Our Gill & Hooper Lunch and Learn series has wrapped for the year, and what a wrap-up it was! Over at The Inn (which basically feels like our second homes at this point), we spent a relaxed but inspiring afternoon bringing people together from across the real estate industry and hearing from some of the stars from this year’s series.
Joining our very own MC extraordinaire AKA Hannah Gill on stage were the brilliant Dani Harmer (All Homes General Manager), Carrie Leeson (Lifeline Canberra CEO) and Lisa Stone (Principal at Maxim Chartered Accountants). With a trio of local powerhouses to hear from, the conversation was diverse and vulnerable; encompassing everything from parenting to professional development to hustle culture as well as success, heroes and early career advice.
Here were our top takeaways:
Dani, Carrie and Lisa all agreed that success is so much more than one single milestone in your career, instead it’s about people and relationships and how you feel about your work. Carrie put it eloquently when she said “life is so much more meaningful than results” – and that her relationship with her children is the ‘true north’ that determines how successful she feels.
Lisa agreed that her barometer of success has evolved massively over the last 20 years and that today, success is having solid, respectful relationships with her family, daughter, clients and colleagues. Dani focused on happiness, suggesting that success “isn’t about a title or being the boss, it’s about feeling like you’re contributing and doing something you enjoy.”
This really hit home with the audience in the room on the day and it’s likely something that will resonate with most people, as we all try to work out what it means to us to ‘make it’.
Our guests had some interesting strategies for finding balance in their lives – with Lisa sharing that her best boundaries are the ones that came along as part and parcel of being a parent, rather than consciously creating them. Carrie suggested a process of actually visualising your life, and considering that energy and space within it is a finite resource; don’t keep adding more to your bucket without removing things to create room. Dani echoed this sentiment and offered that she has her negotiables and non-negotiables when it comes to managing her time – there are things she’s willing to give a little on, and others that she’s not. She suggested getting very clear on what those are for you, and staying true to them.
Considering the success of these three, you’d think they’d have a pretty good view of how to go about getting what you want in life. You’d be right!
For Dani, it’s all about a technique that she refers to as ‘lawyering’ - which is essentially being prepared with such sound logic that a decision maker simply cannot say no. Building on this, Lisa spoke about picking her battles, and prioritising her requests. By adopting this approach, if she does decide to make a point, the people around her know that she’s serious and tend to sit up and listen. She said that a big part of getting what you want is learning to let go of the small thing and only worry about the big stuff.
Carrie suggested going back a step and learning to articulate how what you want aligns with what the decision maker wants – how can you make this a win/win?
The ladies were asked to share their advice for someone in the first few years of their career – and the sentiment was unanimous from all three, best summarised by Carrie’s words
“throw yourself through open doors”. Carrie went on to focus on the importance of staying flexible, keeping an open mind and demonstrating a solid work ethic – and if you do that in the early years of your career, you can’t go far wrong. For Lisa, it’s also about work ethic and ‘digging in’, and for Dani it’s about doing the lower-level tasks but doing them incredibly well. There’s also no need to be in a hurry – while it can feel like a race to the top, your career will play out over a long time horizon, so take it slow and make the most of each learning opportunity.
We absolutely loved this conversation, the energy and engagement from our audience and the sense of collaboration in the room. Keep an eye out for our Lunch and Learn series in 2023!