My youngest son, Noah, graduated from high school in June. In just a few short months, he will be joining his older brother Gabriel at a lovely, academically rigorous university not too far from home. This event reflects a great shift for my son, for me personally, and for the entirety of my family (including Twister, our Australian cattle dog who has slept with Noah almost every single night for the past 10 years). We are sadly at the end of one era, but we are standing at the cusp of another that will be filled with exploration, growth, and excitement. I have chosen to look at this not as a time to “let go” but, rather, as a time to engage in an even more significant way with both of my sons. No, I don’t get to ensure that they are safely tucked into their own beds each night, but I do get to help them focus on and achieve their own goals and ambitions. I get to witness how they build on all they have learned since their births while pursuing their individual life paths.
My REALTOR® family is also in the midst of a great shift. We are moving into an era of greater reflection, higher levels of professionalism, loftier goals and ambitions, and measurable performance. Just as I am choosing to view the future with my sons as a time of exploration, growth, and excitement, I am adopting the same attitude about this professional transition within the REALTOR® organization. I am looking forward to seeing how much better we can all be together. I am looking forward to working even more closely with my peers and exploring how we can help each other focus on and achieve our professional goals and ambitions. I want to go beyond the mandates and truly seek what is possible in the world. And I want each of you to have the same opportunity.
This edition of REALTOR® AE magazine is filled with articles about the new Mandatory Core Standards. For some of you, these standards are easily achievable. To you, I would implore you to stretch even further, to challenge yourselves to even greater performance, and to help others who are perhaps struggling a bit more. For others, these standards seem out of reach. To you, I would encourage you to dig deep, but to also ask for help and to seek the assistance of your members, the neighboring associations, and/or your state association. This is not something that any of us need to, or even can, accomplish alone. One of the goals of these Standards is to improve the unity of our organization. Unity can and must start with all of us working together to achieve what may currently seem to be impossible.
At the end of the day, our members want and deserve for their professional association to be the very best it can be at the local, state, and national level. NAR leadership should be commended for providing REALTOR® association executives the opportunity to participate in creating the very model of what an association for any industry should be for its members. No, there is nothing easy about this shift and what is expected of each of us. To quote John F. Kennedy: “We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light a candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future. For the world is changing. The old era is ending. The old ways will not do.” And never forget that a rising tide lifts all boats. We are in this together and I cannot wait to see where the tide takes us.