By Wade Corbett
Over this past year I have had the amazing privilege and fortune to participate in the North Carolina Association of REALTORS® Leadership Academy. I have reflected over months on the true meaning of leadership and honestly, I have yet to come up with a definitive description. I cannot say what being a leader is, but I can say without a doubt what being a leader is not.
Being a leader is not about you. Those who become leaders because of a desire for glory or for public recognition are not true leaders. These are the types of people who will stop leading when it stops being convenient. As past NAR President Charles McMillian taught me earlier this year, being a leader is not always convenient. Leading your association, community, church, family, etc. is not easy and it doesn’t always fit into your planned schedule. Sometimes you may have hardships in your life while also having to lead.
Being a leader is not about being at the top of the pyramid. This is something I never comprehended until this year, but some of the best leaders are those who never rise to the highest position of power. I have always had a “rise-to-the-top” personality. But I now understand that me being at the top is not always what’s best for the organization I’m involved in. I learned from the eleven other people in my leadership class (The Best Class Ever) that we are all different types of leaders. There is a time to lead and there is a time to follow other leaders. Following does not mean that you’re subservient to anyone. It only means that you lead from below and help those who happen to be at the top.
Being a leader is not about building on your accomplishments, but contributing to the cause. Kim Dawson, NCAR’s president-elect, taught me that we are each just one piece of a much larger puzzle. Many people believe they are the whole puzzle and that being a leader in an organization is a piece of their puzzle. You are only one piece of the puzzle in the organization you are leading. If you do not have this mind-set, sit back and ask yourself: Why am I a leader?
As REALTORS®, there are a lot of changes facing us on the horizon, particularly NAR’s new Core Standards taking effect in 2015. You need to step up at your local, state, and national association to become part of the leaders of tomorrow. Join your local YPN and volunteer for association committees. Who knows; maybe you’ll become the president of NAR one day! Not that that’s what leadership is about. But it is fun thing to dream about!
If you have any questions about how to get involved in on the local, state or national level, please email me directly at Info@WadeCorbett.com.