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Forty Under 40 Award winner Q&A: Marc Josephson

This year’s cohort of recipients will be celebrated at an event Feb. 7, 2024

BIV is recognizing Marc Josephson, senior vice-president of development at Grosvenor, and 39 other exceptional business leaders as part of the 2023 Forty Under 40 Awards cohort.

Longer Q&As with each recipient are included in BIV's annual Forty Under 40 Magazine (out in print Dec. 11). Award winners will be celebrated at an awards gala Feb. 7, 2024.

This profile may have been edited for length and clarity.

What career highlight are you most proud of?

Leading a great team at Grosvenor, I oversaw the entitlement, design, marketing, sales and execution of the successful Grosvenor Ambleside development – a unique waterfront community that is recognized both for its distinctive design, and for its dramatic, positive neighbourhood transformation. We overcame significant opposition, established new pre-sale benchmarks, and were ultimately recognized with the most coveted industry awards both locally and across North America.

What was your toughest business or professional decision?

Leaving a great company where I began my career and had a clear trajectory, and making a move that ultimately led me to Grosvenor. At the time, 10 years ago, Grosvenor was looking to shift focus and grow its local development business. I believed in the vision, and trusted that the move would expand my skill set, challenge me and enable me to thrive. I’m glad I did.

How do you lead?

By example. I set high expectations for myself and strive to practice what I preach. If I expect others to perform at a high level in pursuit of our collective success, I have to model the necessary work ethic and commitment to get us there. I also believe in creating levity, having fun along the way and in treating each other with respect. Cultivating motivation is an act of authenticity, not force.

What is the biggest lesson you've learned in business?

A positive, forward-moving attitude is non-negotiable. Every day is full of challenges and problems. Success in any given situation often boils down to your approach. If that philosophy becomes a defining attribute at a team-level too, you can overcome just about anything.

Best piece of advice ever received?

There is a solution to every problem – you just have to figure it out. From a young age, this belief has helped me tackle all sorts of difficult and complex situations. It helps me stay motivated to keep going when others might run out of gas.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

Don’t try to fit into a box that you perceive as the model of success. Learn and soak up as much information and experience as you can, but always embrace your personal strengths – that’s what will set you apart, and it’s where you’ll find the most joy, satisfaction and success as a leader.

What's left to accomplish?

It’s the prospect of leaving things better than we found them that motivates me daily. To this end, I want to continue to learn and grow as a leader in our industry, and to instill in our growing team the great opportunity we have to keep pushing boundaries in pursuit of increasingly better developments that positively impact communities.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or acknowledge?

My parents, for modelling drive and dedication. After immigrating to Canada with very little, they enjoyed successful careers through consistent hard work and integrity. My amazing wife, the mother of our two young kids who supports me in countless ways and makes me better, even while pursuing her own successful career. I couldn't do it all without her. Grosvenor, for entrusting me to lead and help realize the company’s goals for its Vancouver development business. The mentors and colleagues I’m now fortunate to call friends.

Read Q&As with all 40 award recipients here. Tickets to the 2023 Forty Under 40 Awards gala on Feb. 7 are now available.