Lessons Learned: Lesson #1 – Build a trusted team that can agree—and agree to disagree

We’re thrilled to welcome 30 new residents to First Place–Phoenix since our opening last month and plan to welcome many others in the weeks and months ahead. Needless to say, it’s been a time of tremendous teamwork, celebration and reflection.

Together with residents, our 24-member staff is building a culture and community of pride, purpose and fun. Each member’s educational background, work and life experiences—and compassionate hearts—inspire me and build my confidence daily. They have been working tirelessly to understand everything about First Place–Phoenix and, most importantly, about the individuals making their homes there.

While First Place’s history spans nearly two decades and fills the cabinets and shelves of our “peace room,” six current lessons come to mind. I’ll be sharing one each week as we gear up for the First Place Global Leadership Institute Fall Symposium from October 24-26, our fourth since the first semi-annual gathering in April 2017. Check out details and register here. Space is limited.

Lesson #1: Build a trusted team that can agree—and agree to disagree

Developing real estate can be a long and winding road, complete with right turns, wrong turns and U-turns. Market cycles play a big role, as do finances, local jurisdictions, neighbors and, most importantly, vision.

First Place has benefitted greatly from the unwavering commitment of private, public, philanthropic and nonprofit leaders who never stopped believing in our vision, empowering us to follow through on the completion of our first innovative property and to begin planning for others.

Building trust is critical—trust in expertise, judgment and in each other—as is knowing all team members are in your corner, even when they don’t agree. A unanimous decision from a board of directors often requires active, detailed discussion and significant time after which unexpected solutions often come to light. In our case, those solutions required angels. We found those angels among our most trusted advisors who had been providing us with counsel, clarity and resources for more than a decade.

Remember to keep those angels close. They will watch over you and protect you. And remember these three pieces of wisdom shared by one of our very own:

  • Big money gives to big ideas.
  • People with money are attracted to others who have given.
  • Never underestimate a donor.

We look forward to sharing more soon and welcoming you to the October symposium!

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