What would it take to create a culture of excellence in an organization? Do you need to be everyone’s best friend, a severe micro-manager, or something else entirely? On this episode, you’ll hear from business leader extraordinaire, Melissa Kwan.
Melissa Kwan is the Co-Founder and former CEO of Spacio, a real estate tech company recently acquired by HomeSpotter. Spacio was the first company to apply data analytics to open houses, giving brokerages and franchises real-time visibility into company-wide agent, office, and customer activity to make more effective sales, marketing, and training decisions. Currently, Melissa serves as the Vice President of Spacio at HomeSpotter.
In our conversation, Melissa shares her experience as a woman and leader in the workplace, why discussing diversity in the workplace is a tough subject, how she created a unique culture of excellence at Spacio, what it takes to create a thriving team environment, and much more. Melissa has a ton of insights that I know leaders like you will find helpful, don’t miss our full discussion on this episode!
Encouraging women in leadership.
Last fall I took my daughter on a daddy-daughter date where we stopped to watch a boys baseball team play at the park we were visiting. After a few minutes of watching them play my daughter turned to me and said, “Daddy, I wish I could play baseball.” At five years old, my daughter was convinced that only boys play baseball!
I share this story to highlight the environment that most women grow up in and how from an early age certain assumptions and biases can limit their achievements. You can’t create a culture of excellence at your organization if you are limiting the access of half your talent pool!
How to create a culture of excellence.
If you were tasked with creating a culture of excellence in your organization, where would you start? Would you draw up some impressive mission statements or core values? Would you try to create systems that encourage and reward people for top performance? According to Melissa Kwan, the best way to create a culture of excellence is to let your work speak for itself. She is convinced that putting in high-quality work from the top down sets a standard for excellence that can permeate an entire organization. To hear more about Melissa’s strategy for getting the most out of her team and developing a culture of excellence, make sure to listen to this episode!
Why honesty is the best policy.
Do you remember hearing the phrase, “Honesty is the best policy” when you were a kid? What if more business leaders held to that old saying as a personal and professional ethic? Too often the headlines are full of news about a businessperson or politician who broke the public’s trust; we need to do things differently! One of the key factors to creating a culture of excellence in your organization is to keep honesty at the centre. Imagine an entire organization where people kept their word and operated with the utmost integrity, wouldn’t you want to work there? For more details on creating a culture of honesty and excellence, make sure to listen to this episode!
Running a tight ship.
How do you build a business from the ground up in such a way that catches the eye of investors and eventually a buy-out? For Melissa Kwan and her team at Spacio, the task wasn’t easy, but she had a good idea about what it would take to keep the business headed in the right direction. Instead of going after outside funds, Melissa remained hyper-diligent about every dollar spent, if they didn’t see an immediate ROI on an effort they wouldn’t sink precious funds in that direction. This results-based mindset that Melissa baked into the foundation of the organization not only showed that she knew how to run a tight ship, but it also made the business a viable purchase.
Outline of This Episode
- [1:15] I introduce my guest, Melissa Kwan.
- [2:30] I share a story about a date night I took my daughter on.
- [4:00] Melissa talks about her experience as a woman in the workplace.
- [7:00] Discussing diversity in the workplace.
- [8:30] What makes the culture at Spacio so unique?
- [10:40] Staying hyper-diligent on how funds get spent.
- [12:45] How Melissa helped bridge the gap between sales and product development.
- [15:10] Your team will only ever be as good as you are, not better.
- [20:10] Why honesty is the best policy.
- [21:30] Melissa talks about how her father influenced her.
- [25:30] Who does Melissa turn to when things heat up at work?
- [28:40] Takeaways from Melissa that you can use today.
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