The DNA of the Perfect FM Leader

It is widely accepted that Facilities Managers must be multi-skilled in order to execute their work. But how can FM leaders adapt to their ever changing environment? The DNA of a perfect FM leader is hard to define. In a changing landscape an FM leader must now be more multifaceted than ever before. As technology becomes an increasingly important element of a FM leader’s role, they must be able to adapt and be open to utilising new technology alongside more traditional roles and approaches. Facilities managers encompass a huge range of skills and must be adept at choosing and utilising which skills to apply to each job. There are strong professional and interpersonal demands of an FM manager, so what are the skills that are demanded from FM leaders?

Interpersonal Skills

FM leaders must be accomplished people pleasers; it is not just a case of the customer always being right but rather that the customer is the focus of FM leader roles. But how can you ease the process for your customer whilst retaining professionalism, attention to detail and efficiency? The ideal person must have a focus on interpersonal skills and be able to adapt to any social situation. Utilising strong people skills is essential for a FM leader to succeed in their role, and interpersonal skills are just one of the many attributes that are needed to excel at a FM leader role.

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An Open Mind to New Ways of Working

For leaders in the FM sector, technology plays an increasingly important role. FM leaders who are open to new ideas and new ways of doing things, are the ones who will progress further and who will have better outcomes in their field. Apps, AI, Virtual reality and the Internet of Things are all tech concepts that seemed far-fetched only a few years ago, but are now rooted in our reality. As tech develops and takes a more central role in the FM sector, FM leaders must go through the vast amounts of information surrounding the best new technologies in order to select what works best for their business. But how do you select what works for your business? FM leaders must have an open mind to technology; be prepared to embrace new ways of working and understand the tech that can be integral to the development of their business.

An Essential Team Playing Attitude

FM Leaders must have a strong sense of empathy and excellent communication skills to work well within their team. Not only this, but they must have an adaptable nature and be able to make quick and sure-fire decisions. Project management skills are an essential part of an FM leaders make up, alongside a team playing attitude. FM leaders must be aware of all components of their team and the other groups that they interact with - therefore strong organisational skills are also key. Being a team player is a skill that is rewarded in all jobs, however as a FM leader this is something that is non-negotiable and must be part of the make-up of a FM leader. Situations for FM managers are constantly changing and so a certain level of adaptability is useful in many ways. “Great FM’s don’t force their company to work in a specific way, but rather create an environment that allows people to work to their greatest potential” said Bertie Van Wyk an industry insider, and it is this creation of environment which is hugely valuable to FM leaders in terms of their team’s response.

Upskilling and Application

In conclusion, the FM world is changing and becoming ever more dynamic. This leads to many pressures on both workers and leaders alike. The ideal FM leader is therefore multifaceted. They are a people person with strong communication skills. They are adaptable, flexible and have a good understanding of the changing technological landscape. For FM leaders in particular, it is essential that they be ahead-of-the-curve in terms of their technology knowledge and awareness.   

With all these requirements, is this perfect FM leader achievable? Well it’s not easy, but yes there’s plenty of good people out there. Look around your organisation and you will likely find someone who fits the bill. Go to an FM event or do a quick search on LinkedIn, there are many out there.

Source: Okappy