In Part 1 of our interview, she describes leadership in action, the value of "leaps," and steps that she takes with her team to guide them in building their individual businesses as well as the Advon brand and company in the marketplace.
We are also now pleased to provide a transcript for our True North Podcast interviews. Read on for Part 1.
Beth: Hi it's Beth Offenbacker, welcome to the next True North podcast. Today I'm delighted to talk with Genevieve Concannon with Advon Real Estate in Northern Virginia. Genevieve is a broker, and an owner of Advon Real Estate. She's also an Eco Broker, and she has a really fascinating background, bringing the sustainability element into the work that she does with organizations and individuals here in the greater Washington D.C. region.
Beth: We're gonna talk a little bit about the concept of team building, and I've titled this podcast It's Your Time, because she's really talking about some of the elements that go into, not only helping the individuals who are part of Advon grow their own businesses, but grow the Advon brand and company in the greater D.C. region. So we're gonna talk a little bit about the nuts and bolts of that.
Beth: Encourage you to check out Genevieve's website which is www.advonre.com, to learn more about her and the great work that she does. Enjoy the podcast, this is going to be in two parts, so look for part two coming next week.
Beth: So Genevieve, let's start at the beginning, always a good place to start, what inspired you to start your own brokerage?
Genevieve: Hi Beth, and thank you. So I would have to say that after really working with so many great people, and having the opp to hire, and train, and manage, and bring together so many different collaborative people, I really had one of those light bulb moments that I wanted to bring all of these people together into my collective, and start something that was going to be my own legacy.
Genevieve: And that was really what inspired me, was seeing that I had done some really great work with some other wonderful people, and that it was really time to do something that had a focus and a vision for Northern Virginia, and that was what it was. It was just having the opportunity to do something that was going to bring a little bit more direction and focus for a boutique, indie, broker in our marketplace, because I really hadn't seen it done the way that I had been able to work with the agents that I had been working with, and I thought it was time to do it. So that was my inspiration, was having that one of a kind moment that it was time to do it.
Beth: And that's what leadership is about right, it's seeing that opportunity and saying, "There's a gap out there, and there's something that I can contribute," right?
Genevieve: It's very true. And it's kind of funny, because I was going through Leadership Arlington, which is now Leadership Center for Excellence, and I was sitting at my table with these amazing people that ... I have to say that I can in front of a room of probably 2000 of my colleagues in the real estate industry and not feel an ounce of being, scared isn't the right word. You know when you speak in front of a group of people, and you kind of get the butterflies in your stomach. I don't get that when I'm around my colleagues, but when I'm around a group of my shared leader group, like the Leadership Center folks, they make me have the butterflies a little bit more, because they're people that I admire so much.
Genevieve: I got the butterfly moment from them, they're like, "You should just do this." And they encouraged me to actually take that next step to actually start my brokerage. And I'm so grateful, and thankful that they saw that extra light in me, and that extra encouragement was there. And obviously my amazing husband gave the nudge also and said that, "It's okay. You can do this." And I had it within myself as well, but sometimes when you have these wonderful collective group of people that all support and rally behind you because they see what you're capable of, even though you know within yourself that you're able to do it.
Genevieve: It's the people that you admire the most that say, "It's your time. You should do this." It's one of those moments, and I really think that the people that you surround yourself with, and the people that you bring into your circle of empowerment I guess, maybe a circle of mentors, and the people that you bring together into that group, if they believe in you that much it's time to go, time to do it.
Beth: Right, it's time to take that leap.
Genevieve: Yes. Might be a little bit scary, but all the good stuff happens on the other side of scary.
Beth: The things that you're talking about, you've mentioned the words collective, you've mentioned inspiration, you've mentioned, in essence, taking this leap. I think all of those things, Genevieve, are indications that you have a pretty clear sense of your role as a leader. Could you talk a little bit about what that really looks like for you?
Genevieve: So I really appreciate you saying that because I don't ever wanna be the person that dictates how something should be done, because I understand that everybody is different, and everybody operates in a different way, and that we all have our unique capabilities. We might be creative, or we might see a vision in a different way, so I really feel like if you surround yourself by people that are smarter, or better at certain things. So someone might be better at pulling together analysis, and someone might be better at putting together a beautiful, creative, vision of how marketing should be.
Genevieve: So if you can work with people that can collaborate in a really beautiful mosaic, that's when you have something that really sings well. And I like, as a leader, to say, "You know what, I know you've got this, but how can I empower you and give you the things you need to be successful?" So that is something that I strive to do, and one of the things, it adds on, which is my real estate brokerage, I really strive to do as a leader is, give all of the tools that someone would need to be successful. And then if someone doesn't have those tools, that's on me, because I haven't provided it. But I can guide, and I can coach, but everybody can take what they know already and move the ball forward.
Genevieve: Something that I've always found very interesting in a collective group of people, when you're a really high performing team is, the sort of Drexler Sibbet model of a high performing team, and everybody understanding what their part is, and what the greater goal is. But if we all see what the goal is, and understand what our part is, and how we can contribute to it, and if we all understand how we contribute, and how we move each other forward. And if I as a leader can say, "I think you've got this, but how can I help you and how can I support you," and then I let you run with it, that's me leading from behind, and I would rather do that, and know that we're all working together, than being the type of person that says, "This is mine, and this is how you're gonna do it." I don't believe in that type of leadership. I'd rather everybody be working together, and me supporting in that way.
Beth: So there's this piece around, really, two sides of leadership, right. There's this element around creating that for others, and then you've talked about with Leadership Center of Excellence, creating that for yourself too. How do you balance those two halves of the leader, Genevieve?
Genevieve: Great question. So I feel like there's the constant learning, and I'm never going to know everything, never ever ever. And if I'm not constantly learning, then I'm dead, right? So as a leader, if I'm not learning something, and then sharing that with my people so that they can grow and learn, and then take that and run with it, I think that that's where the balance is. So I have to learn, and then I have to grow, and then deliver that to my people, and then they will want to grow and learn. And then we can do that together.
Genevieve: So I feel like that's where the balance comes in. I've found that in different organizations where I've been in the past, there's either someone who just