May 17, 2014

Open Mind, Logical Thoughts

 NAHB Associate Senior Leadership's Future

It seems like only yesterday that we were trying our most recent attempt to bring associates into senior leadership for our federation. As one of the national associate members who was out front of this initiative I was met with quite a few different opinions on this subject. Quite a few members were against the idea of an associate senior officer. The associate senior officer debate caused a rift in long time and valued friendships.

As you may know I can be strong willed and my goal for an associate to be a senior officer shut down my ability to listen to others’ thoughts that differed from mine. As time went by, and further from the IBS board meeting where the vote eventually took place, I had the opportunity to sit down and have discussions with a few builders to learn that their opposition wasn’t that associates should not be a non ladder senior officer. It was that associates needed to be considered for senior leadership the same way builders are considered; a principal of the company they work for and the same financial and business audits for certification. If the associate candidate is an employee, a minimum two year employment contract (coinciding with leadership term), with NAHB activities allowed and included under the contract, for the company they work for.

Imagine, for a moment, an NAHB actively engaged associate, who became the associate senior officer, and their employer either saying they can’t attend national anymore (happened more than a few times) or, worse, were laid off (think the last several years). How embarrassing for that associate as an individual? How damaging is that for the image of NAHB? I never took that into consideration when this proposed position was being hotly debated, and if I had listened to some of these builder leaders more carefully, I would have asked the moderator of the 2011-12 National Area Chairmen and National Associate Chairman, who brought this proposed bylaw change forward, to modify or table the recommendation, so the criteria that was being suggested could have been thoroughly discussed. In fact, a great percentage of members didn’t listen carefully to each other and valuable lessons were learned.

You know me and you know I’m direct and will say what’s on my mind. There are no hidden agendas with me. You also know that I believe that I have the best interests of our federation at heart and I will always follow the best path for builders to have opportunities to build so associates can have opportunities to work.

When I am wrong, I say I am wrong….. I was wrong. 


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