Leading the Parade

Jim Dixon, president and chief executive officer of Arlington, once said, “I don’t care about Arlington being the biggest property management company, I just want us to be the best at what we do. Serving our owners, investors, employees and residents is my focus.” This is a theme we heard time and again at Arlington’s 2019 Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana this April.

When you think of New Orleans, you probably envision the French Quarter, partying, and parades, but perhaps not much in the way of business conferences. However, for Arlington Properties, New Orleans was the perfect location for this year’s conference. In April, leaders from across Arlington’s 11-state footprint, came together at the New Orleans Marriott Conference Hotel to hear words of appreciation, congratulations, inspiration, and what the future holds for Arlington.

It was also a time us to come together as a team, to reconnect with one another, and to reaffirm the principles and foundation of our more important asset—our Arlington culture.

“To be the best we can be, Arlington president Tammy Wyble reminded us, we have to remember that our culture is and remains a key highlight of our success.” “It is important that each of you as leaders, are present for all, so that all Arlington employees can be part of this great company and its outstanding culture,” she shared. “You, as our leaders, have the vision, the knowledge, the drive, and the experience to help Arlington pave our way into the future.”

One of the evening dinners included a masterful cooking class with New Orleans School of Cooking Chef Harriet Robin, who shared her unique cooking style, full of fun and energy, showing Arlington dinner guests how to cook New Orleans dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and pralines.

“It takes time to prepare a good roux for gumbo. You gotta add your stock slow and stir, not all at once or you won’t get the right consistency.” This concept is readily understood among the Arlington team because that’s how we do business—properly and with consistency to ensure the best output to every endeavor is successful in every way.

And then there was the parade.

At the conclusion of Day One of the conference, Arlington leaders, along with the Kinfolk Brass Band, led a Second Line Parade through the French Quarter, parading down Toulouse Street to the Riverview Room, where breathtaking sunsets over Jackson Square and the mighty Mississippi River were viewable from every spot on the outdoor balcony.

From the Arlington leader’s enjoyment of the culture of New Orleans, with Mardi Gras beads and for some, Hurricanes, it was an easy time to fall naturally into place to enjoy the parade as a team, even picking up a few “new” revelers along the way as we paraded down Toulouse Street. As a company of inclusivity, we welcomed them and together as one, sharing the cultural experience that only New Orleans can bring.

To us, the parade was more than a fun, team building activity. It was a metaphor for Arlington and how we choose to lead in the property management industry. We perform as a team, we follow the beat of a mutually-shared vision and like a Second line parade, we produce one of a kind results. Results that allow us to deliver unmatched value in real estate development, construction and property management services for our clients, investors, residents, partners and communities. This is the foundation for Arlington’s culture.