It has been a privilege to meet with many of you during the past six months. I have traveled almost every week, visiting chapters, and enjoyed the opportunity to meet with nearly 300 chapter leaders at the annual Chapter Leadership & Legislative Retreat.
What I have learned is that while our markets are diverse and the opportunities they contain are unique, our members exemplify a resilient optimism and work diligently to invest in, build, manage and lease the finest properties. They care as passionately about making their communities a better place as I care about making your NAIOP experience the best it can be.
It’s impossible to visit every chapter and meet every member, so I’m taking this opportunity to share with Development magazine readers the message I’m delivering on the road. These are my goals for our membership and myself this year:
Engage. To quote my predecessor, 2015 Chairman Steve Martin, “You get out of it what you put into it.” Participate on a committee in your chapter and take the next step in chapter or NAIOP Corporate leadership. If you haven’t attended a NAIOP conference, sign up for the September Commercial Real Estate Conference 2016 in Scottsdale. Your involvement in NAIOP is integral to the benefit you derive, and I encourage you to increase the value of your membership through greater participation.
Share. Our 18,000 members constitute an impressive warehouse of knowledge, experience and relationships. Sharing builds corporate and personal brand identity, and it accelerates learning. To facilitate sharing, I launched a Presidents’ Cohort for our chapter presidents to come together and learn from one another. A network of 51 contacts across North America comprising the best industry professionals from each market is one way NAIOP is thanking chapter presidents for their selfless service. I hope to designate a leader from this group to carry it forward when their year as chapter presidents has concluded.
Promote. I’ve taken the time to endorse two programs that have real value for our members. Our National Forums are small groups with a common area of expertise and interest that offer collaboration without competition under an honor code of confidentiality. I believe this is the perfect recipe for honest sharing and accelerated learning. Young Professionals Group (YPG) is a chapter-based program with proven results in attracting, training and retaining the next generation of industry leaders. YPG has increased the membership and strengthened the leadership of the chapters that have embraced it. Whether you are a Developing Leader (DL) or a senior executive, I invite you to learn more about these and other NAIOP programs.
Listen. How can we best prepare you and your company for the next cycle? As chairman, my job is to do just that. I’ve appreciated every opportunity to talk with our members, and I welcome your feedback. Out of these conversations have come new ideas for programs, opportunities and efforts NAIOP can undertake to support its members.
I have a favorite quote by Colin Powell that has guided me this year: “Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”
I take the responsibility of serving as your chairman seriously. In closing, I encourage you to reflect on these four goals and how they can help elevate your NAIOP experience.