A duck and a dream

I had the pleasure of watching arguably the world’s best magician David Copperfield live in Melbourne recently. The magic itself was awesome...

17 reasons you should always carry a book with you

1. As someone who used to spend a lot of time waiting for real estate clients to show up – I know that clients / appointments / people in general are often late...

Reality Television your way to Success

I think I’m one of the only “motivational speakers” (not that I call myself that) who will openly admit that I watch television. I watch bad television too… even… dare I say it… reality television.

Where is the love?!

One of my businesses, Elephant Property, works in the notoriously under appreciated category of residential property management. The old adage in property management...

The power of the word

I’m quite distraught. I was eating my personal trainer approved afternoon snack of 12 almonds (my suggestion of 12 Tim Tams: not approved)...

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Real Prize…

I love a business award for so many reasons.

Much of my “profile” has come from winning the Telstra Australian Young Business Woman of the Year (about a 63 and a half years ago when I was still one of the youngest people in our organization – today at 32, I’m the oldest in my office).

Our real estate agency Elephant Property was just named the Real Estate Institute of Tasmania’s Property Manager of the Year. It’s a significant award where we were up against much larger companies, companies that have been in business much longer than ours and companies that were named like real estate agencies are “meant to be” named after amusing surnames - c’mon you know you’ve thought that about L. J. Hooker before! (This is said with much love to the many awesome people I know working at L. J. Hooker!)

The best part about winning this award for me? Was it the added credibility winning a great award gives your company – or the boost to our team morale – or the great fodder for press releases – or the amazing people we’re sure to meet competing for the national award – or the congratulations coming in from our clients?

It was actually a text from one of my business partners. She’s been doing an amazing job lately working long hours, pushing herself out side her comfort zone and trying to fit that in with being a great mum and wife (she was 7 months pregnant when we started the company!)

Her text simply said that winning the award helped her realize that what we’re working towards was worth some of the short term sacrifices we’ve been making along the way and that she hadn’t been able to get the smile off her face since she heard the news of the award.

What a great prize.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Who does your taxes?

Louis the weedy tax accountant is my favourite character in the classic 80’s film Ghostbusters.

At the end of the film after the big marshmallow man bites the dust and the roof is pretty blown off the central park adjacent building – Louise is rescued by the Ghostbusters.

Louis: Who are you guys?

Dr Ray Stantz: We're the Ghostbusters.

Louis: Who does your taxes?

The world is half up in smoke, a giant man made of confectionary had just caused havoc in the streets and he’s just been trapped inside a crispy underworld dog and yet Louis never misses an opportunity to prospect for new business.

When was the last time you asked someone – Who does your taxes? (Or your hair, or services your car, or gives you personal training)

By Marjorie with No comments

Friday, September 16, 2011

Roadblock on your road to glory?

I was recently emailed by a young lady who has set up her own charitable endeavour and has hit some pretty substantial roadblocks. She was unsure where to go from here and was after some advice.

My first piece of advice: EVERY endeavour hits roadblocks.

Some prime examples:

•the Frisbee took 9 years to “take off” (excuse the pun) – invented in 1948 it wasn’t a hit till 1957

•Velcro inventor and engineer George de Mestral spent a decade perfecting his invention before he made a sale

•Karl Elsener invented something you probably have in your home today – a Swiss army knife – but it took him 13 years to find a market for his product and he was bailed out by friends and family several times over

•In my own life even just looking at one area – financing - I’ve been:
◦Knocked back for finance on my first business
◦Knocked back for finance on my first investment
◦Knocked back by a potential investor

It’s note the presence of the road block that’s the issue, it’s what how you choose to address it. Bruce Lee speaks about being “like water” if water encounters an obstacle it just flows around it.

How can you flow? How can you adapt? What questions do you need to ask yourself to move around your road block?

Good luck to Olivia in finding your way around/over/through your road block!

By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

Friday, September 9, 2011

I'll have... nothing

Mid 2011 I made the decision to travel with a girl friend and daughter on a cruise for 12 nights through the Greek Isles. Around Croatia my 7 month old little girl decided the cruise seemed like the most appropriate time to cut her first two teeth! Teething woes aside it was a sensational trip and the second time I've been fortunate enough to see part of the world on a cruise ship.

My friend and travelling companion had never experienced the gastronomical delights that cruising has to offer and by the time we got to the fourth course, dessert, each night she was full past her eyelids and always declined the spectacular offerings. Mid cruise Ricky, our waiter whose home country was the Philippines, questioned my friend when it was time to order dessert querying: "Are you sure you want nothing?" "Nothing" she said absolutely resolute. As each dessert for the 7 other people on the table arrived, Ricky cheekily put it down in front of my friend before whisking cheesecake, profiteroles, bomb alaska, ice cream, parfait and more off to their rightful owners.

One more time he asked "Are you sure you want nothing?". "Absolutely" was the reply. With a grin on his face Ricky placed the platter below in front of my friend to uproar and laughter from our table.

This lovely display of wit and charm was just one of many examples of fabulous service mixing with real personality that we experienced during this cruise.

I've eaten at so many extremely formal restaurants where the service has been impeccable but distanced. On this ship I got to know the personality behind so many of the staff and it made the experience so much more full and valuable. We met Ganna a waitress from the Ukraine who, in her home country, was an english professor at a university and yet earned 15 times more per year waitressing on the ship. We met staff from all over the world working away from loved ones and children. My little girl had about 50 or so adopted aunts and uncles who all welcomed her back overjoyed each time we were on their part of the ship. Congratulations to Princess Cruise Line for empowering their staff to be able to relate to the guests on such a real and personal level.

It made me wonder how able my team would feel to be able to convey (when appropriate) their true personalities, history and stories when interacting with our clients. There's a time and place for formal and respectful, but oh boy did personable and real make an impact on me in the Greek Isles.

By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

Friday, September 2, 2011

All the gourmet stuff has mould on it!

“It’s fine – all the gourmet stuff has mould on it” exclaimed a friend’s boss.

“Not bacon!” my friend (the employee) countered.

Clearly there were some differences in what was deemed appropriate behaviour between leader and employee here!

I wrote an email to someone today discussing the various challenges of stepping up to a leadership role. In my mind, most people promoted into leadership roles go in fairly unprepared for the struggles they’ll face.

How do you find the happy medium between cost saving and safety (mmm… moldy bacon!)

How do you find the perfect balance of being friendly with those you manage without losing their respect for their leader if you’re too familiar.

How do you set an example for them to follow on the days when you feel like crawling under your desk and putting a huge sign on your door that you’ve gone to Jamaica!

In my first staff management role (excruciatingly detailed in my book Advance to Go, Collect $1 Million) I was such a brilliant first time manager that all my staff (housemaids at the motel I was managing) up and quit on me within 2 weeks!

While I don’t think I’ve come close to perfecting the role of being a manager or leader within an organization each misstep I make (and we all make them) helps me refine and improve my technique.

5 things you can do to improve your leadership performance:

· Find a way for your team to give you feedback on how they think you’re doing (anonymous performance reviews work well in my experience and while they’re a little daunting the info received can be so valuable)

· Remember back to your previous leaders in the workplace. Who did you admire the most and why?

· Find a way to recognize your staff in a meaningful way – simply finding out what their favourite chocolate bar is might be a start!

· Take stock on what leadership training you’ve actually done – what’s your ongoing formal education plan for leadership (after all we can't have YOU developing mould!)

· Take a great leader out to lunch. Find someone you know has the respect of their team and take them out to lunch and probe them with all sorts of meaningful questions on what works for them (and what hasn’t in the past!)

By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

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