Leading in Tough Times: Mathew Wyman, Co-Chair, Cox, Castle & Nicholson

Throughout the month of August, Connect CRE is running a series titled “Leading in Tough Times.” We’ve asked leaders around the U.S. and across the commercial real estate spectrum to share their wisdom and discuss lessons learned. In this installment, you’ll hear from Mathew Wyman, co-chair, Cox, Castle & Nicholson.

Q: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about leading in a challenging environment?

A: The most important lesson I have learned is not to overact in a negative fashion to a challenging market but to instead look for the opportunities it creates. When the pandemic started, many of us thought the world was over and we were going to be on a rough road for a while. Yet, it turned out we had some of our most profitable years after that. I can honestly say without exception, that in every real estate downturn we have had, we have found ways to be profitable that we didn’t expect. It’s because we viewed the challenging market as an opportunity, took the time to think about the direction of the company, analyzed the situation, and devised a strategic path forward.

Q: What leadership advice would you like to give your younger self?

A: I don’t know everything, and I cannot do it all by myself. Listen more and involve more people. There are smart people around the firm, they add tremendous value, and you can learn from them.

Q: What decision as a leader do you wish you could have a mulligan on and why?

A: That’s a long list. There are several situations that I wish I could have a mulligan on. But in all those instances, it really boils down to one thing, I need to follow my own advice…be less reactive, involve others and listen and ask more questions. If I do those things, hopefully in the future I won’t wish I had more do-overs.

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