Passing with Flying Colors, Posted by Ron

With school getting ready to break for the summer, my thoughts drifted to when we were all in school.  You have your first semester grades (or as they say in New England ‘marks’), then your second semester grades at the end of the academic year.

2010 NAR President-Elect Ron Phipps hosts Real Estate Summit

2010 NAR President-Elect Ron Phipps hosts Real Estate Summit

Your national association also has an academic year with two semesters.  Some things don’t change, do they?

Our year begins after the annual conference each year and then runs through the subsequent conference.  So, the 2010 leadership year began November 17, 2009 and will end November 8th in New Orleans.  So, as most of the academic world is finishing their years with ‘commencement,’ we are between first and second semester.  The Midyear Meeting is our half way point.  (Future NAR leaders like to suggest that the practical leadership year is the August Leadership Summit to the next leadership Summit… That, however, is from future leaders who want to start before the leadership race has begun).

At the risk of offering our NAR report card, here is how I see the first half of the year.  Not sure if it is just this May’s meeting, but we had one of the best governance meetings ever.  I would say an A plus. Critical issues were discussed, engaged and decided.  What was most impressive is that the discussions were focused most on the issue and generally overlooked the personalities involved.  It would be fair to say that is a change from what has happened in the past.  Part of the reason that the meetings went so well is that the real work of deliberation took place in the Presidential Advisory Groups, Standing Committees, and sub committees.  This is where it is supposed to happen.  The executive committee and the board of directors ultimately make the decisions, but the real work happened where it should.  The net result was that we had a very efficient and productive board of directors meeting.  It was very encouraging to see intense debate at the committee level that produced a superior outcome.

One of the things that our report card should acknowledge is our organization’s ability to be, to use Moe’s word, ‘nimble.’  When you look at the progress of the REALTORS® Property Resource, the evolutions of House Logic, the phenomenal  growth of Real Estate Today radio show and the  REALTOR® University conversation, you cannot help but recognize the organization’s ability to be a mover, rather than a reluctant, recalcitrant follower.  From our earliest days in school one is always told to lead, follow or get out of the way.  This organization is leading.  Here we get an A not only for effort, but for results.

We also witnessed the election process at its best.  Bill Armstrong and Mike McGrew ran in a contested election to be the 2011 Treasurer of the association.  A majority of the members of the Board of Directors voted for Bill Armstrong.  He will be our 2011 Treasurer.  The race was professional and intense.  Seeing the post race character of these fine individuals was a privilege.  They represent our competitive spirit and the honor of REALTORS® across the country.  They both make us proud.

Vicki Cox Golder arrived in Washington, DC to run the Executive Committee May 13 and 14, as well as the Board of Directors meeting on the 15th.   She did an amazing job this entire semester, but arrived in DC, only 2 weeks after having hip replacement surgery.  It is nothing short of awesome.  At the Real Estate Summit we shared news of Vicki’s absence withthe observation that she now has a steel hip to match her steel will.  In truth, she is more of a renaissance leader than our tribute suggested.  She is the embodiment of Jim Rohn quotation:

 “The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.”

It is really a privilege to have such a great teacher on the journey through the 2010 leadership year.  Overall, while the market has not had the grades we would like recently, I am very proud to say your association’s first semester grades are passing with flying colors. – Ron Phipps, 2010 NAR President-Elect