you do a great job taking really complex topics and simplifying that down so that people are easily able to understand that. Can you talk a little bit about that?

JANET: Sure. I just think the world’s full of people that get down in the weeds, and they get in minutia, and it’s so important to be super clear, particularly when you’re setting strategy and vision. I think I’ve just had twenty-something years as a leader and have learned that. You may get sick of saying things a hundred times, but your audience probably isn’t as ensconced in it as you are. So repetition, reinforcement, and simplicity. So, again, with Colliers, I could give you 100 metrics we want to be measured by, but, at the end of the day, we want to be a firm with purpose that serves Nashville. Simple, right? Everything flows from that.

DONNA: Everybody can understand that from you down to the person that’s at the front desk.

JANET: That’s right. That’s another thing that I would say. I just think culture is everything in any company, but particularly in a sales organization, because in a sales organization, these guys and girls can walk out tomorrow across the street. They are our asset. Our asset is our people. We’re not selling widgets. We’re selling Nashville. So keeping them engaged, feeling like they’re cared for, the culture is everything.


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