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Michelle Xuereb

Director of Innovation, Quadrangle

Sector: Private Sector
Discipline: Architecture
Year: 2020

Michelle Xuereb

Director of Innovation, Quadrangle

Magic Moment: Getting up on the TEDx stage was the scariest thing I have ever done. It happened at a time when I was already being challenged to find balance in my life: two sick parents, the subsequent death of my father, a promotion at work and some very challenging projects. The night before my talk, I froze on stage and forgot everything. In the end I shifted my goal. I decided I wanted to enjoy my moment, so I focused on how I would do that. Twice, while up on stage, I lost my place. Both times, I took a deep breath, composed myself and kept going. About halfway through, I started to really enjoy myself. When they published the uncut version, the best compliment that I received was about how well I recovered when I lost my place.

Key Influence: Janine Sindrey. My friend Janine Sindrey has been a major influence in my life. She taught me the value of trusting my intuition, owning my emotions and operating from a place of personal power and responsibility. She taught me that fear and excitement are usually closer together that you think and that a shift in perception of five degrees one way or the other can transform your perspective.

Susan Ruptash. When I met Susan Ruptash, I knew why so many people had told me that I needed to meet and work with her. She is the kind of person that tells you the truth in a frank and constructive way, a way that challenges you to grow. She valued my emotional intelligence, supported me fiercely, and helped me to see how important the active support of a senior person is to a person’s growth and opportunity.

Next Big Challenge As An Industry: I think the climate crisis is the next big challenge that we need to tackle as an industry and as a successful city-region. We need to do this by actively building people-centered communities, including designing resilient, net zero carbon buildings. Let’s make more room for people and prioritize alternative, low carbon modes of construction and transportation.

Secret Talent: I throw a good holiday party! Hmm guess that’s not so secret!!

On Championing Others… I try to take the time to understand what the people I work with want to be doing and to then work with them to create opportunities. I give honest feedback and challenge them to push themselves out of their comfort zone. I tell others about their talents and advocate for them within the industry.

One word that captures you: Collaborative. It doesn’t need to be my idea. I just want to get all the ideas on the table and get to the best outcome.