Thoughts on Leadership: Conferences Are Key

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me finishing up an eight-day road trip, today spending time at our HSF Affiliates headquarters in Irvine, CA to work on exciting projects, meet with our staff and make sure our core company objectives—our WIGS—are being met.

During my travels, I had the opportunity to attend two great conferences: Brian Buffini’s MasterMind Summit at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront and Tom Ferry’s Success Summit at the Anaheim Convention Center.

It was interesting to go from one conference to the next, observing the difference in business approaches of Tom and Brian (both philosophies for growth are, I should add, very important). Brian is focused on referral business and solutions that generate a steady stream of referred leads. Tom spoke a lot about leveraging social media to find prospective clients and achieve new levels of success.

Backstage with Tom Ferry at the Success Summit in Anaheim, CA.

At Brian’s MasterMind Summit, I was also treated to a bevy of inspirational speakers. They included:

John Ondrasik, better known by his stage name, Five for Fighting, a singer/songwriter and record producer behind such Top 40 hits as “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” “100 Years” and “The Riddle.” He offered insights on storytelling and innovation to entertain and connect.

Jon Gordon, the best-selling author of The Energy Bus, The Carpenter and Training Camp. He’s an expert on leadership and how to build an award-winning team.

With former NBA player, Walter Bond at the Success Summit.

Walter Bond, a business coach and former NBA player. He believes that to reach peak performance and close the gap between our current life and the dreams we want to fulfill, we must undergo a transformation. We must think, execute and transform our habits in order to win.

With best-selling author Mark Victor Hansen.

Mark Victor Hansen, the author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. His focus is on helping people from all walks of life reshape their vision of what is possible. Nothing is out of reach; no goal is unattainable. Challenges will always exist but as you take smalls steps toward what you want, you’ll gain the self-confidence necessary to forge onward.

Backstage with Brian Buffini at his MasterMind Summit event.


At the MasterMind Summit with Dermot Buffini, and Linda and Rayond Carnevali, agents with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty in Coraopolis, PA.

With Brian Buffini and Dermot Buffini.

I left San Diego feeling renewed and motivated to take what I learned and use it to serve others, helping them achieve their goals faster than they would in my absence.

From San Diego, I traveled north to Anaheim, for Tom Ferry’s Success Summit. The event shined a bright spotlight on the power of social media and its ability to give agents a platform for showcasing their service and most importantly, their skills. At the conference, Tom shared some of his best tips for business growth, hosted a live Q&A and discussed ways to create an unstoppable mindset for success in any market. (It’s all about harnessing the greatness that’s already inside of you. When you feel good inside, you exude confidence on the outside. It practically radiates from within you and produces the kind of positive energy that others want to share.)

Backstage with Toby Love, who assisted with the Success Summit for Tom Ferry.

Both conferences allowed me to network with many of my real estate friends and colleagues, catching up with those I haven’t seen in a while and making new, exciting connections with associates I’ve never met before. In fact, at Success Summit I ran into Dan Forsman, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties and members of the Georgia Properties team.

At Success Summit with Dan Forsman, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties, and members of the Georgia Properties team.

So, what’s the message? As leaders, we have a responsibility to constantly challenge ourselves with novel ideas and find solutions we may not have thought about on our own. We must always resist the stationary position because it is the beginning of the end. If we don’t advance, we fall back, and one excellent way to advance is to attend conferences.

Advancement is an ongoing mission that can move forward with digital efforts but really, for the greatest progress, it must happen in person. Social media is undoubtedly vital to success but it will never replace real, human interaction. To sit in a packed audience of passionate colleagues and hear some of our industry’s finest leaders speak about doing what they do best, is an experience no tweet or Instagram post can replace. Learn from the best and you’ll become the best, or at the very least even better than you already are today.

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