It is Father’s Day 2009, and I am so aware of my great fortune. I have been blessed with an exceptional family and three awesome children. Each shared his or her best wishes, love and thoughts with me today. It was touching and heartwarming. Being a father is the best part of my life: it is the rainbow, the sun, the moon, and the breath of my being. It is who I am.
Yet, I feel hollow today because I miss my father, who passed away five years ago. In between two open houses, I visited my father’s gravesite. We talked, or rather I talked, and he listened. It is really hard today to hear him. He was an exceptional father who taught each of his children to be people who lived lives of service to others and to do one’s absolute best. He was one of those rare people who understood that teachers are most effective when they live the lessons they teach. He did.
This past May, I was voted in as the 2010 President-Elect by the NAR Board of Directors, and I will become President the following year. People who know me well commented on how proud my father must be. I agreed with them, but I still wanted to celebrate the accomplishment with him. He was a procuring cause. He encouraged this fulfilling journey.
In leadership, you realize that you achieve as the result of great mentoring and teaching.
No one gets into leadership without lots of help. In truth, my teacher and mentors are numerous. My father’s best lesson was to find the best teachers and mentors, then study them and learn from them. Give them a stake in your progress. It is a great life lesson. You cannot become a NAR national leader without lots of help.
This past week a small group of REALTOR® leaders met to make 2010 Vice Chair of Committee selections. The challenge was to choose just one person for each position when so many capable and talented people had applied. We are working to complete the process. I cannot help but think about the example of my father: pick the best person for the position. We are working hard to do that, but how do you do that when you have so many “bests?”
It is also a privilege working with such a talented group of people on the leadership team. They teach my father’s lesson by example: be the best.
Moreover, Charles McMillan, Dale Stinton, Vicki Cox Golder and I all have sons getting married on the 25th of July. Who says that the stars do not line up? It is my prayer for each of our sons, that they know unconditional love from their wives and children. We are part of a very special, extended family, the REALTOR® family. Our family includes all of YOU.
–Ron Phipps, 2009 NAR First Vice President