The Deed: Chicago

Self-made millionaire: Here's how yelling at work can cost you

When Chicago house-flipper Bryan Sonn got mad, he got loud. He yelled, swore and sometimes even punched a hole in a wall if he wasn't happy with the construction on his properties.

"If I didn't like something the guys were doing, I would just take a hammer and put a hole in it and say, 'Now you have to fix it,'" Sonn tells real estate mogul Sean Conlon on the CNBC show, "The Deed: Chicago."

Conlon, the host of the series, could relate: "I used to be a lunatic. I would scream and shout at people."

Conlon immigrated to the United States from Ireland in 1990 with $500. He got a job as a janitor and hustled hard to make a name for himself in the Chicago real estate market.

By 1996, Conlon was a millionaire. Later, he founded his own real-estate businesses in Chicago, and he currently has 40 employees and 250 agents.

"When you raise your voice, you are not in control. That's not a show of strength." -Sean Conlon, real estate mogul

On the second episode of "The Deed: Chicago," Conlon partners with Sonn on a business deal and helps Sonn improve the operations of his real estate company, GC Realty & Development.

"I will tell you, when you raise your voice, you are not in control. That's not a show of strength," Conlon says to Sonn. "That's a show that you have lost control."

Sean Conlon, Bryan Sonn, a subcontractor, Mark Ainley (L to R).
Photo courtesy The Deed: Chicago
Sean Conlon, Bryan Sonn, a subcontractor, Mark Ainley (L to R).

Sonn's temper is uncomfortable to be around, but it's also bad for business, says Conlon. When you yell at your people, they are less likely to contribute ideas.

"It impacts your team. You want a democratic company, meaning where people give you feedback and ideas," says Conlon. "If they see you scream and shout, do you really think somebody is going to come up to you with some suggestions?"

As Conlon works with Sonn to rebuild the house in Chicago's South Side, the main focus of the show, he also continually works to improve Sonn's abilities as a leader. By the end of the show, Sonn's business partner Mark Ainley reports seeing improvements in Sonn's temper.

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