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Pop Quiz, Monday with Stella Petrou Concha

Stella Petrou Concha

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Stella Petrou Concha

What is your job role?
CEO

Tell us about your company?
Reo Group is a specialised finance management consultancy and recruitment agency. We help our finance clients build their power to influence through selection and retention of top talent and transforming finance departments to deliver value.

Our lead Consultants are all experienced finance executives who have faced the same challenges that our clients face today. As a result, we have become a trusted Recruitment and Consulting Partner to large brand name organisations such as Aldi, Metcash, Revlon & Lindt and have placed over 5000 finance professionals in Sydney since 2009.

What do you love most about your job?
I love the ability to take people from feeling disconnected about their career, to having clarity, purpose and passion about where they are headed. Changing jobs is one of the most stressful events an individual encounters across their adult life. The support and direction we provide help people to have the power to act and chase the career that their desire.

What motivates you to get up everyday and go to work?
I am motivated by the people in our tribe. I learn every day from my team and my clients. Life is made of the relationships you build and the small moments that you experience with those people. Reo affords me the time to do this every single day.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My greatest teachers are my executive team. They consistently hold up the mirror to me and give me the chance to always sharpen my leadership and strategic skills. My greater team inspire me in how they express our vision of”elevating human potential”. They come up with ways of expressing our vision that delight and amaze me. My co-workers are my tribe.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
At Reo, we are consistently doing team events. Not HR driven but group driven. We interact socially every Friday arvo, we have a team social once a month and yearly we travel for a company junket. What happens on tour stays on tour so I can’t tell you our secrets!!!. On a fun note, we have a drum kit, guitar and key board in the office and the musos in the tribe jam at the end of the work week.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The challenges of the job are managing the unexpected headwinds. I can’t tell you what’s around the corner but I have to be equipped and ready to respond quickly. The role of a CEO is challenging as we deal with ambiguity but we are expected to provide clarity and certainty to our people. I work hard on creating clarity and certainty for myself so I can be solid for my people.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Scorpions will be scorpions. Ever heard of that saying? There is an old tale of the scorpion and the frog. The scorpion says to the frog “take me across the river on your back and I promise I won’t sting you”. The frog replies “but I know you will sting me as you are a scorpion”. The scorpion replies “if I sting you, you will die and float to the bottom and then I too will die, so it makes no sense for me to sting you”. The frog agreed and took him across the river. Half way across the journey, the scorpion couldn’t contain himself and stung the frog. Their fate was met at the bottom of the river.

Why do I tell this story? I once had a scorpion on my team that I spent many years trying to develop into a frog. I met my failure with this when this individual committed fraud. I knew all along that this individual didn’t have the right values or was 100% aligned to the businesses values. Although I tried and invested, I couldn’t align him. Scorpions will be scorpions.

Now, the business will never hire or retain individuals that don’t align to our values or fit the tribes vibration.

What advice would you give to some one who is starting out in your industry?
3 things:
1) This is a people centric job. Build long, deep and caring relationships with people and they will take care of you.
2) This job is all about the long game. It takes 12 months to build a relationship. That relationship wont bear fruit for another 12 months. You need to take a long approach.
3) This job is about metrics: understand your inputs so you can plan your outputs.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
www.reogroup.com.au

www.facebook.com/reogroupaus/

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Written by Ricky Singh, MBA

Founder & Editor of The Startup Growth

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