Leadership isn’t about individual success — it’s about ensuring everyone around you has the tools they need to succeed.
Russell Galbut is a veteran in the travel, cruise and real estate spaces, currently the Managing Principal of Crescent Heights (among other notable titles), and no stranger to leading teams that execute big ideas into never-before-seen developments. And for him, that track record of success is built on bringing together groups of visionaries and ensuring that everyone is inspired by an overarching sense of purpose.
Five Park, a residential tower, is one of Russell’s most recent projects, merging sustainability and beauty on Miami Beach. It reconsiders what modern living should look like, navigating how to create spaces for wellness and productivity, how to enjoy natural spaces while being cognizant of climate change and extreme weather. But along with being an inventive approach to living, its existence is also a testament to strong leadership.
I spoke with Russell about how to find and inspire top talent to pioneer innovative ideas, the importance of travel for our mental health, and the future of how we live, work and interact with the community around us.
Beth Doane: How do you unite a team of visionaries, as you did with Five Park, to successfully create a development that’s never been done before?
Russell Galbut: We were incredibly lucky to find like-minded visionaries who are experts in their field and who align with Five Park’s mission to build a luxury residential community that balances a modern lifestyle, wellbeing and sustainability. With Five Park, we found that because the visionaries were aligned on the project’s values, it was easy to collaborate to create something truly second to none.
Doane: How do you stay productive, and how do you help employees stay productive?
Galbut: I believe maintaining perspective about the bigger picture helps with productivity. Taking a step back and reevaluating what your missions and goals are really helps in finding your true course and staying inspired. Especially in the case of a project like Five Park, everyone involved in this development was excited about the prospect of collaborating on such a crucial development.
Doane: What’s the most significant lesson in leadership you’ve learned?
Galbut: Associate and work with the right people, and make sure they have the tools to succeed. Their success is your success! Leadership is defined in many ways, but I believe all leadership must come with discipline and purpose. Create a team second to none other to achieve even the most challenging of accomplishments.
Doane: Thrive Global’s mission is to elevate mental health, resilience and productivity. How does Five Park help further these pillars, and what role do new developments play in supporting the local community?
Galbut: From the onset of the project, Five Park’s mission has been to create an entirely new Miami Beach lifestyle — one that prioritizes resident’s ability to balance wellbeing and productivity within their own community. To do this, Five Park has a vast mix of luxury amenities, ranging from state-of-the-art spas and gyms to coworking spaces, private offices to exclusive beach club access, which give residents everything they need to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
New developments geared towards Miami’s growing tech and business professionals, who desire multi-faceted residential developments personalized with onsite access to amenities and service along with privacy, will be essential to supporting the city’s growth and delivering an unparalleled Miami Beach lifestyle for future residents.
Doane: You’re well-versed in the travel and cruise industries — what role does it play in mental health, and how do you think the industries are shifting due to COVID?
Galbut: I truly believe travel is essential to a person’s overall well being. Whether on a tropical cruise, European getaway or a domestic staycation, traveling outside of your everyday world helps people relax, regain perspective, and really enjoy what the world has to offer.
Due to COVID, I think the industries are shifting to be more mindful of how to travel and transport people as safely as possible, and the pent-up demand for travel and cruises shows that people are really excited to get back out there, explore, and have adventures with their family and friends.
Doane: How does Five Park integrate sustainability and beauty, and how do you think this represents the future of living?
Galbut: One of the most important ways Five Park has accomplished this is through the construction of the adjacent Canopy Park, a three-acre public park designed by ArquitectonicaGEO. The community park will be a gorgeous green space in South Beach that features sustainable landscaping that helps reduce water buildup and flooding in the area. The park will also have an outdoor gym, a dog park, a children’s playground designed by world-renowned Danish firm MONSTRUM and a public art installation by Miami-based sculptor Mark Handforth.