Transitioning from the ‘Technician’ to the ‘Visionary’ – salesperson to CEO

I became CEO at 30 years old. At the time, I was a leading real estate agent in the business, which I still am to this day. Maintaining a dual salesperson-CEO role has come with many advantages. 

It has helped: 

  • Make me more relatable to my team and inspired a non-hierarchal culture at the real estate agency 
  • Maintain close relationships with our clients and community 
  • Keep my finger on the pulse of what’s happening and spark new ideas. 

But there’s an inevitable ceiling. Eventually, the hybrid role and split focus becomes a hidden threat to the business. The CEO needs the space and freedom to zoom out and survey the business from a bird’s eye view, to see the entire picture. That’s impossible to do when occupied by one role, in one department.

The Technician 

The Technician, in my case, is the salesperson, the real estate agent. I help clients sell their property and buy their dream home. It’s a role I love but for Nitschke to achieve its full potential, I need to step up into the visionary, to work on the business, not in it. It’s one of the many paradoxes of business – taking a step back to level up.  

The Visionary  

The Chief Visionary looks over the horizon into the future, seeking opportunities in allareas of the business, oversees systems and standards, upholds our culture, and makes sure we’re delivering what we’re promising. Essentially, making Nitschke the best experience for clients and the best working environment for employees. 

I’d spend my days conducting strategic planning, offering leadership mentoring, coaching the team, in conversation with the wider community and industry, and supporting with sales if needed. This is not only a natural extension for me, as I mature in my role as CEO – it’s also necessary to protect the longevity of the brand. To create space to interrogate, iterate and inspire who we are, what we do, why we’re different, and where we’re going – and make sure it’s clearly embedded into every facet of Nitschke. 

This strategic, authentic leadership cannot be outsourced, fragmented, or mimicked. It’s the type of work that takes time to unearth and see the benefits of, unlike the instant rush of making a sale. Both are critical to a company’s health and must be balanced. 

We’re switching our definitions of success from ‘best, biggest, top, most and more’ to one a single word: authenticity. To be the most authentic real estate agency, in the Adelaide Hills and beyond, I need to be leading 90% of the time and selling 10% (not the other way around). 

If you’re a business owner, this is an invitation to audit your time ‘on the tools.’ It’s not an all-or-nothing shift. You can remain client-facing time, but level up 80-90% of how you spend your time. 

Our plan for 2024 – recruitment  

My leap from technician to visionary won’t happen overnight, and that’s okay. This is a long-term play. However, we have a strong focus on recruitment this year. Our culture is part of our competitive advantage. As we expand our team with the right people who align with our mission and values, we make great progress. 

Every new right hire allows me to step back more – to focus on Nitschke as a whole, and the goals and dreams of everyone within it. 

If you’re looking to make a career move in 2024 and beyond, check our current job openingsPlease get in touch if you’re interested or share with someone you think would be a great cultural fit for Nitschke. 

Leading Out of Loss is an important read for anyone joining Nitschke.