By Wendy Cole, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
The smiling, young acrobat completed a mesmerizing sequence of flips and spins and whirls, landing literally on the feet of his strong-armed partner. Jaws dropped among the 1,800 attendees at NAR’s Leadership Summit who witnessed the gravity-defying feat.
It was a fitting opening to the summit, tagged “Seize the Day” by NAR’s 2011 President Ron Phipps, who welcomed association presidents and chief executives from around the country to the Sheraton Ballroom in Chicago on Thursday for two-day event. If there was ever a need for robust and agile teamwork in taking on the real estate industry’s challenges, that time is now.
“I stand before you as one of you. Being a REALTOR® is special, special opportunity. It’s our time . . . to make a difference in the lives of REALTORS® and citizens around the globe,” Phipps told the enraptured crowd. “Our job is to be engaged in conversation and problem-solving. We have relied too long on other people to figure out the housing market. We [at NAR] shouldn’t just be the voice of real estate. We should be the architects and engineers of the future of real estate.”
He reiterated the value of teamwork both in the business and in the leadership ranks. “All of us advance through collaboration. Put your best self forward. We need you at your very best.”
But it’s OK to stumble now and then. In fact, it’s inevitable. When the young acrobat who set the inspiring tone for the summit failed to land a couple of his courageous flips, he tried again. Until he got it right. Meanwhile, the shiny smile never left his face.