We have some incredible business coaching clients on our books, doing all kinds of great things – we swear we learn more from them than they do from us at times! We work with clients at all levels in all industries, clients who are owning their sector, clients who are making their mark on NZ and some making their mark on the world. To inspire you we have decided to share some of their stories in a regular Q&A. As part of these successful business leaders’ Q&A, Zac shares some business thinking questions to challenge your thinking and performance.
This time we spoke to Jacquie Barker, Chief Executive of Quotable Value (QV) – New Zealand’s largest property valuer firm (over 250 in their team) that offers Kiwis access to a range of property information and valuation services. Jacquie is a registered valuer who has been with QV for almost 30 years. She took on the Chief Executive role in December.
Q. Tell us about your business in ten words…
A. Helping people make better decisions using property information.
Q. Who is a leader that you learnt something incredibly valuable from and what were the lessons you learnt from them?
A. My previous mentor (manager) allowed me to be the best that I could be by challenging me through providing opportunities. Every time I looked like I had control of a new role, it would change! I learnt that we really don’t know what we are capable of until we are given a push. As leaders we should stretch our people to be the best they can be.
Q. Think about the worst boss you’ve ever had – what did you learn from their style of leadership?
A. I’ve experienced a boss who tried to keep me in a box and at arm’s length for fear of my growth potential. It taught me that fear of capable people was not helpful in a leadership role. As leaders, we should be excited if our people want our job!
Q. What lesson in business do you try to pass on to others and why is that?
A. We need to see things from others perspective. The saying “You need to walk a mile in their shoes” really rings true for me. Whether it is our people, our customers, or in our personal life, you must have empathy and understanding of others’ point of view.
Q. What is the mantra you live by and why?
A. ‘There is always a solution’. Because it is true – don’t give up until you find it.
Q. What has been your biggest learning in business to date and why? How has it affected you going forward?
A. I believe that business can be used as a force for good. That there is a win/win solution where business can thrive and return financial value, while also giving back in social value to New Zealand. I am passionate about how we can incorporate the responsibility authentically into the core of our business to support the community, business and NZ Inc in the future.
Q. If you were 21 years old again and could do any career you wanted, what would it be and why?
A. Property is part of the fabric of New Zealanders – it is who we are. It feeds our soul. It’s exciting and it’s a big responsibility to be part of it. After 30 years in this industry I wouldn’t have it any other way.
BUSINESS THINKING QUESTIONS FROM ZAC ON JACQUIE’S THOUGHTS:
(1) Are you giving people in your team opportunities to stretch themselves? Really? And what could you be doing more of or better to help stretch those in your team?
(2) It is likely you are operating within your comfort zone (that is what we naturally do as humans). Are you giving yourself the opportunity to actually stretch what you are personally doing and capable of doing? If not, what could you be doing more or of differently to truly stretch yourself and see what you are capable of?
(3) Are you fearful at all of anybody in your team stepping up and being better than you? Hopefully not but it can happen (even behind the scenes in our “conscience”). The best leaders have people who are better than them on their team. Is there anybody on your key team (or greater team) who is not up to scratch and what will you do about it? Is there anybody on your team who is showing great potential but you are not making the most of what they could do or be – how can you help them to be doing even greater things in your business?
(4) You likely get (constant) feedback from people in your team or customers and sometimes will think “whatever” or “I will get to that later”… As Jacquie said “You need to walk a mile in their shoes” . What (potentially important) things are you hearing in your business or team or about your business that you are actually not giving due consideration to?
If you like these sorts of questions you will love AccMe. This is where Zac asks people regular (eg. weekly, fortnightly or monthly) business thinking questions and it helps you to be more successful. Success comes only with focus. Give www.accme.co a go. We hope that Jacquie’s Q & A was thought provoking for you 🙂