Understanding how to build a successful team starts with learning from those who have worked hard to develop and shape their career to become an integral part of the team. In the #BecomingAnAsset series, we ask Asset Living employees to share advice for those looking to grow personally and professionally – from turning challenges into opportunities for career development to persevering towards a promotion – our team members are full of quality advice that can help to guide anyone towards success. Today we hear from Asset Living’s Vice President of Operations Cari Luetge.
Tell us about your background, experience, and role within Asset Living.
As I reflect on almost 23 years of property management, it’s hard to list every detail. No matter the role or title, my responsibilities would typically shift on a day-to-day basis. I’ve never been one to chase a title and I would typically consider myself a “utility player” or someone who would do whatever is needed to help the team. I started as a Community Assistant in college, and today I’m a Vice President (Multi-family) at Asset Living. I have worn multiple hats throughout my tenure with Asset Living, including Regional Supervisor (Campus New Dev), Regional Supervisor (Campus Operations), and Regional Vice President (Campus Operations). Over time, I have grown not only in my professional skillset, but I have learned many valuable personal/life lessons.
I am humbled and grateful for the trust and opportunities that Asset Living has provided and for immediately accepting me into their family. Reflecting on the last 10 years with Asset Living, what stands out the most is simple: My first day. I can honestly say that as soon as I stepped into the lobby, I knew I had found my home. The elevator doors opened, and our CEO greeted me by saying, “Hello Cari, welcome to the family!” I’m grateful to work for a company who values its employees like family and drives me to show up and do my best every day. My colleagues and supervisors have become an integral part of my life through connections, friendships, leadership, mentorship, and so much more.
What piece of advice would you give to a new employee who is #BecomingAnAsset?
Be yourself, engage, and know that you have a team that wants to see and help you succeed. Success is a chain reaction – if your team isn’t successful, then you aren’t successful, your supervisor isn’t successful, and ultimately the company isn’t successful. Lastly, it’s important to always lead your work with a servant’s heart. No matter the role or task, we are in the business of serving our clients, residents, and team members. It’s important to pause and be sure that your messaging, actions, and delivery are ones that you would appreciate as well.
What drives you to be the best team member possible?
Seeing people on my team succeed, grow, and advance in their career is my driver. In my opinion, the biggest and best accomplishment as a leader is not making a name for yourself but making a name for others. Your title is just that, a word. My goal is not to create “followers”, but to create leaders that create other leaders; one after the next. I am confident in knowing that if I aid in the development of “A Players”, there will eventually be a bench of qualified individuals waiting to be called into the game. Leading side by side vs. front to back has allowed my team to feel empowered when it comes to decision-making; yet it has also challenged me to view every opportunity through my teammates point of view.
What is your favorite memory from this year or within your career at Asset Living?
This is a hard one to nail down because there are so many memories that I would love to share. However, there are two specific ones that I keep close to my heart because one came from my team/colleagues and the other came from a mentor and previous supervisor.
A memory from this year? Hands down seeing, reuniting, and working with past team members, who have elevated their career path within Asset Living. Watching each of them grow within a new division has been so heartwarming. I look forward to championing each of them further into their career with Asset Living.
Outside of work, what do you like to do in your free time?
My goal for 2022 was, “Experiences and memories over things.” Where there was an opportunity to make a deposit into the memory bank, create a new tradition, or invest time in making memories; that’s where I was and will continue to be in 2023. I enjoy coaching and playing softball with my daughter (who is the light of my life), doing CrossFit or Burn Bootcamp, finding pockets of dedicated time with friends/family, making something that’s old look new again, volunteering with my church’s prison ministry group, aiding in adoption education, and lastly taking time to pause and take care of Cari.
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