Panattoni Europe’s chief executive on positive thinking, flexibility and spreading more happiness

Robert Dobrzycki

Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in the Masurian Lake District in north-east Poland.

Where is home now?

I moved to Warsaw to study and I am still here.

What do you value in people?

Positive thinking and having the inner drive to do something valuable with your life.

Who do you admire most?

My closest friends and family, who stand by me on a daily basis.

Who do you admire most in business?

I am a big fan of those out-of-the-box thinkers who are brave enough to take a risk and be the first to explore new territories, new technologies and new ideas, regardless of the mainstream.

Who has been your business mentor?

For the past 15 years, I have been learning a great deal from Carl Panattoni, who hired me, believed in me and still remains my dear boss.

What do you like about the property industry?

The fast pace, the energy and the visible effects of my work.

What do you dislike most about it?

Bureaucracy, long administration procedures and growing construction costs.

What’s your biggest fear?

To lose the people I have worked closely with for years.

What do you think the future of the property industry looks like?

It’s a fascinating world. With the wave of new technology, I am happy to be part of the industry.

How do you feel about the future?

Very positive. If there are challenges it only helps to improve the business.

What has had the biggest impact on the industry in the past five years?

For our industrial property sector, specifically, it was definitely the ecommerce boom.

What makes you happy?

When business goes well, of course! I’m happy to have created such a great team of people at Panattoni in Europe.

What makes you angry?

Lost opportunities, inefficiency and lack of drive.

What was your first job?

I was an accountant at Menard Doswell.

Why did you take your current job?

It was a good opportunity to do something big and the company’s flexible business environment was a big incentive.

What are the things you enjoy most about your job?

Flexibility, ongoing action and the promise of further uncharted territory.

What would be your dream job?

I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? I like to quote Glengarry Glen Ross: “Coffee’s for closers only” and “Always be closing”.

What motivates you?

The unknown. I have so many unrealised plans still. Each day motivates me to do more.

How do you deal with change in the property industry?

We have a really flexible business structure. Change is something inevitable and we are well prepared for that. We don’t get used to any market situation. We adjust on a daily basis.

How do you deal with change in life?

I take it as it goes. Time is the biggest factor in life and it’s a matter of catching the moments.

What do you want to change about the property industry?

I wish that the execution process of property transactions was more efficient, legally.

What do you want to change about the world?

To spread more happiness.

What do you want to achieve?

I just want to be doing more and more and can’t imagine ever stopping.