In the mortgage industry, we don't always have the best reputation among those in the general public. At least, we do not really have a reputation for being selfless. And, in a sense, we shouldn't. We are in business to make a profit – the industry provides careers for people to work and make a living; it isn't charity. That being said, we are helping people by what we do in the same way that other professionals are, so there isn't any reason why we couldn't garner a less self-serving reputation.
On the April 19 episode of my Lykken on Lending podcast, we invited Gellert Dornay, president and CEO of Axia Home Loans, on the program to talk about an initiative in his company for leaders to become less self-serving. What this means for Gellert is to spread the wealth around the organization instead of concentrating it at the top and focusing on long-term sustainable success for all the stakeholders rather than simply short term gains for those at the top.
Of course, sharing always sound like a better idea to those who will be getting more than they're giving. It's easy to demand a more equal distribution of wealth in a company when yours will be improved by it. For leadership, though, this means taking a cut for the good of the company. Is this a good thing to do? Different organizations will have different philosophies on this matter, but I will say that it is definitely a way to gain the respect and admiration of your people if you're willing to sacrifice some of your own gain to make them better off. And I can't help but think that the mortgage industry will be improved, not by making executives wealthier in the short run, but by making employees feel like their companies are great places to work.