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Reality Television your way to Success

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Where is the love?!

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Older, wiser?

I’m not sure when it happened, but all of a sudden it seems, I’ve gone from being young to being old. Not in my head, not in my personal life, certainly not in the number of shoes I own, but in the workplace.

When I started my first real estate agency at 21, I was young in my own company, in my state, in my industry. I’ve been fortunate enough to have received lots of press and awards, based in part to the fact that I started that business at such a young age.

And then, without realizing it, in starting my most recent real estate agency Elephant Property – I’ve become the old one! After a quick stalk on facebook I’ve just discovered I’m the single oldest person (at 33) in our organization, barring one of our gorgeous business partners who isn’t based physically in either of our offices.

Last year one helpful younger staffer mentioned that perhaps she would have someone run upstairs for two of us old girls to save our legs! I find myself saying things like “what do you mean you don’t know who the Rolling Stones are?”

So while I can’t trade on my youthful status anymore, I can still remember the lessons I learnt from those times:

  • Counter youth with enthusiasm and by studying and learning more than your older counterpart
  • Try new things! Your local marketplace doesn’t need another business doing exactly the same things as everyone else. Be different – even if it means stuffing things up!
  • If you’ve got a point of difference (like being young) - use it, don’t hide from it!

  • And now I can use some of the wisdom I’ve gained with my more senior age (compared to 21!) to remember:

  • Not all business is good business, sometimes it’s better to turn down business than to enter into a long term relationship with the wrong clients
  • Not every team member will do things exactly your way – as I age I’m learning (somewhat) to release my inner control freak and trust the people around me more and more (when they’ve shown they have earned it!)

  • And now… rather than sit here and count my grey hairs – I’m off to make some more mistakes, do some cool things and learn some more lessons.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, July 20, 2012

I sit in a hallway

In the lovely pink Elephant Property Launceston offices I sit in a hallway, next to the photocopier and I have the smallest desk out of every person in that office.

I sit next to a glorious pink office (with walls!) and a huge desk. I could have it (or any other) office in the building as my own if I wanted.

But unlike the Kirsty of 15 years ago I’ve realized it doesn’t matter where I sit. It doesn’t matter the size of my desk. It doesn’t matter what my title is.

All that matters is the value I provide and the contribution I make to the company. I could do that sitting on an upturned paint can with my laptop in my lap out in the alley if I had to.

Who cares where you sit, the days of the corner office status symbol are long gone. What value do you create? Would you be missed if you were suddenly gone? Would you leave a gap more sizeable than the dent on your plush office chair?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, July 13, 2012


I have a flair for the dramatic that I have to reign in at times. No – I’m not theatrical – I’m a drama queen waiting to happen. I realized it (again) as I walked to the bathroom tonight. I felt a stabbing pain in my head. Instantly, instead of thinking “paracetamol” –I thought “brain tumor” which lead quickly to: what my little girl would do without a mother, should my husband remarry (I decided yes), how would I make sure he knew to remarry and on and on.

Now - I’m a (mostly) reformed drama queen. I keep these mental outbursts to myself barring short confessions like the one I’m making to you now. Unchecked – drama-queen-itis can be a menace.

Now ladies, all of you have at least one girlfriend who brings the drama with her wherever she goes. You’ve probably learned to deal with it on a friendship level. What I want to talk about today is the drama queen in the workplace.

He’s the one (oh yes – they can be male!) who doesn’t just have a cold, they have the plague.

She’s the one who isn’t driving calmly somewhere, she’s got to go immediately because it’s an emergency.

They’re the one whose relationship is always on the brink of disaster (although their partner typically doesn’t know anything’s wrong).

It’s the employee who always has the client who makes her life impossible and absolutely cannot be reasoned with.

In short, they create chaos where it doesn’t need to be.

What to do if (like me) you have drama queen tendencies? Go back and read the children’s fable the Boy who Cried Wolf.

What to do if you work with a drama queen? Get a salt shaker, pop it on your desk and either, learn to take everything they say with a grain of said salt, or reconsider and find yourself an employee (if you’re the boss) who you know is grounded, reliable and speaks the drama free truth.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, July 6, 2012

360 Degree Performance Reviews

Like most organizations, at Elephant Property, we conduct performance reviews of our team every 6 months. We assess what each team member can improve on going forward and what they’re doing well.

Starting last month and finishing today in both our offices, we also allowed the staff to rate each person in a business ownership, leadership or management role in our organization.

Terrifying? A little. Valuable? Absolutely.

What I’ve found over the years in doing these to be really important:

  1. Guarantee anonymity to the team participating – it’s the only way you get honest results. We have them compiled by one staff member and all put into an envelope and mixed up. Everyone marks in the same way usually with the same pen.
  2. Properly explain how to fill the forms in. I even fell in a hole with this on the most recent round – need to remember this more carefully next time!
  3. Take it on the chin. Take the feedback you get as areas to improve upon and areas you’re doing well in. Not – well the staff clearly hate me!
  4. Assess multiple leaders, you’ll almost always find that one leader’s strength is another’s weaker point – meaning you have what you need in house to improve.
  5. Reassess every 6 months making sure your leaders focus on improving their scores each time.
Want a copy of the form we use in house for our management 360 degree performance appraisals? View or download it on our facebook page here.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

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