Thomas H. Lowder is Chief Executive Officer of Colonial Properties Trust Company. Colonial Properties Trust, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama was incorporated as a private corporation in 1993. However, in 2013, the firm joined its subsidiaries and became a public company. Essentially, it is a diversified real estate investment trust firm that is engaged in the acquisition, growth, ownership, management and leasing of commercial real estate firms. In addition, the Colonial Properties Trust supports the construction of commercial properties and mixed-use communities. The multifamily-focused portfolio and the development of select commercial assets enable the company to create value for its shareholders. As of March 2016, Colonial Properties Trust owned and managed 40, 230 apartment units and 20.1 million square feet of commercial space. On the New York Stock Exchange, the company is listed under the symbol CLP. This paper prides an interpretation of Thomas’s leadership style based on the five-factor personality model after conducting an interview.
The Big Five Personality Models
After speaking with Thomas through the interview, I concluded that he is an open-minded person. First, the CEO is imaginative, curious and enjoys new things; according to him, the world is always changing as so should people. Moreover, the real estate industry is so dynamic, an aspect that requires venturing into new areas and ideas to achieve success. This personality trait helps Thomas to become creative and open to a variety of ideas with a flexible attitude. As the CEO of Colonia Properties Trust, I can say that Thomas is Daring as he sometimes makes decisions to enter into new risky business ideas. This has enabled the company to grow steadily since it’s inception. However, Thomas admits that openness to experience is dangerous in business since stakeholders and others members look up to him. Therefore, any losses incurred by the company as a result of trying a new idea is seen as Thomas’s fault.
This personality trait is associated with portraying controlled and acceptable ways, particularly to facilitate goal-directed behavior. As the CEO of Colonia Properties Trust, Thomas has to possess the ability to plan and organize all activities of the company effectively. Although there are directors of different departments operating below him, Thomas has the final say on many business decisions. During the interview, he stopped undertaking any other activity citing that he had to go through any document that required his attention thoroughly. Additionally, from the company’s performance, I could gather that Thomas plays a central role as he is hardworking, persistent and self-disciplined, traits that those working under him or for him seem to emulate. As a result, the company can efficiently attain their desired outcomes and achieve their goals within stipulated time frame. After the interview, I concluded that Thomas was high in conscientiousness enabling him to observe order and achievement.
This is one area I found interesting with Thomas; he is an introvert who enjoys most of his time alone. I was able to understand that from the fact the CEO did not seem comfortable with extended discussions during the interview. Also, her secretary has warned me about not getting enough information since Thomas was a man of few words. However, this personality trait did not deter him from listening to what I had to say, although all I could get sometimes was a one-word answer. According to my judgment, this trait helps Thomas to avoid conflicts with other colleagues at work. Also, it increases focus on a task as there are no distractions affecting the individual. During the interview, I could tell Thomas had a difficult time maintaining eye contact, which led me to conclude that he does not engage in a lot of conversations. Despite being an introvert, the CEO of Colonial Properties Trust undertakes his duties and responsibilities effectively.
Gathering information from other members of Colonial Properties Trust, I learned that Thomas is a trusted and respected CEO. According to many workers, Thomas is good at his job, which is evident from the performance of the company when compared to other competitors. As many people in the company put it, “Thomas is a man of few words but ensures the company attains success. Furthermore, during the interview, I found that even though he puts on a serious face on workers to ensure they perform, Thomas is a polite, kind, and unselfish person. He did not withhold any relevant information that I enquired about the company and about him. Moreover, two minutes into the interview, Thomas offered a cup of coffee, which he made since we were in his office. However, the CEO maintains that he can interact with all workers, in the same manner, to make sure that they deliver under strict stipulation and even under pressure.
Thomas has little or no neuroticism since he is one of the best performing CEO in Alabama with a high motivation for his work. Although I observed issues with self-esteem and anxiety, I can say that Thomas is leading a quality life. Since he is an introvert, it’s hard to tell the CEO’s problems or weaknesses; he prefers to keep things to himself. However, Thomas seems to be managing this personality well because he can do quality work and give results. As such, the fact that he could score some points in neuroticism, it is not a problem as he has been able to keep it under control. Furthermore, no human being is perfect; learning to handle both strengths and weaknesses successfully is what makes a person stable. The only recommendation is for him to work on self-confidence to ensure that he can comfortably address people.
A Difficult Situation
There was one incidence that was difficult for Thomas to handle in 2012 because things did not go as planned. According to Thomas, the company was still growing, and therefore, they concentrated on buying more commercial land and apartment units. A client approached the company with documents indicating that he owned a commercial land and was seeking to sell it. Thomas went through all the documents to determine authenticity; he did not find anything suspicious. Therefore, they went on to purchase the land and later put a poster on the property, indicating that the company was the new owner. A day later, the company was present with lawsuits by a group of people claiming to own the land. After investigations, Thomas learned that the client had approached Colonial Properties Trust and the other group, selling the same piece of land. Thomas had to negotiate and settle with the group outside the court where they reached an agreement.
After solving the problem, Thomas learned that in any situation, one requires to control themselves to promote the process of getting a solution. Additionally, it is true that man cannot know everything; however, one’s reaction, when confronted with a new problem, is important. It is of the essence to recognize that everyone can make a mistake. This will help get a solution easily without causing more damage or incurring more cost on the same. Even though Colonial Properties lost a fortune by buying an already sold land, it served as a lesson for the company. Thomas says Colonial Properties Trust has not dealt with such a situation again since 2012, despite the rise of such scams in the real estate industry. Business is a risk where you can either profit or loss; what matters is how you handle the two outcomes for the future of that business.