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Updated: May 16

This week, a long-time friend’s wife asked me if I read every day. I do. Not only do I read to my son Levi every night, but I also read books and blogs as well as listen to podcasts and watch informational videos on YouTube. I read and continue to learn to be a better dad, husband, friend, and professional. I’m building a business and making deals happen. I get my fuel from learning, reflecting, and having new adventures.

Looking at downtown Minneapolis from 35W through a glass ball.

I watched a YouTube video that I loved (it’s visual, and I’m a visual learner 🙂) so I shared it with my team. Presented by MindSpring, it’s called "Greatness," by David Marquet. It’s based on his book, “Turn The Ship Around!” The video gives an animated summary of his leadership breakthrough and the positive results that followed.

The basic premise is if you want people to think, don’t give instructions, give intent. This is the culture we are creating at CEG. Here are my five takeaways from the video that I think can apply to our brokerage and commercial real estate:

1. Thinking, active, proactive, initiative-taking, and passionate people are better to get deals done. Each member of our team adds significant value to the mission and that has allowed CEG to grow. They don’t need me to give orders or constant directions when they have the competence to do what they need to help our team get the deal done.

2. Impress me. I want them to Figure It Out and show me how we can evolve and make improvements. We are not a static company that’s stuck in how it’s always done. My team is smart, and they impress me and my clients daily. I want us all to be impressive in how we contribute.

3. Move authority to where the information is. My leadership goal is to create thinkers – those who excel in the business, learn from mistakes (they’re part of being human), and grow expertise. The team members who best know the deal should be the go to people to make it happen. It doesn’t always have to be me. By creating a psychologically safe environment, my team steps up and contributes in creative and proactive ways. That’s a win for my clients and me.

4. Give control by establishing competence and clarity. As a team, we need to be on the same page and be confident in our next step. If we know our goal is to get a deal done, each team member can handle their own area. Are the necessary steps taken? Is it the right thing for the client? Check, check.

Mount Rainier and Seattle, WA

5. Remove delays. I’m busy. If I have to touch every aspect of the business, my workload would be Mount Rainier at this point, and my team would be waiting a long time for me to get to the top. That’s not productive. Instead, I let my team know the big things to watch out for, so they can think like me and learn from my experience and vice versa. That allows us to be more productive.


As the CEG owner, it’s my job to create an environment for our team to achieve greatness – and from greatness comes growth. In our environment of thinkers, we help each other, as a team should. My hope is that each team member adds to their leadership skill set, while we get deals done for clients. At CEG, we’re here to help! Reach out to our team today if you have any questions. Or you can find me at 612-788-1552 or

Jeff smiling and sitting on a park bench with his dog.

Jeff Salzbrun is the owner and broker of Commercial Equities Group (CEG). As a veteran-owned real estate brokerage, CEG has been involved in thousands of sale and lease transactions, ranging from single offices to 250,000+ square foot buildings. At CEG, we get your deal done. We know space, and we know the CRE business.

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