Why focusing on team culture makes you a better leader: Stefanie Dobro

In a five part series we caught up with some of the keynote speakers ahead of TBORE 2018 to find out more about their businesses, where great ideas come from and how they onboard new team members. Part One features Stefanie Dobro of Caporn Young.

What’s the most important thing you’re currently working on?

I’m working on tidying up our systems and our database to focus strongly on building quality relationships and creating an attraction business.

What’s a recent ‘great idea’ you have implemented?

At AREC, one of the speakers talked about setting up a WhatsApp group for each new listing with the whole team, as well as the sellers. I texted my assistant and we immediately set up groups with most of our sellers. It has been a big success; it doesn’t replace telephone calls and face to face meetings, but it really helps with time management and communication.

Favourite question to ask someone in a job interview?

I generally want to know what they do when not at work and where they see themselves in the next three to five years. This gives an insight into who they really are, whether they have goals and are prepared to put in the work to achieve them, and what is really important to them.

What is one characteristic that every leader should possess, and why?

Leaders need to have a vision and be approachable, ready to listen and understand where others are coming from. Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People has so many valuable leadership lessons; the one that I always come back to is ‘seek first to understand’. Leaders who are approachable and focus on supporting people growth will have the best company cultures and experience business growth and success.

WhatsApp is a fantastic tool for exposing new team members to our business’ culture.

How do you help a new employee understand the culture of your business?

Culture is caught, not taught. Actions speak louder than company statements about what we stand for and how we treat each other. WhatsApp is a fantastic tool for exposing new team members to our business’ culture. The welcome messages the team send to new members, or when they get their first listing or sale, or when another team member sells something – this shows we are not just a company working as a team, but individuals who support each other and celebrate each other’s successes.

Who are your leadership mentors and what do they do to inspire you?

I can think of no better leadership mentor than Megan Jaffe. She is really genuine about creating an environment where every person has the support they need to grow. By focusing on and supporting them, she’s created an amazingly profitable business. Megan spends a lot of time working on herself, keeping her at the forefront of the industry. That’s a leadership style that really inspires me.

What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

One of my favourite leadership books is Robin Sharma’s The Leader Who Had No Title. I’d encourage anyone who wants to become a leader to read this book, as it shows that you don’t need to be put into a leadership role to be a leader. Leadership isn’t about a title; it’s about your actions.

Stefanie will be speaking at The Business of Real Estate on the Gold Coast on 3-4 September. For more information visit thebusinessofrealestate.com.au.

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