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Springfield, MO

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Christina (Sam) Baird

Titan Title & Closing LLC

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Professional Influences
My first professional influence was my very first manager in the title industry, Larry Mayes. Larry owned a small title company and I came to him knowing zero about title and real estate. I had so many questions and he had patience with me, teaching me, mentoring and giving me all sorts of scenarios. He showed me instead of just telling me about respect, patience, listening and caring about those who you manage, teach or come into contact with – and that everyone mattered.
My father, Jim McCown, was also a huge influence. A Vietnam veteran, he headed the IT department at what is now Mercy Hospital, coached football and raised three kids as a single parent. I was adopted from an orphanage into a family of all men with no mother figure, so my upbringing was very much “don’t feel sorry for yourself, just go get it done.” He taught me to always be strong and that no one was going to do it for me. If I wanted anything, I had to do it myself.

Personal Leadership Style
• Accountability - No one likes to hear “you made a mistake.” But how can you learn from your mistakes if you are not held accountable? Mistakes happen, no one is perfect, but if you expect your team to learn, grow and be successful, they must learn to be accountable.
• Respect - Your team is what makes you successful. That phrase “there is no ‘I’ in team” is absolutely solid. I may have started the business, but it took my team to make it successful. I have so much respect for my team for the hard work, long hours, mental strain and the will to keep going.
• Communication - I try my best to make sure when I’m training my crew, clients and investors that I communicate well. Lack of communication causes a huge amount of all problems. Communication can make or break any deal, transaction or relationship.
If someone were to write about my leadership style, I would hope they would say that I am caring and understanding, a great teacher and mentor and that I communicated well so they could further succeed in their lives.

Advice for Aspiring Leaders
Be open minded and thoughtful. Be willing to research different behaviors. I have team members who suffer from ADHD, PTSD, bipolar disorder and other conditions. I didn’t know or understand a lot of the terminology or effects, so I did some research to better understand where they were coming from and the effects of what they are going through. It has really helped our relationships grow.

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