As the promise of 2022 looms on the horizon, most people are anxious to close the books on what is likely the most unsettling year — from the pandemic to politics to supply chain shortages — we will ever experience. Strong leadership has never been more essential than it is today. To share their best leadership practices, Az Business magazine sat down with Arizona business leaders to watch in 2022, including Bob Mulhern, senior managing director of Colliers.

READ ALSO: 100 best places to work in Arizona: Colliers

Highlights of Bob Mulhern interview

As a well-respected industry veteran with more than 35 years of experience, Mulhern has a highly successful track record for managing brokerage, development and property management organizations.

STATE OF BUSINESS: “Business is strong. We realize, of course, the pandemic has been hard on a lot of people. It really tested a lot of things in people and businesses. For us, it tested our culture, and our culture showed up strong last year when the market was down, and strong this year when the market was up, so it’s been a very good couple of years for us, all things considered.

IMPACT OF CULTURE: “I always say a culture does two things: It attracts and repels. It attracts the right people and repels the people who aren’t going to like the culture. Over the last 10 years, we’ve built this team of people who really get what we’re trying to do, which is to collaborate and strive together toward great things. It’s really our standard, kind of our focus. When you put that together and all of a sudden things get tough, there’s a lot of looking out for each other. There’s a lot of leaning on each other, there’s a lot of testing the system, so to speak, to see if it works. It has worked fabulously for us. This year, we will have our best year by 25% or 30%. We proved that on the way down, we could be successful, and on the way up, we could be successful. That’s what the last two years have been, a down year and an up year.”

APPEAL OF ARIZONA: “I think the state has made it very appealing to international companies that want to be able to distribute within the U.S. They’re glad to go to Canada or Mexico or in-between in the United States. We’ve done some of our biggest deals ever this last year, including one of my favorite deals, which was sent from China to San Francisco, San Francisco to us. It ended up being a 1.2-million-square-foot manufacturing business in the West Valley. It showed the international power of the company, but it also showed that they chose Arizona over some of our other neighbors, just because they understood that this was a great place to do business.”