What Does It Look Like to "Trade on Your Strengths?"

Meet Natalie Snyder, 28, a petite Texas beauty who earned a vice president role with Transwestern in just six years. Natalie moved to Dallas after graduating from Texas A&M, where she was a skeet shooter. She’s not afraid to outshoot any guy on a business-retreat skeet range, no matter how C-le4wordwomen.org Wednesday vel. She is a 4word Dallas chapter leader.

Natalie shares that she’s blessed to be on a team at work whose strengths mesh well, something Diane has written a lot about recently.  Natalie’s focus in “trading on your strengths” offers insight from someone early in her career path.


4word: What is the source of this amazing work ethic that led to the VP level in just a few years? Please share your secrets.

Natalie: Work, for me, is a sense of calling. I never had a stay at home mom. She and my father both worked full time and worked very hard to provide. That’s the example set for me. They taught me the value of a dollar, the importance of a good work ethic and the importance of giving some of it back to those less fortunate than us.

It is my belief the Bible commands us to work. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 says, “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” Yet, there is a difficult balance. Once you’re successful, there is the temptation to make money your sole focus. 1 Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” I often have to remind myself of this when I get too carried away with work.

4word:  How did you become involved with 4word Dallas?

Natalie: I knew and thought highly of Diane. When she presented 4word to a commercial real estate women’s networking group I was involved with, I asked how I could help. Reading “Work, Love, Pray” made me more passionate about wanting to grow 4word in Dallas.

4word: Tell us more about your work team – how your individual talents all come together.

Natalie: I work on a three-person team specializing in office tenant advisory with Nora and Robert, who are principals in the company.  We all have distinct, strong personalities and strengths, but our differences seem to drive our success.

Robert is a charismatic, wisecracking, hilariously funny guy. He’s the “big picture thinker” and sees things most brokers never see. Robert is a “hunter” who loves being out of the office, churning up new business. But, you’ll never see him working on a spreadsheet, and he’ll be the first to tell you he has a severe case of ADD. His role is to find potential clients with big transaction requirements. Despite his craziness, one or two of these really large transactions will close once a year, and our team and company profit handsomely.

I call Nora our “skinner” or our “i-dotter and t-crosser.” She loves spreadsheets, market surveys, negotiations and analyzing real estate transactions. Once we’ve been hired for a client requirement, Nora’s usually the one to work the transaction from start to finish. She prefers to call herself “the constant professional” and refers to Robert as “the kid driving the car.”

4word: And where do you fit in? Natalie Snyder 4wordwomen.org blog

Natalie: Nora and Robert have been my mentors. I’ve tried to take the best from both, then add “the Natalie touch.” Like Robert, my favorite thing to do is chase new business opportunities. The way that I go about this is cold calling (yes, the hard way) and networking. On the flip side, I majored in finance, hold a commercial real estate finance designation and have learned to do everything Nora does.

Therefore, I can be a “hunter” and a “skinner.” But, hunting is what I’m actually better at and is way more fun than skinning! We’ve learned our team performs best when Robert and I are hunting, and Nora is skinning.

4word: Have you ever worked on a team that DIDN’T mesh well?

Natalie: Through experience –  group projects in college, or nonprofit board service – I’ve learned that if you have the exact same personality types on a team, tasks either do not get completed, or are not completed well.

The best example I can give is from my current team. In 2011, Nora was sick with a serious illness. Working on client transactions with Robert was a lot more challenging without her. We had to focus 100% on transactions, not on finding new business. Robert and I butt heads doing this, and I was not as fulfilled in my work processing transactions 100% of the time. I was really glad when Nora came back so we could all focus on what we do best.


What’s your work team like? Have you noticed ways that your strengths blend well together? Or are there areas that your team is lacking?