As a result of her history of working in the property industry for over 20 years, Gillian Geraghty has extensive experience in the successful planning and construction of large and complex projects. She is currently the Regional General Manager ‚Äì Northern NSW for APP Corporation.
She believes that leadership involves communicating your vision for the business in such as way that your team understand and embrace the same direction for the company. She is a democratic leader who thrives on an inclusive style of work.
Gillian has been a Director of the Hunter Business Chamber since 2012, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Engineers Australia and the Australian Institute of Project Management.
- What path led to where you are now?
During high school I had a love of mathematics and science which led me to an engineering degree. With a father and brother in the construction industry it was a natural progression to move into site management and project management. These roles have allowed me to work and travel around Australia, in the United Kingdom and the USA.
- What tricks do you have to manage your priorities and your time?
Being a working mother my time is very precious so I have learnt to be efficient and prioritise. Some of the tricks I use are;
– Taking time at the beginning of each week to plan the week and ensure priorities reflect time allocation.
– Using voicemail and setting aside time to return calls.
– Standing up while on the phone ‚Äì this means I’m more likely to keep the conversation brief.
– Not scheduling meetings unless they are necessary and have a specific purpose or agenda.
– Blocking out time for high priority activities and protect that time from interruptions.
– Remembering that it’s impossible to get everything done!!!
- What leadership style do you use?
I like to think I have a democratic style of leadership, although you would have to confirm this with the APP team! I believe that through discussion, debate and sharing of ideas and encouragement of people the team can succeed in achieving their goals. This type of leadership is important at a company like APP where the team have a high level of skill and experience and are eager to share their knowledge.
- How do you define the difference between a Manager and a Leader?
Leadership is about having your team understand and believe in the vision for the business and to work with you to achieve the business goals while managing is more about administering dealing with the day-to-day.
- What local businessperson do you find inspiring?
I find Jonathan Vandervoort, Executive General Manager – Hunter Valley, Australian Rail Track Corporation to be inspiring.
Jonathan is a director on the board of the Hunter Business Chamber with me and I admire his management ability to cut through the noise to the real issues and inspire others to focus on what can be achieved.