Is there such a thing as balancing people and profits? As leaders do we prioritize one over the other, or do we strive to keep this in check? Tim Reitsma and Simon Bray—President at REW—discuss how Simon focuses his time on progress, people and profits and how this intentional way of leadership drives trust and impact.
- An element or an implication of being a leader is decision making. The challenge with the decision making role in leadership is to know when to stop making decisions and when to empower and enable the people around you to make the decisions so that they can move themselves forward and move the company forward. [5:30]
Leadership is the ability to process ambiguity and uncertainty in an uncertain world and move forward with confidence and optimism.Simon Bray
- When you think of the different facets of life, work is obviously a huge chunk of your time, but it’s also a significant slice of you as an individual. The aggregate of all your experience, all your previous engagements and networking, all of your discussions and thoughts, all of the actions that have brought you to this current point in time: you are the compound of all of that. [7:47]
When I think of building a better world of work, I think of the importance in the world of the work that we do.Simon Bray
- Simon talks about the tension of balancing people and profits. [10:50]
- It isn’t easy to engage people, to make them feel valued, to create room for their full contribution. That’s a challenging thing to do. It requires them to bring themselves. It requires you to create the environment, reduce the risk, and create an opportunity for them to explore their potential. [11:47]
If your business or your project can keep making progress, then the balance of people and profit just gets much, much easier.Simon Bray
- Simon often focuses on progress over profit as a way to measure whether they’re making a good improvement. [13:08]
- In an effort to balance people and profits, you need to make progress. You need to be moving the business forward by 20%-30% a year. That’s not always easy, but it is a requirement if you want to balance them well. [14:29]
- Being able to plan for progress and the ability to monitor that progress with your team is really important to this balancing of people and profit. [16:41]
- One of the biggest challenges in leadership is not confusing happiness or a general sentiment of happiness from your team as progress. They can be happy for a time, but if the progress is not there, there’s no way they’ll be happy tomorrow. [17:22]
- Simon shares his thoughts on the layoffs that are happening in the market, specifically in the real estate finance market. [19:07]
- One of the things that they do at REW is they don’t talk around the issue, but they address the issue. They frame the problem and talk to one another directly on how to solve it and what the implications are of not solving it. [26:02]
The business is the team. And so, if it’s my problem, it’s not just my problem, it’s our problem. If it’s your problem, it’s not just your problem, it’s our problem.Simon Bray
- Trust is a big topic, whether it’s in politics, in business, in bureaucracies, or even in our personal relationships. Trust is an interesting concept to address. [28:34]
- As a leader, you have to make a lot of tough decisions about people in teams. Simon had asked a lot of people to go during his time as a leader. The firing process is a day you would rather forget, whether you’re on the receiving end or the end offering the news. But it is essential, especially in that environment of trust. That trust in one another to move towards a goal as a team. [33:13]
- The quickest way to destroy trust is to tolerate the bad actors. There are lots of reasons why people are not right for a particular project or a particular time in a business. Sometimes it’s their personal issues, sometimes it’s the fit within the business, and sometimes it’s the combination of both. [33:48]
- Simon also talks about the importance of being intentional about the impact that you want to have in an organization. [36:24]
Meet Our Guest
As President of REW, Mr. Bray oversees the company’s operations including strategy, development, marketing and sales. Mr. Bray is a seasoned real estate technology professional with over 10 years of experience in the industry. Prior to joining REW, he was CEO Marketplaces of Spain-based LIFULL Connect and has also held executive positions at other global real estate portals, as GM Real Estate, Mitula Group and CEO of South African-based Private Property. He is based in Vancouver, Canada.
Being a leader is having some sense of what tomorrow’s going to look like, some sense of where we’re going as a team.SIMON BRAY
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Read The Transcript:
We’re trying out transcribing our podcasts using a software program. Please forgive any typos as the bot isn’t correct 100% of the time.
Simon Bray When I think of building a better world of work, I think of the importance in the world of the work that we do. So when you think of the different facets of life, work is obviously a huge chunk of your time. That's one aspect, which is obvious. But it's also a significant slice of you as an individual.
Tim Reitsma Welcome to the People Managing People podcast. We're on a mission to build a better world of work and to help you build happy, productive workplaces. I'm your host, Tim Reitsma. And today, I am joined by Simon Bray, President of REW.ca — a Canadian real estate site focusing on building a personal real estate experience.
So, let me ask you this: is there such a thing as balancing people and profits? As leaders, do we prioritize one over the other or do we strive to keep this in check?
In this episode, Simon and I talk about how he focuses his time on progress, people, and profits, and how this intentional way of leadership drives trust and impact.
Welcome to the People Managing People podcast, Simon. It's good to have you here. And, you know, before we get into it, I just there's a connection that we have, which I don't think, you know, that we have. Which is the company that you're the president of, REW.ca helped me and my family buy a home.
So it's kind of cool to be talking to the person behind the business who, who really helped us land a place that we know we'll be here for quite some time. So kind of a little cool connection there.
Simon Bray Oh, that's fantastic. Yeah. No, thank you for having me on, Tim. It's great to chat to you.
I love the work that you guys are doing. You know, just trying to shine a light on the dynamics that happen behind businesses. I mean, even your comment about REW is exactly right. People look at the website, they look at all the listings. They're like, oh, okay, well, that's a fantastic service. But they know nothing about the team and the dynamics of that team behind the scenes.
So, hopefully I can give you a little bit of insight there.
Tim Reitsma Oh, I think it's gonna be a great conversation today and, you know, we're really gonna be focusing around balancing people and profits. And I know, when we first talked in our pre-meeting, you know, this is something that you have seen throughout your career as an entrepreneur and building companies, and that, that constant balance of people and profits.
And I know some people listening might just say profits over everything. And some people might be listening and saying people over everything. So, you know, I think it could lend an interesting conversation as we get into it today.
Simon Bray We're gonna meet in the middle as someone told me that's a bit of a Canadian thing to do. So, I'm learning that middle ground.
Tim Reitsma I love it. I love it. Yeah. We're gonna meet in the middle. We're just gonna have a fun conversation around that.
But for those who listen, you know, I always asked a couple lead in questions just to satisfy my own curiosity. One is, you know, tell us a little bit about yourself. What are you up to these days?
Simon Bray Well, I mean, as you started off at the top and running REW and that's the business that I'm engaged in and excited about right now. REW is a real estate marketplace. So it's, you know, connecting the buy side and the sell side of the market in real estate. And those kind of marketplace platforms have been businesses that I'm, I've been engaged in for the last 12, 15 years in different countries around the world.
In fact, you're chatting to me while I'm at a conference down here in Miami. Meeting a lot of colleagues in a similar business model in different countries. And so there's this incredible community of people around real estate marketplaces and the niche that fulfills in, in the various economies in different countries. And so it's been a really exciting opportunity to see how different cultures work, particularly around the asset class of real estate.
You know, I've worked in Latin America, Southeast Asia, Western Europe, South Africa, which is where you can hear the accent from. And now North America and Canada. So, that's the professional version of me.
You know, the personal version is I'm a fairly laid back guy, family guy, really enjoy living in Vancouver now for all of the incredible amenities that it offers, but most notably for that access to wilderness and outdoors and scenery.
I very much love getting, you know, out into nature or down by the water. And so I've lived in some cool cities around the world that offer that. But, yeah, that's a little bit about me, I guess, in a nutshell.
Tim Reitsma Awesome. You know, we're gonna talk a little bit about just, well, real estate and the finance market in a little bit as it does tie in with our topic today and, and how it all ties together.
And throughout your career you've been a leader in various organizations. And so I'm really curious, what does it mean to be a leader?
Simon Bray Still working that out. There are a lot of demands on you when you're in a leadership position. And I guess a lot of those demands kind of inform what a leader is. And so what people expect from you when you're in the room, there's a sense of future that I think you bring to a team. So, that's a really key part of being a leader is having some sense on what tomorrow's gonna look like, some sense on where we're going as a team.
Are we making the progress that we wanna make together? And so there's that future that you bring to the engagement with the people around you. Element of that, or an implication of that is decision making. So you hear leaders talk about it all the time. You know, I'm called on to make tens of decisions, hundreds of decisions and it becomes quite natural.
The challenge with that decision making role in leadership is to know when to stop making decisions and kind of when to empower and enable the people around you to make the decisions so that they can move them forward and move the company forward.
But certainly that's a big part of leadership. But I would say ultimately like kind of at its core, leadership is the ability to process ambiguity and uncertainty in an uncertain world and move forward confidence and optimism. Not necessarily idealism, but move forward into an uncertain future and give people around you the confidence to do the same.
So it's that ability to kind of hold that uncertainty, and not let it overwhelm you. I think that's at the core of leadership.
Tim Reitsma Yeah. And it's not to say leaders don't get overwhelmed. But it's how you present yourself even to your team and, you know, not necessarily needs to be the most composed way, you know, straighten your tie and put on your smile. But in a way that doesn't spark fear or.
Simon Bray Not at all, no that's like, yeah. I think people can certainly sense anxiety better than most emotions. And so it's not about being inauthentic. I think you got to bring your real self and it's, actually, sometimes it's very empowering for people to see that, Hey, you're risking what just as much as they are.
But you've understood the implications of the uncertainty and you're making a decision to move forward, regardless. Know, so it's like this people take a lot of courage, I think from that type of authentic leadership. But you're 100% right. It can't be a, it can't just be a veil.
Tim Reitsma Yeah. And I think that's a good lead into the next question I have that I'm super curious about, and it's actually our purpose here at People Managing People.
Which is when you hear that phrase "build a better world of work", what comes to mind? Or, you know, what might we need to do in order to continue to build a better world of work?
Simon Bray Yeah. So when I think of building a better world of work, I think of the importance in the world of the work that we do. So when you think of the different facets of life, work is obviously a huge chunk of your time. That's one aspect, which is obvious. But it's also a significant slice of you as an individual. It's like you're, the aggregate of all your experience, all your previous engagements and networking, all of your discussions and thoughts, all of the actions that have brought you to this current point in time.
You are the compound of all of that. And if you are able to bring the best of that, if you're able to kind of distill that and bring the best of that to an engagement with your colleagues in a workplace setting, you can unleash some incredible potential in each other as individuals, but also in the project that you're engaged in.
And for me, that sits at at the kind of, you know, the roots of that question. Building a better world of work is creating the environment and the context for that kind of activation in each other to occur. And that's the thing that gets me super excited about building businesses, is not the actual output of the business, you know. Whether that's the product that you make or the product market fit that you establish, or the revenue and profit that it generates.
It's actually in the activation of the team and the building of that team, that that's the true excitement in work. I mean, at the end of the day, you don't take a hell of a lot with you, but your life is that set of experiences and interactions and engagements with one another. That's life. And so work, work as part of that life experience is, you know, the way I think about building a better world of work.
Tim Reitsma Well, I love that. And it's just a great lead into our topic today, our conversation around balancing people and profits. Because what you, what I'm hearing is, we as leaders, we want to unlock the potential of our teams. How do we build a better world of work is unlocking the potential of our people and our teams.
And then there's a balance to that. You know, we want to unlock the potential and we, as leaders, we need to be looking at, you know, our people and making sure that they're activated and living up to their potential.
But also, if that's all we focus on, can we keep paying people? And some companies have figured it out, some companies haven't. And so, is there such a thing as balancing people and profit? May be a little obscure you know, is there such a thing or is there one over the other?
And I know, right at the beginning we said, oh, we're gonna meet in the middle. So, you know, there's, I almost think of like this pendulum and it's, we're gonna swing right in the middle there, but in your eyes and what have you seen about, about the tension there? Or is there even such a thing?
Simon Bray Look there can be a tension in the short term. So, when you're looking at it from a kind of micro perspective, like, I don't know, you're doing a budget for the next year or you're trying to figure out the forecast for the next quarter. There's always tension between the numbers and the activation and engagement of the people in the business or the people that you want to bring in to the business.
And so they're absolutely in a kind of short timeframe and in the constrained timebox. You feel the pressure of profit versus people. But if you expand the time horizon a bit, if you kinda think about this as a multi-year project, or you think about this as your career, and your engagement across, you know, 40 years in the workplace or something.
Then the profit-people issue, you don't see them as in tension with one another. You see them as just different parts of the same puzzle. You know, it isn't that easy to engage people, to make them feel valued, to really create room for their full contribution.
I mean, it isn't, that's a challenging thing to do. It requires them to bring of themself. It requires you to create the environment, reduce the risk, and create an opportunity for them to really explore their potential. And all of that, at least in the short term, can come at what appears to be a financial cost, you know?
And so, you know, achieving a balance between those two is, is not easy. And so you spoke about the two Ps: people and profit. And I often think about it in business as the third P, which is progress. It's like, if your business or your project can keep making progress, then the balance of people and profit just gets much, much easier.
Because then you're having a conversation not about, are we doing the right things? Or, will we survive? Or, you know, the progress is what you can point to and say, whether we get there fast, whether we get there slow, we're gonna continue to balance the needs of people in the business and the expansion of those people's horizons within the business with the profit that kind of fuels all of that.
And so I often focus on profit, sorry, progress over something like profit as a way to measure whether we're making a good improvement. I don't know if that's clear enough, but I'll give you an anecdote from my own career.
In all of the businesses that I've been involved in, you know, all of the businesses have been quite similar to one another. So it's not like I can say I've got massive experience across different industries. But the interesting thing about the business that I am in is it's sales, it's marketing, it's technology, it's operations. It's quite a diverse group of people within a business.
And in all of those different business endeavors, if we can birth grow the business at north of 25, 30% every year, if we can make that progress as a team, then we can create room in the profit margin. We can create room for increasing people's own horizon within the business. So that's things like promotions, things like cost of living increases, things like training and development budgets, you know, the things that people want to get from their work engagement.
But it also creates enough room for us to bring new people into the business, with new ideas, with new contribution. And so, yeah. In an effort to balance people and, and what they need with the profits to give them what they need, you need to make that progress. You need to, you need to be moving the business forward by, you know, 20, 30% a year. And that's not always easy. But it is a requirement if you wanna balance that well.
You know, when it goes the other way and you know, you're losing top line or you're really under pressure because of a market cycle, that's when I think it can get quite difficult. Touch wood, it's been a good experience for me so far.
Tim Reitsma Well, I like that you brought in the third P: the progress. And I just think of the businesses that I've been involved in and currently, and it, it ties right back to what you said about being a leader.
It's that vision for the business. What is, how does that vision translate into your plan, which then translates into progress, which then translates into the expansion of people and, you know, ultimately profits. I mean, there could be somebody who's listening and they're a startup, you know, pre-revenue, just burning through cash.
But even in that stage, there's progress. If you got an injection of cash, a hundred thousand, a hundred million, who knows? Whatever that number is, if there's no progress, well, you're never gonna hit profits and your people are gonna quickly start to realize that something strange is going on here and maybe, you know, not stick around.
Simon Bray Oh, absolutely. I mean, as you say, different stages of business have different dynamics at play. But even if you're in a kind of pre-revenue stage and you're still trying to establish product market fit, you've got various validations where you can look at it and say, hey, we're making progress towards this goal or this plan, or we're not. And we need to, we need to reframe or, or readjust our direction.
But yeah, people thrive when there is that path to progress and it's not always linear, for sure. And a lot of my own personal business experience, it's been a little bit like a river. You know, you go with the flow. You find the opportunity, you move from one thing to the next.
You're going in the general direction of the ocean, but you're not trying to charge through the mountain. You'll flow around it and over time, know, you'll cut the gauge that you want all the way, but, you know, I definitely find that being able to plan for progress and the ability to monitor that progress with your team is really important to this balancing of people and profit.
Cause otherwise you can get kind of fixated on the profit, 'cause that's the way you wanna measure the performance of the business, or you can get fixated on the team. And that's really difficult to make everybody happy all of the time. That's one of the biggest challenges in leadership, is not confusing happiness or a general sentiment happines from your team as progress.
You know what I mean? It's like can be happy for a time, but if the progress is not there, there's no ways they'll be happy tomorrow. And so, I think that's the tough part.
Tim Reitsma Yeah. It's what I'm hearing is it's not just business progress, but progress for each, for individuals in an organization as well.
And, that was at HR conference recently and one of the keynote speakers was talking just about resignation stats. And I think we've all seen so many resignation stats over the last six months, year. And one of the findings that of a study I'll see if I can quote it in the show notes, was about that upward progress.
You know, how can I progress within an organization? And where organizations are like, you know, well, here we're watching profits and, you know, we can't just have all of our people become managers and then there's nobody to manage. And so how that creating that tension and that balance.
And, but I think it's a, an interesting, I think we'd be amiss and we talked about this before we hit the record button, is talking about just all the layoffs that are happening in the market. And, you know, specifically, even in real estate finance market, we know of a big company who, you know, maybe did a layoffs, not quite the right way.
But we're seeing at least, and this is purely my opinion on this is, you know, companies, potentially, just pushing for profits and bringing a lot of people, and bringing a ton of people into push, push. And maybe not seeing that lift in the organization or not seeing that progress. So then it's like, oh, we gotta shrink. We're gonna lay a bunch of people off now.
And so what are your thoughts on that?
Simon Bray Yeah, it's a tough, it's a tough moment that we've seen right now. And I think you've got a lot of dynamics changing all at the same time. I mean, you've been talking about it on your podcast. There's a lot that you can get into, but if you look at the current trends around, you know, what's happening in the market with, you know, future outlooks for certain businesses, particularly in areas of PropTech, where we are involved. You see a lot of businesses with their outlooks changing quite radically in the last six months as interest rate cycles change, as inflationary pressures start to bite within the real estate sector.
You're seeing the layoffs. And some of them are done with dignity and some of them are not done very well. And I think they, you know, you'll always see examples of that. But ultimately, work and the work that people do is so much bigger than the business or the project they happen to be connected to right now.
So I think that's one element of it that people, whether they're just starting out in a job or leaving a job, or starting a business, I think it's important to be fully engaged and committed and enthusiastic about the project ahead of you, but also just see it in context that, you know, things can change and cycles can turn and it feels personal, but it's not as personal as you think if you happen to be on the wrong side of that conversation, one day.
And I think you're seeing that now, it's like businesses got incredibly enthusiastic about the opportunities ahead of them. I think too enthusiastic, but there are lots of pressures in this world for growth, particularly when you're in a business. It's very hard to hold that enthusiasm from certain stakeholders back, sometimes.
And so you grow faster than you should have grown, and then you press the pause button or worse, you press the undo, you know. And that's, that is very difficult, I think, for a culture inside of a business, but it's also difficult for the people who caught up in that restructure.
But I would just point to the fact that, I think what you're talking about with the world of work and you're talking about people's greater contribution to the world of work. It shouldn't just be seen narrowly through the lens of that one company that they happen to be engaging. And I think that's what we spoke about previously was, you know, viewing your role within a company, as an entrepreneur, connecting yourself effectively to the outcomes of that business in a deep and meaningful way.
And then if you do that, when the right thing's on the wall for that business or that business model, you'll be the first to see it. You know, it's not gonna be a surprise to you if the business is shifting. And they're kinda gonna be two, two things that happen.
The business is either gonna have to pivot and you're gonna be part of that solution, or the business is gonna have to restructure and you're gonna be part of somebody else's business. But, yeah, I don't know if that's too dispassionate, but you understand what I mean? It's one of those moments where we'd love every business to keep growing and every business to be a safe place people to work in.
And I do think that should be the ambition of anybody that gets into business and certainly the people leading businesses. But sometimes it's not gonna play out like that. And it's important to kinda see it for what it is.
Tim Reitsma Yeah. Sometimes that plan that we've put in place doesn't lead to the progress that we had also put into place or put the people into place. And yeah, businesses and leaders make hard decisions.
And whether it's pivoting the business or reduction in workforce or whatever that looks like to bring back some order and balance to an organization. I mean, whether it's for profit or not for profit, we see these ebbs and flows in the markets. And as, you know, if you're on a team or you're leading a team and you're listening to this, yeah, I love the idea that we brought up as the entrepreneur. And how that plays a role in balancing people and profits and creating that culture you know, you don't have to go outside to build a business.
Why don't, let's create that space within the organization to experiment, to try, to help solve a problem. So what I've seen and what I've heard so often is leaders say, Hey, we have all these problems and we need to fix this. Otherwise we're gonna, you know, have to lay people off or let people go. And it's like, well, what if you had a problem board or maybe call it an opportunity board up in your virtual office or wherever you are and say, Hey, these are some real problems or real opportunities where we need some heads behind.
Man, imagine the, that culture of entrepreneurship that would go on. How does that work? Have you seen it work, maybe at REW or within past experience?
Simon Bray Well, I think that's that level of trust that you want to have with the colleagues around you in a business.
And I think that's really at the root of this entrepreneurship concept, which is, you know, you're working inside of this business. This business is not some sort of abstract concept that is distant and far from you as an individual. It is, in fact, the aggregation of all the efforts of you and your colleagues. That's the business. The business is the people that are in the business.
And increasingly that's true. I mean, today more than ever, the intangible assets of a business represent the bulk of its balance sheet. It's not the tangible assets, like the factories you know, IP and kind of what businesses were built on 50 years ago.
It's really the intangibles of who works there, how do they work together, what are the dynamics of those people? And so when you start to see it like that, whether you're in a position of leadership, whether you're a manager, kinda coaching a team, or whether you've just entered the business as one of those team members, I think seeing it like that, seeing it like a team rather than an abstract business, really does empower you to take responsibility inside of that business and offer solutions.
Like you were talking about like a problem board and having a whole bunch of different things to engage with. Sometimes you don't see that happen in businesses because the level of trust isn't there. You know, the leadership believes that they've gotta create some kind of rosy view of the business for everybody that works there, just so that they'll stay.
And then the people that are in the business don't wanna bring solutions or problems to the table that they can see, because there isn't a trust that the leadership are going to value their contribution or engage within. And so there's this weird dynamic that is often just a lack of trust within an organization. I think you can cut through that with authenticity.
I mean, we certainly try and do that at REW. You know, don't talk around the issue, but kind of address the issue, you know. Frame the problem and talk to one another directly on how to solve it and what the implications are of not solving it. You know, sometimes there are fires that you can let burn and sometimes there certainly aren't.
And so, that kind of authentic approach is at least the way I like to think about building a business. And it comes from that philosophy that ultimately the business is the team. And so, it's, you know, if it's my problem, it's not just my problem, it's our problem. If it's your problem, it's not just your problem, it's our problem. So I think that's at the core of it.
Tim Reitsma It's interesting to me that it comes down to trust. And this is a big theme right now, what I'm hearing in other podcasts, books I'm reading, blogs I'm reading, the conference I was at. It just comes down to trust. And trusting our teams, whether it's, you know, async work or getting work done or managing times, whatever that looks like it comes down to trust.
And when we put it in the context of the balancing of progress, people, profits, yeah, there's trust us employees in our leaders, as well as leaders in our team. It can't just be an upward trust. It's gotta be, you know, a circular trust around the entire team, entire organization, because yeah, if something is out of balance, I know, for me personally, I would wanna know it.
I don't wanna just, you know, I wanna know how I can contribute, how I can help solve. If profitability isn't what we want it to be, where can I personally cut down on costs? If it's like, you know, as long as you don't cut out coffee, I'm still good, I can still operate. But, you know, where do we need, where can we be creative and unleash that creativity?
Simon Bray Well, that's it. I mean, I think that's what people are just great at. You know, our ability to adapt to circumstance, our ability to create a new future is ultimately, I think, what makes us human. We have the ability to look at a environment, whether it's a business environment or a personal environment, and we're able to look at it and say, it can look different tomorrow.
And that really is unique to our species. And that becomes that much more exciting when we could activate that same ability in each other, 'cause we create so much more together than we create on our own. So, I totally buy in to what you on to there. So I think the trust though is a big, hairy topic.
Whether it's in politics or in business or in bureaucracies or in, you know, even in our personal relationships, trust is an interesting concept to address. I think sometimes in business, where the trust conversation goes wrong is that it's like very narrow in its definition.
It's like, if you're in a leadership position, the trust that you were talking about going down is things like, are the people that I'm employing doing the work that I want them to do? Can I trust them to do the things that we agreed to hire them for? Can I trust them that they're doing it as frequently as we wanted them to?
I mean, in this world of work from anywhere, that becomes a real topic. It's like, you know, are they on a podcast in the mid afternoon? Is that something we want them to be doing? Or, you know, but that's narrowly how people think about trust. And then if you're looking up in the organization, things are like, can I trust that I'm gonna get my paycheck next month? Can I trust that I'm gonna get my increase next year?
Can I trust that I'm not gonna get overlooked for a promotion? Can I trust that the work I do is gonna be valued as my contribution, not my colleagues' contri? And there's all sorts of weird things that are associated with trust, but that's not the trust that I'm talking about. I'm talking more broadly about each of us within an organization holding the vision of that organization and the plan for the future of that organization, jointly and trusting one another to make progress towards that plan as a team.
And that's a different kind of trust. You it's like, it requires obviously alignment with the plan, and so it's like, if you don't agree, well, then let's talk about it because I'm trusting you to be align. And then beyond that, it's I don't care when you come to work. I don't care how long you work. I don't care if you're doing the bullet points that were in your job description. But can I trust that you hold the same part for this project as I do?
If you do, then I'm not worried about those other things. You know what I mean? And so that's that's sometimes a challenging leadership style for people understand because it's not something that they condition to. I think a lot of people don't have that experience of work and so they bring some baggage from a more monitored or more managed ecosystem where, you know, the KPIs and performance milestones, and, you know, you're gonna tell me what's next, right?
You know, that kind of engagement. But I think it's so much more exciting when people can catch the heart of what it is that needs to be done and bring the best themselves to that endeavor. And trust one another you know, do the work that needs to be done to get to the goal that you need to get to.
Tim Reitsma Oh, I, I love that. We're so aligned on that. I mean, we could spend an hour on that conversation in itself. Like we are we're a hundred percent aligned. You know, as leaders its, I feel it's, yeah, it's our responsibility to provide that clarity, that vision that casted out. And rally around it, provide everyone with, Hey, this is what you're responsible for to get us there.
You know, you might go from A to B, I might have taken, you know, one to two instead of A to B, but we got to the same outcome and that, in the timeframe. And that's awesome. And you know, you might go for a mountain bike ride in the middle of the day or paddle board, but you got it done. And that's fine.
I don't, I don't care. It's, we're beaten to that same drum, so to speak, and casting that vision, getting people excited, but also making the hard decisions that, if there's people on the team, we may need to shift and to move people around or graduate people out of an organization, if you will.
And in order to, you know, it's great ties right back to that conversation of balancing people and profits. And you know, it can be thrown out of balance really quickly if not everyone is aligned or bought into the vision and the values and the direction that we're going.
Simon Bray Yeah. I mean, in my, I hate having to, I think it comes back to that idealism that I was talking about earlier.
I think I'm a little bit hopelessly idealistic sometimes. And I really do wanna see the best for people and make it work within the context and the environment that you're in. But, unfortunately, or fortunately, I mean, however you look at it, I've had to make a lot of tough decisions about people in teams.
And I've had to ask a lot of people to go during your time as leader. Not a lot of people wanna talk about that. You know, the firing process is a day you would rather forget whether you're on the receiving end or the end offering the news. But it is essential, especially in that kind of environment of trust that we just described. That trust in one another to move towards a goal as a team.
The quickest way to destroy that is to tolerate the bad actors. And there are lots of reasons why people are not right for a particular project or a particular time in a business. Sometimes it's their personal issues and sometimes it's the fit within the business and sometimes it's the combination of both. Most often it is.
But the quickest way to lose that trust in your team is when you don't address those kinds of issues. You know, and you let bad actors continue to act badly and you don't hold them accountable to that. Not on behalf of the leadership or business necessarily, but on behalf of the team. And that can be very demoralizing for people that are trying to bring their best to an engagement.
And they see that somebody on the other side, either just doesn't get it, or isn't helping us move forward. And so like what are we gonna about that? So yeah, that's a tough part about balancing people and profits. Or should I say just balancing people and projects. You know, people and progress, that projects need to make. Because you want what's best for every individual person. And even, you know, when you're sitting across the table from someone and you're giving them tough feedback or the tough feedback is now escalated to, look, it's not working. That is a very difficult thing to do. And so if you just look at people, you wouldn't do that.
You know what I mean? You try and do your best to move that person forward. But if you're balancing people, profit, and progress within an organization, you have to do that. You have to make those tough calls and that's, I think ultimately that's the tough part about leadership and that's why some people don't want it.
And that's fair, you know, there's some days I don't want it, either.
Tim Reitsma Yeah, sometimes we have to make those tough calls. And I think as, you know, as we kind of wrap up here, I love that how you summarized it. We can't just look at people on its own. We can't just look at profits on its own and progress.
Well, we can't have progress without people around you even if it's just yourself.
And I'm curious. So for those who are listening, for those who know our podcasts, I always like to end with that one thing, that one takeaway that somebody can go into their workplace you know, into their organization and really kinda drive some change.
What would be your advice when you, in the context of, you know, trust or people and profit and progress, and what's the one thing somebody can do today?
Simon Bray Yeah, I think there's a word that, I don't know when it popped up in my lexicon, and I don't know if it was to do with, you know, some of these conversations that I'd had before or book that I'd been reading, but probably about 10 years ago, I heard this idea of, you know, intentionally writing your story.
If you know what I mean? And so if you are intentional about the way that you want to approach the organization that you work for, the intentional about the engagement that you wanna have with your colleagues, intentional about the future that you wanna have within that business, you have and everybody has, no matter what, you know, a station you have within a business, everybody has the ability to be intentional about their next engagement, their next bit of work, their next thought, their next offering to the team.
And it's just something that I really like that, you know, both within myself, but also within my teammates. If somebody is intentional, they've thought about something, they've got an opinion, they've brought it to the table with, you know, the usual great values of humility and respect, but they're intentional about what they're trying to drive, I think everybody can offer that. And the more often people can offer that, not just be passive and reactive to what's going on around you within your team or within your business.
But intentional about the impact that you wanna have, you will definitely go far in your organization and in your career.
Tim Reitsma I love that. Intentionality. It just wraps up our conversation so nicely about, you know, thinking about progress, you gotta be intentional about it. Thinking about leading your people, intentional. Profits, intentional.
Being an entrepreneur, and I know we didn't really dive in too deep on that conversation, but it's, there's an intentionality of creating that space or creating, you know, as a leader, creating the space. But if there's not space as an individual contributor, creating it for yourself within that organization and adding that value. So, yeah.
Simon, thanks so much for coming on and sharing the 3 Ps: the people, profits, progress. I love that.
Simon Bray There's always gotta be three, Tim. Two's never enough.
Tim Reitsma I started adding a fourth one. I'm like, no, it's gotta be three. No I love it. It's memorable.
And for those who are listening, you know, please head to our site where, you know, obviously have the transcript up there. If you can't write them down while you're commuting, but you can grab it from our site, but also we'll put the links up there to get ahold of Simon.
And for those who are listening outside of Canada, REW.ca. If you're looking for property investment in Canada, that's the site you need to go to and to check out.
So again, Simon, thanks again coming on. And I hope you have a great rest of your day.
Simon Bray Fantastic. Thank you, Tim, appreciate it.