Thoughts on Leadership: How Elite Leaders Lead

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Kona, Hawai’i for the 2018 Berkshire Elite Circle Conference, a truly elite retreat that our team hosted at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

More than 50 member brokers and their guests stood up in unison and gave a thunderous standing ovation when Joan Docktor, Larry Flick Jr. and Barbara Griest were honored as the leaders of the No. 1 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brokerage in the entire network, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS®. (Joan is the president of Fox & Roach, REALTORS®; Larry is the CEO of Fox & Roach, REALTORS®; and Barbara is the president of The Trident Group.)

The collective enthusiasm of this illustrious Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices group for the accomplishments of the Fox & Roach, REALTORS® team symbolized the mutual respect that represents not only our leading member brokers but also the closeness, connectivity and support that is the basis for our entire network.

Elite leaders understand that honoring one another and supporting one another is essential for sustainable, collaborative success.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Denise Doyle, vice president of global conference and meeting services at HSF Affiliates, and her hard-working team for putting together a truly unforgettable event. From the beach-side dinners to the luaus to the quality of our sessions … everything was executed with professionalism and exacting attention to detail.

A few days ago, I had the chance to take a helicopter ride with my family and fly over the lava that’s currently flowing on the Big Island. I joked with our brokers that we need to stop promulgating the old saying from Mark Twain that one of the reasons why real estate is such a great investment is because, “They’re not making any more of it.”

This clearly isn’t true as the erupting volcano on the big island of Hawai’i has enlarged the size of the island.

I specifically raise this point as a metaphor that we should always be willing to challenge any and all real estate clichés. It’s what the greatest leaders do and how our Berkshire Elite Circle leaders found the success we celebrated in Hawai’i. A cliché exists because it’s a shortcut used to explain a challenge that hasn’t yet been met with real answers.

In leadership, we are confronted with clichés all the time. Some leaders may fall into the trap of doing something one way because that’s the way it has always been done. But the best leaders understand that a cliché exists to be broken and instead of relying on a cliché, understand that it represents the perpetuation of a falsehood and use it to find a new solution to an old problem.

So, what’s the message? It’s one I’ve been thinking about in Hawai’i as I met with our Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network leaders at this conference. In business, innovation and change is key. Never rest on the laurels of your success, never use a cliché as an excuse. Work hard, be different and embrace the esoteric because like the lava that flows in Hawai’i, some of our toughest and seemingly insurmountable challenges may actually reveal themselves as chances to create something entirely new.

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