March 18, 2013

"Average or Memorable? Always Your Choice"

Volunteer leaders are vital to any home builders association (HBA) and new volunteer leaders are as vital, if not more so, because they bring new vision, untapped passion and an enthusiasm that they can make positive impacts. They are also a much needed expansion of the leadership pool and a source of inevitable succession of the baton being passed. Volunteer leaders at the beginning stages bring a wide eyed element to the initiative particularly at the local HBA level where the vast majority of volunteer leaders begin working with other volunteers. It is at this moment in a volunteer's "HBA life" that established volunteers could impact the eventual direction of a new leader. It is at this moment that the local HBA could have new blood or continued graying.

True leaders will take a different road, one less traveled but will arrive at the true destination; success. Others will follow and others will shake their heads and stay on the same road they have always traveled because it's what they know and, worse yet, it's all they want to know. Choice has always leads us to where we were and where we will be, not chance.
There could be some that will try and stop progress by setting up road blocks, in varying degrees of challenge, on the different road you head down.  An average leader accepts these actions and will make a u-turn back. A memorable leader will stop, assess each roadblock, finds a way around the road block and continues down the new road.

I have watched others over the years, those who believe they have the "best interest of the HBA at heart." That best interest may be to play it safe, to stay in a zone of comfort, to not take a chance. You know what? Sometimes that is the correct path. but sometimes, if you don't try, you'll never know where you can go. There are some whose best interest is self preservation, meaning they are threatened by loss of territory instead of encouraging growth of others. They act as martyrs instead of much needed mentors.

Winston Churchill, one of history's true leaders, once said: "You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life." You may make "enemies" along your chosen path to leading initiatives. You will need the conviction to blast through those types of roadblocks and the best way of doing so is by surrounding yourself with those who add value to your life and share your belief in new visions.With visionary leadership you will begin conversations that will return value and change when needed. Those visions become actions that  will help deliver value back to the HBA tenfold.

Why am I sharing all of the above with you? Volunteer leadership within the HBA is rewarding and at the same time occasionally challenging when breaking from the norm and asking "what if?" You may be the next generation of volunteer leader the HBA absolutely needs. The above is not to scare you off but to encourage you to make a difference.

Never back away from your convictions if you believe in their value and have the passion to head down a new road. Never allow anyone to stifle your passion or dampen your desire to volunteer.  At the end of the day, without passion and desire, everything remains the same, and with the same comes stagnation.

Do you want your time as leader to be average or memorable? Don't leave it to chance; make it a choice, your choice.

Submitted by Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP

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