Philosophy of communication

David Houri is not the bragging type, but if you ever talk to him, it may come up that
he speaks three languages.

Beyond his native French, he
also learned English and
Hebrew as a necessity of his
former businesses. It’s fitting
that Houri is a polyglot because
he’s obsessed with making his
communications as clear as

That’s because success at
Skyrise Development Group —
the real estate development company with more than $100 million in assets where Houri is
founder, chairman and CEO —
is all about people understanding not only their personal
potential but also the potential of
the company. And to make sure
his approximately 100 employees understand that, Houri is
constantly focused on laying
out his philosophy and his
goals for the future in clear
terms to motivate them.

Smart Business spoke with
Houri about why motivation is
nothing without ambition and
how failing to communicate
your philosophy is like being
married for two days and having a change of heart.

Explain your business philosophy. I’m taking the time even when
we are very busy to give (employees) the philosophy of what has
to be accomplished. Then people understand where they can
go, and the ball is in their hands,
but at least they understand the

It’s important to understand
the potential because everybody is not looking at the market the way we are as a leader.
You have to explain to them
what the potential is, where
and how far they can go,
because you can explain the
situation in different ways.

They can leave your office with
a very pessimistic approach, a
very optimistic approach or a
very unrealistic approach. As
long as you describe the things
very clearly and you showed
what the challenges are and
how you can beat the challenges at the end of the day,
they stay optimistic.

Even someone that is answering the phone has to understand. It sounds ridiculous, but
it’s not. Someone that’s answering the phone can say, ‘Hi, this
is Skyrise,’ or someone can say,
‘Hi, this is Skyrise. How are you;
may I help you?’ That’s a big difference within someone that

When they don’t understand,
it’s like you are married to
someone, and, after two days,
she says, ‘You know what, you
are not my guy.’ OK, but hold
on a second, let’s communicate and understand who we
both are and then make a decision.

When they understand, they
can all love it or not love it, but
at least they understand. Then,
if they are not performing, it’s
still a problem, but at least
everybody is on the same page
when we address it.

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