Hit the road and put yourself in their shoes

If you work for an association that covers a large geographical area – like a region of Ontario or all of Ontario– you’re going to have directors and chairpersons from far and wide. As a staff liaison to committees, I always made it a point to travel to the hometown of my chairpersons. I would … Continued

Cut volunteers a bit of slack

For 32 years I have been amazed at the contributions that REALTORS® make as volunteer leaders at their local, provincial and national associations. I don’t know of any other profession that earns its income by commission and gives up as much time as Realtors do, not only to their own trade association but to many … Continued

A Volunteer Speaks Out About Recruitment

  I was speaking to an experienced REALTOR® who had been a volunteer on his board for many years. We were talking about the difficulty of recruiting new volunteers, so I asked for his opinion and this was his advice:   Don’t lie. When you’re asking someone who is a commissioned sales person to give … Continued

The Grey Zone

Executive Officers (EOs) of associations have one of the toughest, challenging yet rewarding jobs there is. They get to run an organization like an entrepreneur, interact with all sorts of people and get exposed to issues of local, provincial and national scope. If you don’t like boredom, being an EO is a dream job.  But … Continued

Tortoise and the Hare

Those of us over 40 may be familiar with the children’s fable of a race between a tortoise and a hare. In it, the hare raced ahead, well in the lead, then rested and chatted with other animals, while the tortoise just kept going on. In the end, the tortoise won. What does this have … Continued

Merle Haggard and Prince

So, do you want to be a vanilla volunteer leader/president and just keep things on an even keel and not rock the boat? Hey, the market is good and if it ain’t broke why fix it? We’ve lost 2 great music icons within a week – country legend Merle Haggard and rock/pop/funk/blues artist Prince. If … Continued

Do we really make a difference?

I was in a beautiful, small Ontario town attending a well organized, volunteer-based community event. One of our members, who had received some of our volunteer leadership development training, was on the Board of Directors of the local Chamber of Commerce. That member was no longer a volunteer on the local real estate board but … Continued

Things to think about in the new year

I once read that there are 3 kinds of people; 1) Those that make things happen 2) Those that watch things happen 3) And…those that say “what just happened”  Which one are you? If you are a Realtor and want to choose one of those 3 options, maybe you should consider volunteering on your local … Continued

A wake up call for meeting organizers

There are many times I have heard volunteers say after a meeting, “What a waste of time – we should have been finished an hour ago.” That should be a wake up call to all of us who organize meetings. Even comedian Milton Berle knew how painful meetings could be when he said,“A committee or … Continued

Take the time to talk about time

How many times have you heard an association president say to a potential volunteer, “Oh, this position won’t take much time.” I’ve been surveying experienced volunteers the last few weeks and the common theme has been that they were not told how much time their volunteer commitment would really take. In every case, it took … Continued