CEO gets personal with his staff: “Here are 5 things I learnt”

Redefine Properties chief executive Andrew König spent 24 hours interacting with his employees, one-on-one. Picture: Supplied

Redefine Properties chief executive Andrew König spent 24 hours interacting with his employees, one-on-one. Picture: Supplied

Published Dec 5, 2023


By Andrew König, chief executive at Redefine Properties

With the negativity and resultant despondency that currently dominates the country’s narrative, I believe this is a very important moment for organisations, and it calls for authentic connection with staff.

There are concrete issues affecting us all in various ways, but there is also an upside to almost everything. It’s crucial to engage in open dialogue around what we can do to make things better for our most important asset – our people.

I set out on a mission that people who oversee a chief executive’s diary may find insurmountable: getting to know and interact with every single Redefine employee. In a series of small group sessions, I engaged with everyone in the company about what’s keeping them up at night, the power of positive thinking, and the importance of sharing ideas for turning challenges into opportunities.

The enlightening sessions illuminated our employees’ abilities and capabilities, the obstacles they encounter both within and beyond the office, and the strategies we could implement to build resilience and foster positivity.

These are the five key things I discovered.

1. Our company is a tapestry of people with unique gifts and talents

Expressing and embracing who you truly are, and being your authentic self, is the ultimate differentiator in a people-focused company like Redefine. Being authentic not only makes us consistently present in our own way, but it also makes being who we really are less stressful.

Authenticity facilitates diversity of thought, which is the foundation of innovation. It also enables our company’s values to be lived through our responses.

2. Declutter and pay attention to what really matters

The pace and complexity of the world, business, and our personal lives contribute to increased stress levels and impact productivity, downtime, and quality time with those nearest and dearest to us.

By eliminating unnecessary distractions – such as reducing time spent on social media or tending to emails, and focusing on what matters most, being honest about what you truly need or love, and setting realistic expectations, we can reduce the amount of physical and mental clutter; then, we create a more organised, stress-free, and productive living and working environment.

3. Everyone has a different perception of reality

It’s nearly impossible to realise our strategy, purpose, vision, and mission – which form the foundation of everything we do – if we do not have complete clarity on them.

Clarity is created through transparency, inclusiveness, simplification, and attainable goals. This keeps us focused on the important things and prevents us from being side-tracked by uncontrollable factors, allowing us to accomplish our strategic goals and discover our true purpose.

4. Wellness is predicated on maintaining balance

Work-life balance is a discipline essential for well-being, satisfaction, and avoiding burnout. Prioritising tasks, learning to say, ‘no’, focusing on quality rather than quantity, and setting healthy boundaries alongside realistic personal and professional expectations are easier said than done. But these actions are very necessary to maintain a sustainable equilibrium between work responsibilities and personal life.

5. It is time to focus on positivity

Our sessions, which were held under the theme ‘Opting for the Upside’, were centred on identifying the good despite the bad things that surround us. Through talking to colleagues about mindfully choosing to adopt a positive mindset, focusing on the variables under our control, and spotting the opportunity in every challenge, I began to realise how negative I had become in my thinking, my communication, and in my approach. This was impacting my leadership mindset.

This self-awareness led me to realise that ‘Opting for the Upside’ is more than just a theme but a movement, a call to action for each of us to accept life as it comes and make the most of every circumstance.

So, we decided that ‘Opting for the Upside’ ought to be adopted as the theme for our annual integrated report and, by implication, part of our FY23 results. In presenting our results to investors, it became clear that ‘Opting for the Upside’ is a much-needed boost for the real estate industry.

IOL Business