Zach recently joined me on the Servant Leadership podcast to discuss affordable housing, leadership, and what our young leaders might do better than the leaders before them. When you see Zach, you see an authentic and humble young man. You also see someone who listens to others and will tell you how it is so those around him get real information. His straightforward and ‘what is best for team’ approach is refreshing. He believes affordable housing picked him versus him picking affordable housing. After several years in the hospitality industry and gaining some experience at another housing agency he found himself being recruited by the leadership of Foothills Regional Housing.
Internal and External
I asked what makes affordable housing unique and he responded, “Nowhere different from conventional housing. We are simply providing a housing option for those that don’t have income like many other Americans.”
Zach learned a thing or two about being kind, considerate, and open to new ideas from being in the hospitality industry. Zach mentions, “I learned how to not say no to people right away. And I learned how to find alternative solutions and problem solve.” Zach said, “We must care for both our internal and external customers.” We both agreed this mindset comes from being hospitable.
What Zach said resonated with me. This was something Mr. Marriott Sr. of Marriott Hotels and Resorts said to me years ago during my time as a bellman at a resort in Lake of the Ozarks, MO. “The simple, golden rule in this industry is to make sure those living in the house are solid and taking care of one another so when guests arrive, they may have a nice stay and an enjoyable experience.” Not real tough if you think about. Again, this supports what Zach and I discussed…let’s be kind and considerate to one another.
The Support of A Leader
When asked specifically what leaderships means to him, Zach said, “I see my role as a leader more of a support role. My main function is to make sure they [my team] can function.” Simple yet powerful. To all the young leaders take note. Zack at 30 ish years old has it figured out. He realizes the why he is here and how he will be successful to those around him. Leaders of all ages, please serve those around you as one of your top priorities.
Zach also reminds his generation, “It is okay to have new, innovative thoughts. And also be open, teachable, and trainable.” He knows his age group can be a bit impatient and quick to get things done. Fine for all of us to be that way. However, please appreciate what those before you have done as well.
When asked what one thing he believes leaders need to know about and let go of he mentioned that managers (management) saying “my way or the highway” does not work nor does it provide for growth. What Zach does want us to be open to is listening for new ways of doing things and listen to understand. Collaboration will pay off in the long run.
Please check out the complete interview with Zach Guerin, COO of Foothills Regional Housing, on my Aden Leadership YouTube channel.
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