It is a fact that every male broker/owner has a little Lee Iacocca or Ross Perot in him. He wants to be the despot, the alpha male, and the quarterback who gets no back talk in the huddle. And, by and large, team members comply with that little illusion. My agents hang on my every word, my one w-2 employee is a model worker and instruction follower, and clients know that I am a hand-wringing control freak, which is to their benefit.
Then, of course, we get to the brains behind the bravado, my partner in the LLC, the chief financial officer, and administrative godess- the mother of my children. A guy visting from Norway would pick my wife out in about 5 minutes, not because of the long glances, hand holding, or the affection. He’d know my wife because of her complete lack of fear and her amusement at my delusions of grandeur. Vice President of the MLS? HA! You couldn’t be head janitor of your own home. You beat out Joe Bigshot for a listing? That’s nice- help Luke with his homework. Your photo was on the front page of the Business Journal? Good thing they never saw your desk.
It isn’t all about keeping me grounded as much as it is carte blanche to express an opinion. For example, as I will do a few times a week, I called Ann from my car today with an urgent edict that I couldn’t handle myself and needed her to do. It was a simple enough task, but being that chick in the office who has biblical knowledge of the boss, she didn’t just say “YASSIR!” and do it, she questioned if there weren’t a better way to go about it.
Which of course, kills me just a little, as I gaze upward and mouth “why” to no one in particuar. There are times that I engage her in a discussion, but there are also times that I just utter some variation of can you PLEASE JUST DO IT and we’ll discuss the permutations when I am not occupied slaying dragons? I don’t advise that one too often.
Working with one’s spouse is a challenge, and while I can vouch for the male view I am sure the fairer sex has a mountain to climb with our testosterone-driven foibles as well. Too much time apart is no match for being locked in the pressue cooker together 24/7. Shifting gears and just being us after hours (if there is a such a thing), is hard sometimes. But the real problem is most likely my inner tyrant, who resists the challenge of an intellectual equal offering a counter point when she sees the need. There are probably 1000 other husbands in married teams who see their own big challenge, but that one is mine. However, I wouldn’t be where I am without the big talker backer, and while I might get annoyed at all the checks and balances, she keeps us balanced and that keeps the checks coming in.
“Please just listen to me and do what I say” is one of the more ironic terms the past couple of years, because as much as I think or say it, I should take my own advice.