Megan discusses the various stages of growth and the points at which you need to adjust your plan.

Topic – The best and worst of growth

Mentor – Megan Jaffe

  • Know where you will be in 5 years
  • All growth in not good
  • Work hard and do what you said you would do


Kevin:   Well it’s been a delightful week and we’re going to end it on a high note too. Our guest all week has been Megan Jaffee. Megan is the owner of Ray White Remuera in New Zealand. Fabulous office and if you get the chance and you are ever invited by Megan, make sure that you, no matter where you are in the world, that you get there, because it’s well worth every bit of it. Megan I wonder, on this discussion about growth, if we can just talk for a moment about the stages that you notice along the way? Were there any times when you had to readjust your plan and talk to your people about that?

Megan Jaffe:   We are constantly readjusting our plan because we’ve very structured with where we want to be, so we know where we want to be. We know where we want to be in five years’ time, so we’re very structured. And we have built in, I spoke earlier in the week about the cadence, and part of the cadence is to stop and review because we run on projects here, and we have so many projects running you can’t, and I’d be the one person that would put anybody into overwhelm because I keep coming in with new ideas. And so, we are very project based with what we do, and we have to pause around our projects because new things come through that might be better, so we have to keep the business running but we also have to bring innovation through.

Megan Jaffe:   Yeah, fortunately I work with a very clever guy who’s put us onto work streams with Trello. We had to upgrade the way we ran the business from a little tiny airline to Air New Zealand, and we thought that we had to build runways, but we’ve had to improve our Air Traffic Control Centre, with how we are growing this business consistently. Because the crew that run the back end of the business for the sales people to deliver great service, that piece there, the Air Traffic Control Centre, that is we have to review and upgrade ongoing, because of just the constant opportunity that’s coming through in here, and also I just can’t stop myself.

Megan Jaffe:   I see a great idea, I bring it home, and I’ll say, “We put it on the list,” however, we put it into work stream so we can ship it, so we’ve got really good at getting ideas and being able to ship them. That is not me, that is the outstanding people that I work with.

Kevin:   And systems like Trello, the one you mentioned, because we use that in our business as well, it’s a great way to communicate, it’s a great way to throw all those ideas down, and then bring them through over a period of time and never lose track of them, Megan, isn’t it?

Megan Jaffe:   Well, it is. Next tool, that’s a tool to manage the work streams, however it turns into something beautiful called the DAM, which is Data Asset Management, so up in the DAM is all the special stuff, and that’s held up in the cloud, because that’s the place I’d want to go to if I was trying to improve my business. So the very clever guy that does that has built an independent DAM for us, and that it’s quite structured with how we do it, and you have to keep it in safe places, so I’m not allowed in there.

Kevin:   You’re not allowed in there?

Megan Jaffe:   Of definitely not, I’d bust it.

Kevin:   Goodness. We’re speaking at a very high level here, and you can just see the enthusiasm that comes through. Megan, anything else that you wanted to touch on before we round out this wonderful week we’ve shared with you?

Megan Jaffe:   Well, you started off by asking is all growth, good growth. The answer’s no. Because some growth, if it’s driven by self interest, it could be very bad growth at the expense of others. And you know, as leaders when we’re building a group of people to achieve their best selves, if you’ve got growth where some people are benefitting at the expense of others, that’s a very damaging thing, and usually in those cultures, those people, they don’t stay. And as a leader, I can’t condone any of that sort of thing and that’s because if you join my company, I won’t hold you down. I will help you grow. The only way you’ll get let down is because you choose not to do the things, and I won’t have you grow at the expense of another person.

Megan Jaffe:   The way that you’ll grow is by doing hard work and doing what you’ve agreed to do. But you’re not gonna not grow because someone else is being upset. That I’ve seen happen. I think it’s dangerous, I think it’s unsustainable, and we don’t have it in our company, and so that’s something that I preciously guard, is to ensure the fairness and transparency if you do the hard work.

Kevin:   What you just described there, getting to a high level by standing on someone else’s shoulders, almost to the destruction of someone else along the way. That’s where I think the industry’s gone wrong for so many years. It’s been dog eat dog, and it’s so refreshing that this change is now coming through, Megan. Is that the direction, is that the desire?

Megan Jaffe:   A hundred percent, so we’re here running with the thoroughbreds, so we’ve learned that to collaborate is much more powerful, and before we were collaborating, we actually had a concept called co-opetition, which is we combine to compete. Because when people were focused on improving their business at the expense of another colleague within the company, all it did was undermine and create a culture, we are set out to giving a terrible experience to the client, and that’s unsustainable. So they very much see themselves as thoroughbreds in here, and they are. They’re gorgeous thoroughbreds actually, and they’re running in the direction of doing what’s right, and they really enjoying running the race together. There’s a lot of pride of having like minded people beside you. The other thing is, that if you’re tired or need a break, you can actually pass the baton over to someone else, if you’ve got that degree of trust. But that is very, very satisfying to be able to do that.

Kevin:   Megan, it’s been fantastic talking to you, thank you so much for your time. I’ve really enjoyed, just as I do every time that we talk, but my guest this week, Megan Jaffee from Ray White Remuera. All the best, Megan and we’ll talk again real soon.

Megan Jaffe:   Yes, please, thank you.


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