C-Suite: Steve Lane

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,136 views 

Class of 2022 C Suite Steve Lane Managing Director Colliers Arkansas, Rogers

Fast fact: A Colliers partner since 2004, Lane started his real estate career with Walmart (1992-1998). He leads a Colliers branch office with annual sales volume of over $100 million in transactions, 20 employees and more than 2 million square feet in management.

What is one thing you would change about your company if you could today? I would order a crystal ball from Walmart to tell us exactly how and where the real estate market is going to grow. The biggest challenge for commercial brokers at this point in our growth cycle is attempting to explain our market; we have to be able to “tell the story” of Northwest Arkansas. Our market is poised for great things, but most deals now are betting on the future — as happens in a growth market. It’s a very exciting time to be in commercial real estate in NWA.

What is the best business advice you have ever received or given? I have three. My late uncle Don Pogue, when I graduated college, said, “Now, no one is going to take care of Steve Lane but Steve Lane.” Which is not to say we should be narcissistic or not be loyal to a company, but to say that ultimately, we have to take responsibility for our own careers (and our lives.) A former Vistage mentor, the late Terry Bowen, said it succinctly: “Show up, care, try.” Another great mentor from Vistage, Chuck Hyde, would often remind us, “You get what you tolerate.”

Which supporting skills do you think are most important when it comes to leadership? Active listening and clear communication; making decisions decisively and not kicking the can down the road; remember that your voice is magnified. Be your best version of yourself, every day.

If you could change one thing about your leadership style, what would it be and why? I have focused very hard over the past few years on what it actually means to be a “manager”; what works and what doesn’t. I don’t have the right answers, and there are a million theories, books etc. out there. I think at the end of the day it comes down to caring and trying, as Terry Bowen put it best. We do the best we can do.

What do you think is most important in creating a positive culture? Meet people where they are, not where you want them to be. Every employee has their own hopes and dreams and wants to know that the company (expressed through the leadership of the company) is invested in their personal growth. There is no Friday off, team building exercise, or happy hour that will substitute for employees believing that the company actually cares about their careers and lives.

What’s the most recent book you read? I don’t have the patience to sit and read a book anymore, but I do audiobooks. I very much liked “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown. Really caused me to stop and think about how much we can actually accomplish in life, what is most important, and how to set priorities.

What is the most used app on your phone? Currently, it is Slack. This was a game changer for our office during the COVID shutdowns and has become a great tool for quick communication.

If you had $1 million to give, what would you support? I hope everyone is aware of the great work that Excellerate Foundation is doing in NWA, especially through Hark and also with their efforts in affordable housing. They are collaborating with other nonprofits in a way that hasn’t been done before. It’s truly significant for our community, and I was honored to be a part of the Excellerate board for many years.