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Driven By Our Hearts

Gibson Sothebys International Realtys Colleen Barry on rethinking the mantra thatallgrowth is good and on channeling your inner Einstein

Someone once asked a profound question that fundamentally changed how we communicate with each other every day. . .

If I had an hourto solve aproblemand my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first fifty-five minutes determining the properquestionto ask. Once I know the properquestion, I could solve theproblemin less than five minutes.

This was the great Albert Einsteins unique method for quick problem-solving: questionsare the answer.


In an era of precipitous change and a culture of instant gratification, its all too simple to upend this distinctive approach. After all, were no Einsteins, and it is easy enough to grow by acquisition or launch a new partnership solely to rapidly increase size or revenue. Such growth initiatives, however, will not be as sustainable or profitable as those that are generated by taking a thorough look inside the company itself.


When a merger or acquisition is first announced, many instinctively speculate about who the others are and why the union creates value. To curtail the our company versus their company dynamic, our co-owners, Larry Rideout and Paul McGann, begin each acquisition process with questions that are worth the time:Are our cultures and values a fit? Will this move help our team succeed? Will our team help them succeed?


As far as I am concerned, Larry and Paul have revolutionized our business by putting their hearts into each and every decision. They are consistently driven by their core values, and always return to them when they are weighing options for growthprinciples upon which both men run their lives and their company. Over the course of time, so many businesses forget why they built themselves in the first place, sacrificing long-established morals for the sake of growth itself. Larry and Paul do not fall into this trapthey understand that the most strategic forecast of success is joining together compatible professionals who share the same principles and best practices. The greatest way to accomplish long-term goals of growth is to root them in a people-focused mission that deserves our dedication. And sometimes, this means saying no to growth opportunities that are simply not a match.


This year, we were thrilled to join forces and pool our resources with three liked-minded companies who echoed our close-knit leadership approach and family-oriented culture, bringing keen opportunities in growing into ourfeeder markets. As President of our affiliate company on Cape Codan organization we acquired in September of 2018Howard Hayes built his entire real estate career surrounded by a team he deeply cared for. One of the most memorable mornings I have experienced in a long time was one I spent with Howard a few weeks prior to announcing our union. We sat together on his deck in Brewster, watching families from afar digging for clams as we shared stories about our own familiesthe remarkable associates at the heart of our respective companies. He reminded me so much of Larry and Paul. Each of them possesses a tremendous breadth of knowledge and an enviable set of business skills that make them such successful leaders. But more importantly, all three of these men are guided by a refreshingly uncomplicated set of strong family values.

Larry Rideout_GSIR_Howard Hayes_OCSIR_Acquisition Announcement_2018

Companies try many strategies for creating value for their associates through acquisitionsbut only a handful actually do so. Leaders who neglect to inspire their teams with a sense of deep purpose and shared values may still make decent livings. Even so, they will never achieve an equivalent level of success and professional and personal fulfillment as those who deeply care about their people. For Larry and Paul, honorably representing their company and nurturing its brand is far more important than merely filling any margin or portfolio gap, and the results speak for themselves.

To explore more content published in the2018 Second Edition of The Collection,click here.

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