Taking Leadership in the Real Estate of Your Life!

Author:  Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA
Founder & CEO
Age-Friendly Business®

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary offers a primary definition of ‘real estate’ as ‘property consisting of buildings and land,’ with a secondary definition of ‘space and capacity.’ It is the secondary definition that inspired some musings and reflections on how we exercise leadership in the way we choose to fill the space and capacity — the real estate of our lives.


When I think of ‘leadership,’ the following 4 elements come to mind:

• Inspiration: The over-reaching principles or values that are the driving force — the WHY
• Vision: The picture of an even greater expression of what could be — the WHAT
• Strategy: Process and means to make it happen: — the HOW
• Stewardship: Responsibility and accountability for actions and consequences — the WHO

We can reflect on these 4 elements as they guide us in terms of how we show up when no one is looking, how we show up inter-personally, in our communities, and on the world stage.
It really comes down to life by design or life by default. I have a reminder on my wall in my office, asking the provocative question: “How do I want to be in the face of that?”

Real Estate of our Inter-Personal Life

From disappointments, criticism and failures, all the way to success, achievement and recognition, we have the opportunity to design how we will be in the face of that. On those occasions where I actually exercise the leadership to ponder the question, it provides me with the space to reflect and respond, rather than to react (and often regret!) Once I determine the actual principles or values I would like to demonstrate in the situation, the remainder of the elements more easily reveal themselves. Like most life tools — it works when I remember to use them! Not always easy to remember when our ego is experiencing an over-whelming need to be right, or we are stinging from a perceived injustice.

Real Estate of our Community Life

We live in community, and the quality of our community experience is influenced by our sense of value and connection. I have had the privilege to dialogue with some public leaders to help to explore how to Create a Community We All Want to Age Into.

Government and community services, planners, citizens, non-profits and for-profit businesses all have a role to play in creating the capacity and space for an enriching community experience for all age groups. Principles of inclusion, respect, safety, engagement, and connection can guide our design of service and commercial operations that welcome and appreciate all members of our society. Action plans with corresponding programs can be established to address identified gaps, and evaluation and feed-back loops provide for the necessary accountability and review.

Real Estate of our World Presence

How we show up on the world stage is front and centre right now. The air waves are dominated with all the rhetoric about positions and partisan tribalism. More than ever, we are shown examples of seeing those with different viewpoints, heritage, culture, religion, and politics as ‘the other.’ When this happens, our world becomes significantly smaller as we seek to mark and barricade our space.

Will the ‘How’ resort to criticism, finger-pointing, blame and name-calling, or will the ‘How’ draw upon a higher ‘Why’ to embrace strategies that challenge us to a superior expression of ‘Who’ we can be?

Let’s make the space and capacity — the real estate of our life a grand monument to a legacy we are proud to have created and sustained. We have the ‘Why,’ ‘What,’ ‘How,’ and the ‘Who’ is You!

Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA
Founder & CEO
Age-Friendly Business


Age-Related Hearing Loss

One in 3 adults over 65 experience some form of age-related hearing loss. Hearing loss can lead to isolation and dis-engagement from social activities, and is the sensory system people least want to lose. Helen Keller once remarked that loss of vision separates you from things, whereas loss of hearing separates you from people.


True Leadership

“A leader. . .is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.”
Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa

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