Three keys to becoming a better leader 

As an architecture practice grows, so must the skills of those who lead the practice. 

The practice owner has to be able to effectively manage and lead a team, while also growing the practice in the right direction. While this may come naturally to some, it certainly is something that is not taught at architecture school or while working for someone else.  

Earlier this month, Archibiz Mentors Ray Brown and Tim Smith spoke about the “Five Rights of Managing and Leading People” at Monograph’s Section Cut conference. The three-day virtual conference for architecture practice leaders was packed with valuable sessions that spoke about practice operations, team building, client experience, and more. 

Here are three keys to becoming a better leader, as told by Ray and Tim. 

1. Get the right people on the bus.  

It might sound obvious, but one of the most important aspects of being a good leader has to do with the people you surround yourself with. While it might be a tight market today, that doesn’t mean you need to compromise on your values. 

As an architecture practice owner, you need to be clear on who you are getting into your practice and then make your practice attractive to those people. Think about what makes your practice different. What is your purpose? What makes you different? What is your vision for your practice? How can you use your unique qualities to build your dream team and make your practice a place that people enjoy working at?  


2. Shift from “they” to “we.” 

Getting the right structure in your business will build efficiency and productivity in your practice. There are many moving parts that go into structure, but one important place to start is with your vocabulary.  

When it comes to your employees, it would be beneficial to shift from talking about “they” to “we.” Employees should see themselves as part of the team. So, rather than saying “They need to do this” or “They need to do that,” say “We have to do this” or “We have to do that.” It will improve team morale and show your team that you are in this together.  


3. Time is the most important resource in your practice. 

Time is the only resource that you can control in your practice, so it is important that you and everyone on the team uses it wisely.  

In an architecture practice, there will always be project hours that are paid for and project hours that are not paid for. As an owner, it is important that you make that distinction clear to everyone so that people can allocate their time wisely and ensure they are spending the right amount of time on the right things.  

If you use time right, you will undoubtedly improve your financial standing and the practice’s profitability.  


We’d like to give a special thanks to Monograph for having us at Section Cut.  

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