“I’ve stumbled enough times throughout my career to know that it is better to take your wins a bit at a time rather than chase after the impossible and fall back at the starting line, again and again. Don’t be greedy. Instead, always be content.” – Aaron Regev
Uninspiring leaders can do great damage in any organization, according to Forbes. “They destroy engagement and increase the turnover of their direct reports.” And even just ‘improving to an average level of effectiveness’ can change the tides significantly.
But what does it take to be an ‘effective’ leader’? Is that a skill you can even learn?
Find out below as we interview Aaron Regev, Sales Manager at Total Home Protection, on the merits of building a team of ‘free-thinkers and what it takes to be the best leader you can be:
When did you decide to pursue your current career?
Aaron Regev: If we’re talking literally, that would be the time I spent unemployed before joining the THP team, but that’s a story for later. I think the beginning of my journey as an entrepreneur started in 1970s Brooklyn. I had to learn to be an entrepreneur like everyone else, but I got some version of a head start because God graced me with parents who believed in hard work and humility — and raised me to believe it too.
What did you mean by unemployment leading you to your career? What’s the story there?
Aaron Regev: Well, the company that I was working for before had failed — leaving me, and everyone else that had worked there, unemployed. To keep it short, I had to get my affairs in order quickly after that. I had a family to support, after all. And that led me to pursue a leadership role at the home warranty company I work with now.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your current career? What exactly do you do?
Aaron Regev: My title at work is Sales Manager. I teach everyone in my team to be better salespeople and manage the day-to-day responsibilities that come with making sure that our customers are getting the best support possible.
How do you go about training others in your industry?
Aaron Regev: My leadership style can best be described as ‘tough but fair’ — something that I learned from my parents, who taught me that sometimes, you have to be stern to get your point across and ensure that the mistake never happens again.
Who did you learn your leadership skills from?
Aaron Regev: A lot of people. My parents included, of course. But I’ve also had plenty of professional mentors (who guided me throughout my career) over the years, as well as everyday role models that have inspired me (like my current boss, the CEO of THP, David Seruya) to become a better leader.
What is the definition of a GREAT leader to you?
Aaron Regev: A great leader must be able to inspire others to think for themselves. That’s the only way you can build a great team. It’s a difficult characteristic to describe, but as a leader, you need to be able to encourage confidence and independence in your people.
That means working with them directly and teaching them how you would go about getting things done. It means listening to their ideas and incorporating them when they work. It also means keeping your doors open so that, should they ever falter, they know that you have their back to get things back in order.
What is one piece of advice that you give your team that you think others may find useful?
Aaron Regev: This is something I say to people again and again: get educated! I don’t just mean schooling either — there’s plenty that you won’t be able to learn at school. I mean getting yourself out there and working with actual people and for or on actual businesses. That’s the only way to truly work on the skills required for the career path that you want to follow.
How about some advice for aspiring leaders?
Aaron Regev: If you ever end up in the position I was in way back when — new at the job and yet placed in a position of leadership, my advice is to “always be content.” This is something that I learned from my grandmother. I didn’t know what she meant when she told me that for the first time, but the words ring true after years of experience in a leadership role.
What it means is to be ‘content’ by what you got — mind you, that doesn’t mean that you should grow complacent and stop chasing after your dreams. But it does mean being happy about your successes. I’ve stumbled enough times throughout my career to know that it is better to take your wins a bit at a time rather than chase after the impossible and fall back at the starting line, again and again. Don’t be greedy. Instead, always be content.