"A goal I hold personally is to treat everyone the same and there should be no exception. We are all made of the same atoms and elements."
The employee who best lives out our RISE values for 2018 is Margaret Gleeson, endearingly called Maggie, an unassuming and gentle lady from Limerick, not unknown to hard work having grown up in a farm. She won as a result of a company wide poll and the validation is true – Maggie lives each day authentically and treats everyone with respect and professionalism.
The RISE Values – deeply ingrained in every employee here at CBRE, the four pillars of the company on which we conduct ourselves and our business with our clients – respect, integrity, service and excellence.
I chat with her over a cup of tea a few days after being lauded the award and she thought that she would not stand a chance! “It’s a great honour to win this award, past winners have been people I truly admire and I am humbled to be called their peer."
She started in CBRE Ireland back in June 2005 after 2 years working in London and a friend told her of a role that was available. “I started with Marie Hunt and Research team and am still with them today, and from 2011 I also assist with the professional services team.” She continues saying, “Marie is an inspiration to me in her work and life ethic. I couldn’t ask for a better person to be working with.”
When asked what motivates her to do her job well – she credits her parents. “Farm work is very demanding. My parents deeply influenced me in their hard work ethic, seeing how they never complained and just got on with what they had to do taught me the value of hard work. It always pays off!” She clearly understands her role, her deep sense of delivering excellent service to everyone she comes into contact with is very telling – she always goes above and beyond in her professional capacity and also, on a personal level.
“I remember when I started, we had an annual staff bonding day, known as “Magical Mystery Tour” and the first one I went was at Killashee House Hotel where there were obstacles waiting for us to do! We had to dress up as sumo wrestlers, abseil down a wall and “fight” each other off a platform. It was great fun and I still remember the friendships forged quickly through these events.” She pauses momentarily and says “the sense of family was what made work not feel like work”.
Colleagues become like family when you get to know Maggie. She shares stories about the few colleagues who have left us too soon as ones who have left a lasting impact on her – and who have taught her to treasure each day and everyone she comes in contact with.
She takes a deep breath and after a moment pipes up that after 14 years she sure has seen the highs and lows of the industry. “There were trying times but we stuck it out and thrived as a company”.
Even though she is in a similar role now, the ways of working is always changing. There is a constant need to be trained in new systems and more efficient ways to do business. “There certainly isn’t time to be bored!” she laughs.
An avid traveller, she’s full of travel stories with interesting observations of the world and its different cultures. “Travelling teaches me to appreciate life – gives me perspective on how similar we all are, even if we live in very different places ” I almost never tire of asking her where her next travel will be – it’s always somewhere that is on someone’s bucket list.
When asked what would her advice be to someone starting out on their work journey, she has one golden rule – “Don’t let a title change your attitude to others. Hard work will be rewarded, stay humble!”
Wise words I say to her. “Now, let’s talk about my next stop - Istanbul!” she laughs with a twinkle in her eye – as I close my notebook with immense envy.