Leadership is not about being the loudest voice in the room, it’s about listening. That’s Diana Reid’s philosophy, and it’s worked for her.
Reid is head of PNC Real Estate at PNC Financial Services Group, which has 1,000 employees and 30 offices nationwide. She ranked No. 21 in the 2017 Most Powerful Women in Banking list, presented by NMN sister publication American Banker.
Key to running a successful operation is the ability to collaborate with others, Reid said, and that starts with listening to their points of view, finding common ground and using this ground “as the foundation for establishing crucial connections” to drive business growth.
Her real estate unit reported strong growth across the board last year while reducing its exposure to construction lending. The unit accounts for roughly one-third of PNC’s annual revenue.
In a business populated by extroverts, Reid actually views herself as an introvert. It’s an attribute that may have held her back early in her career, but “through observation and internal analysis, I discovered that I could intentionally modify behavior — through more intensive preparation and other actions — to turn this trait into an asset,” she said.
Reid is an active member of the Urban Land Institute, the Real Estate Roundtable and the Committee of 200, an organization devoted to supporting female business leaders. She pays close attention to issues around sustainability and takes particular pride in showing off PNC’s headquarters, which features a natural ventilation system, a water recycling treatment center and energy-efficient heating and cooling.
The business case for sustainability is hard to ignore. New office buildings that have green space on their roof to capture rainwater and use tracking devices to monitor energy usage may incur higher upfront costs, but produce “efficiencies that really translate into a lower cost of operating a building,” she said.