Active Duty During COVID-19

  • Better Informed
  • 06 Apr, 2020
Active Duty During COVID-19

Aged 18, I started my ambitious journey by joining the military, something my family didn’t think I would be able to do! Who knew that this would mold me into the man I am today and give me the drive and determination to succeed for the rest of my life. 

I successfully passed out of ATR Bassingbourne in the South-East of England and went on to serve my country for six and a half years. As expected, it was not very long before I was deployed on my first stint of active duty to the Middle East as part of operation ‘Telic’ – one of the largest deployments of British troops since World War II. I was about to find out if joining up was a smart move – or not! I could write all day about operation Telic or as it became affectionately known by the backronym Tell Everyone Leave ICancelled… but for now, let’s just say it didn’t disappoint.

Those years were spent under ambitious leadership, leaders who would always win with a never say die attitude! These leaders helped us through the toughest times in my career and remained positive while considering every outcome. 

Is this relevant for an article about Real Estate


I’m writing this article 13 years later from home while sat in quarantine lockdown as a result of a world health pandemic, at a dining table across from my wife. Some might call it a silent war! Who would have thought this sentence would ever exist?!

I’m Chris, and I’m the leader at Ascot & Co Real Estate, a Better Homes Group Company. Real Estate has been my passion since leaving the military almost 14 years ago. Having gone through some of the most challenging of times I have successfully worked my way through the ranks of the property industry.

I was brought in to Ascot & Co almost six months ago to lead and develop a sales team. Over the past 10 years, this was something I have learnt and adapted along the way. Today, we face a very different challenge, and the need to embrace technology has become more imperative.

Quarter 1 of 2020 has just finished and boy what an odd quarter that was! We have had some positive results; the business was growing, and all our agents were hitting targets and achieving personal goals. Then two weeks ago, our company reached a crossroads where now more than ever, my team needs a leader. As we know, staff are only as good as their management allows them to be. While many of our competitors took the foot off the gas or have taken drastic measures, I decided to act in the opposite direction, despite an abundance of negativity as to how this situation will affect the market. At 9 am every morning, I meet with my team through a video conferencing tool to discuss the constant changes within the market, catch up on the recent activity and instill a positive mindset. A sales team should remain grounded, focused, motivated and happy. If I achieve at least one of these with the team every day, I’m delighted! We are not here to micromanage; we are here to lead the way… a similar reminiscence to my younger days! Team allegiance features heavily in the oath a soldier takes when they swear their service to their country. Something I now filter through to my sales team!

When I was in the army, my boss encouraged me to put a sign over my desk that had three questions on it. It said, “What do I know? Who else needs to know? Have I told them?” I had to be able to answer those three questions every single day. As an inexperienced leader, I assumed that people already knew, so I didn’t need to tell them. How wrong was I! At the end of the day, if something didn’t happen, because they didn’t know about it, it wasn’t their fault, it was mine. This is a common mistake in leadership.

We must embrace our team’s knowledge and listen to their thoughts and opinions to be able to grow! We regularly ask members of the team to share their ideas and help others grow through training and strategy meetings. 

This industry isn’t about being reactive; it’s about staying proactive and adapting to market conditions. This is why our team continues to operate at full speed! Our team are people who want to grow; they want to grasp every opportunity and focus on the positive facts for the future! We have just seen that Expo2020 has been postponed, a new date expected to fall into 2021. This isn’t a negative; this will allow the market time to recover and bring more visitors to the UAE, ensuring the event is as successful as it can be.

Finally, follow the people who want to lead through to success and remain positive on the outcome! My team are sales soldiers winning their way through a world epidemic. 

2020 we are ready for whatever you want to throw our way!

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