Thoughts on Leadership: Luck of the Irish

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me at home, starting the week with my typical Monday W.I.G. calls. On Tuesday, I attended the Berkshire Hathaway Energy Weekly Executive Team Meeting and HSoA monthly CEO leadership virtual meeting. On Wednesday, I delivered the opening remarks on the HomeServices of America Relocation Directors call and tomorrow, I’ll be in pre-conference meetings and attend the Berkshire Elite Circle Virtual Experience with celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan for the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 2021 Sales Convention.

Of course, in between meetings, I took some time on Wednesday to check in with my Irish friends and colleagues, who were celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Did you know, according to Irish lore, each leaf of the four-leaf clover represents hope, faith, love, and luck? For me, St. Patrick’s Day is always a fun celebration, a joyous holiday centered around optimism and finding the shiny, pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. To inspire you this week with motivation as hardy as Irish soda bread, here are quotes from some of my favorite Irish leaders:

“The world is more malleable than you think and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape.” – Bono, singer/songwriter, and philanthropist

“If it’s not working, do something, do anything … results will follow. When everybody on the team is rowing in the same direction, it is a beautiful thing. Rally up!” – Brian Crane, CEO of Intero Real Estate Services

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde, poet and playwright

“Let how you live stand for something, no matter how small or incidental it may seem.” – Jodie Foster, actress

“No one is coming to save you. This life of yours is 100% your responsibility.” – Mike Ferry, owner of The Mike Ferry Organization

“I don’t think you can lead or manage anybody if you can’t lead or manage yourself.” – Brian Buffini, founder and chairman of Buffini & Company

“When you put genuine inspiration behind your actions, the whole world opens up to you.” – Tom Ferry, founder and CEO, Ferry International

“Servant leadership is a mindset of putting your customers and others first.” – Dermot Buffini, CEO of Buffini & Company

“Famous Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw said, ‘A life making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing at all.’ This is true in leadership as well. Leadership creates movement and is the antithesis of doing nothing. A leader can relieve themselves from the burden of perfection, but they need to be a positive force in motion.” – Chris Kelly, President and CEO, Ebby Halliday Realtors, Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate and Williams Trew Real Estate

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – Former U.S. President John F. Kennedy

And here are a few quotes on what it means to be Irish:

“Being Irish means a deep commitment to family and community. It means exuding warmth and creating an environment where camaraderie among friends can thrive. My Irish roots play out in so many facets of my personality but most of all, they’re expressed in the love I have for my friends, my family, my clients, the incredible agents and staff I work with every day, and the FUN we share together as we live this beautiful life!” – Cathy O’Halloran Jackson, VP of Talent Development at Intero Real Estate Services

“Growing up Irish in Boston was not remarkable but a source of deeply embedded pride. Not remarkable because the largest ethnic group in Beantown was of Irish descent therefore a culture of storytelling, music, politics, drinking, bland cuisine, and yes, fighting was how we were all defined. There are only two songs that routinely make me cry — “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” and “Danny Boy,” reminding me of how deep my Irish DNA is, and my enduring Irish pride.” – Allan Dalton, CEO of Real Living Real Estate and SVP of Research and Development at HSF Affiliates

“Whether it’s from the perspective of being in Ireland or our families that immigrated over here and were such a big part of industry, there has always been a perspective of optimism and a can-do attitude of hard work and forward movement. Doing things in a collaborative and community-oriented fashion captures the essence of the Irish and the adaptability of the Irish. Upbeat optimism is personified in the Irish. – Don O’Neill, Vice President, Business Development at Axcelerate Networks

“The stories of our family coming to America always gave me such great pride in the faith and the daring of our young grandparents. They had to flee a world they loved but it offered a limited future and virtually no opportunity. They went on to build successful families and lives and I see my role at work, and home, as an extension of those values and beliefs. Working hard and achieving goals just continues my Irish legacy.” – Michael Jalbert, EVP of Global Business Development, HSF Affiliates

So, what’s the message? This week let’s channel the bright, hardworking spirit of the Irish in everything we do. As a famous Irish saying goes, “Happiness being a dessert so sweet, may life give you more than you can ever eat.”

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