Thoughts on Leadership: The Power of Giving Back

By Gino Blefari

This week started out Sunday in Las Vegas where I attended the Raiders-Kansas City Chiefs Sunday night football game. Then Monday I flew back to San Francisco for the 49ers-Los Angeles Rams game. as well as taking a WIG call. On Tuesday, I participated in the Berkshire Hathaway Energy call and monthly virtual CEO leadership meeting. I also attended the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame announcement of the 2021 inductees where Intero Real Estate Services was a sponsor for the event. On Wednesday, I traveled to Palm Springs to attend the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties, Arizona Properties and California Properties yearly management retreat with CEO Mark Stark. I held a fireside chat with Mark then took part virtually in the monthly HomeServices of America corporate team gathering. Today, I was a guest speaker at the HomeServices Marketing Conference then had a photoshoot and interview with Andrew Flachner of RealScout. Between today and tomorrow, I’ll participate in three succession planning calls. Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to being a guest speaker on the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS® Friday Forum.

It’s been a productive week and there’s one word that characterizes how I’ve been feeling, especially as we lead up to Thanksgiving: grateful.

I’m grateful for my team, for my health, for my family, and for all of the blessings in my life that allow me to wake up and look forward to each new day. Adding gratitude to your life can change your attitude and identifying what you’re grateful for helps you create a positive mindset.

My mentor Jim Rohn once said, “Learning the art of expressing gratitude will force you to focus on the positive.”

And it’s true. Another way you can reset your mindset for optimism is by giving back and being kind. Exercising kindness toward others, no matter how small the act, will always enrich your mindset. As you go about your day, think about ways you can enhance someone else’s existence through a small act of kindness. The “helper’s high” you’ll receive by doing something nice for another person will help you build a positive mindset.

Did you know humans are hard-wired to have positive responses to giving back? After we complete a kind act, our brain’s pleasure sensors are activated and our bodies release feel-good endorphins, which motivates us to find that “helper’s high” through giving back yet again. Over time, giving back can even reduce our overall stress levels.

There are so many incredible examples of givers from within our organization but today, on the precipice of Thanksgiving week, I wanted to highlight two very special people whose selfless gifts and incredible acts of kindness can inspire us all.

In July, it was announced that Eddie Oberoi, leader of the top-performing Eddie Oberoi Team at the Los Altos office of Intero Real Estate Services, was pledging $100,000 to the Intero Foundation. Established in 2002, the Intero Foundation is a non-profit organization that has granted more than $6 million to benefit children and seniors throughout the Bay Area and beyond. With Eddie’s generous gift, the organization will be able to help even more children and the elderly in the areas of education, health services and personal development. I couldn’t be prouder to know Eddie and watch the growth of not only his business but also his desire to constantly give back to the community he serves. Watch Eddie talk about the donation on Intero LIVE! here.

And just today, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties released the extraordinary news that Montecito REALTOR®, resident and community champion Cristal Clarke has donated $100,000 to the Santa Barbara chapter of The Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit run by the agents and employees of California Properties. When asked, Cristal said she chose The Charitable Foundation because it provides to local organizations that benefit the health, education, community, and environment of Santa Barbara County. To date, this is the largest donation ever made to The Charitable Foundation. Cristal is the No. 1 individual agent worldwide for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – and No.1 in our hearts. Her generosity is boundless and did not start nor will it end with this amazing gift. She has been an advocate for local small businesses in and around her Montecito community ever since the pandemic began.

The timing of Cristal’s $100,000 donation allows The Charitable Foundation to begin its grant-distribution process during the holiday season. Cristal says it was her way to thank the local business owners and people who make her community shine.

So, what’s the message? True happiness is not something to achieve, it is something to bring out in ourselves and in others. We all have the potential for happiness, for positivity, for gratitude, for a winning mindset. Everything is within us. Fulfilment doesn’t come from more wealth, more talent, more connections – it comes from you. And if we can trust that happiness already exists, it then becomes our duty to share our happiness with others. From small acts of kindness to great acts like Eddie and Cristal exemplified, when we give back, we give happiness and as we enter the start of the holiday season, this altruistic spirit is the very best way to spread joy to one and all.

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