Thoughts on Leadership: Management & Mentors

By: Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me at home, starting Monday with my typical WIG calls. From Tuesday through Thursday, among other things, I conducted 14 CEO and company Q2 reviews, which I’m in the middle of completing as I write this post to you today.

The last three blog posts have been about my mentors (read the Zig Ziglar post here, the Og Mandino post here and the Jim Rohn post here), as well as the leaders who have inspired me throughout my career and had a profound impact on my life. In this post, I’m going to talk to you about an incredible leader who also had a profound impact on my life and career, and that person is Alain Pinel.

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Thoughts on Leadership: The Meaning of Mentors

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me at home, starting the day with my typical Monday WIG calls. On Tuesday, I had my call with Berkshire Hathaway Energy, the HSF Affiliates Townhall (virtual) and a “Go Live” with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices President Martha Mosier and her team where I presented time management. On Wednesday, today and tomorrow, I’ll cover seven Q2 company reviews.

These past few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about mentors. I explained the impact of Jim Rohn in this post, Og Mandino in this post and for today’s Thoughts on Leadership discussion, I want to focus on Zig Ziglar and his mentor, PC Merrell.

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THE INFLUENCE OF MENTORS

By Gino Blefari:

This week my travels find me at home, starting Monday off with my typical WIG calls. On Tuesday, I presented Time Management during Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty’s companywide meeting and today I’m attending a top producer’s event at Intero Real Estate Services.

If you read my Thoughts on Leadership post last week, I referenced one of my mentors, Jim Rohn, and even posted a photo from us in the ‘90s. (I guess funky sweaters were in back then?) Anyway, sharing that story made me think back to when I first met Jim at the very beginning of my real estate career.

When I started in the real estate business, I was working at a company called Fox & Carskadon, a prestigious firm in the San Francisco Bay area. At the Sunnyvale office, I was fortunate enough to end up sitting behind an agent by the name of Mike Ray and to this day, I consider him the best real estate agent I have ever been associated with. Why? He was so, so, so knowledgeable about everything related to real estate and the market. Back then people didn’t have assistants, and even without help, Mike would list more than 50 homes per year, which was a lot for that time. He was just that good. Without the benefits and efficiencies of technology, without social media, without anything but his skills and service, he listed that many homes a year.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Leadership Lessons from Paul Blefari

By Gino Blefari:

This week my travels found me first in Capitola, celebrating the three-day weekend at my beach house. On Tuesday, I participated in the weekly Berkshire Hathaway Energy call and spent Wednesday (and the rest of the week) planning for next week’s CEO leadership meeting and other upcoming presentations.

Often in these posts, I’ll highlight leadership lessons from something I’ve read or listened to, but today is a very special Thoughts on Leadership because it’s all about lessons learned from my dad, Paul Blefari.

Today, July 8, my dad turns 96 years young, and for my entire life, he has been a constant source of inspiration on my leadership journey.

Whenever I’m asked the question, “Who had the biggest impact on you growing up?” I always say my mom and dad. To this day, I make time in my schedule each week for my parents. On Sunday, we get in my car and drive for three hours (we call it the “three hour tour.”). We never have a plan; we just drive. Sometimes we cruise to the San Jose foothills or drive through Los Altos Hills or to my house in Capitola. Sometimes we go to San Francisco or Morgan Hill to have coffee with my friend Ben Bruno. Ben brings out coffee and biscotti and we eat right there in the car. My parents are in a hurry for most of the week, and the only place they really hurry to is the doctor’s office. Sunday is our time to have no agenda except to drive.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Leadership Lessons from Hawaii

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Wailea, Maui, recharging with my family – that is, until I wasn’t.

“Let me know how I can help. Ginger chews? Gatorade? I have some ginger chews already and will send ginger ale. Our Chef is also putting together some assorted teas. Wishing you all the best and let me know how I can assist in any way.”

It was a text from an unlikely source, though not as unlikely as you’d imagine.

Well, I’ll back up a bit and tell the full story.

On Tuesday, I was walking around the beautiful grounds of the Wailea Beach Resort. If you’re ever in Maui, it’s the place to be, with 22 meticulously landscaped acres. (The former golf course superintendent in me appreciates the care taken to preserve the property.) It’s located on a perfect stretch of beach in Wailea and the staff provides impeccable service.

I also had the opportunity this week to meet Samuel Spurrier, director of group sales at the resort, who ate breakfast with my wife and I, and gave us a tour … but more about breakfast later.

Anyway, I’m strolling through the resort when I started having excruciating pain on my left side. Who do I call? Samuel. I asked him where the urgent care and hospital were located and he immediately provided me with the information.

At the hospital, nurses drew blood, doctors conducted tests and it turns out the best of the worst possible scenario had happened: I passed a kidney stone. As I write this post, I feel completely fine.

Anyway, the text above was from Samuel, who had ginger chews for nausea and tea waiting in my room. He also checked up on me during the day – if that’s not convenience, service and value, I’m not sure what is.

During that earlier breakfast with Samuel. Angela Vento, general manager at the resort, stopped in and had a cup of coffee with us. After she left, I told Samuel how impressed I was with her, and he proceeded to share her story with me.

Angela is one of the few female GMs at a major resort in Maui. As a female GM, she was deeply influenced by Queen Kapi’olani, who was one of Hawaii’s last reigning and beloved queens, known for her deep commitment to philanthropy, health and education for the Hawaiian people. In 1890, Queen Kapi’olani founded the Kapi’olani Maternity Home.

Queen Kapi’olani lived by the Hawaiian proverb, Kulia I Ka Nu’u, which was defined in a book Angela read called “Managing with Aloha” by Rosa Say:

Kūlia i ka nu‘u is the value of accomplishment and achievement. The literal translation for Kūlia i ka nu‘u is “strive to reach the summit.” Those who have this value continually pursue improvement and personal excellence. For them, the most satisfying competition is with their previous selves: They consider their life and everything within it to be a work in progress, and they enjoy the effort. ‘Hard work’ is good work when it employs the energies of striving and reaching higher.

This motto and the idea of being a constant work in progress guides Angela’s leadership style and motivates her to seek excellence in all that she does. It is also the foundation of the resort culture, which is about upholding superior service to associates and guests.

As service-oriented leaders, Angela and Samuel live and demonstrate this most important leadership value in every aspect of their roles. I witnessed first-hand the extraordinary service provided by the Wailea Beach Resort team, and it left a lasting impression on my time spent in Maui.

Sometimes, the leadership lessons for these blog posts are found in books, articles or podcasts. Sometimes, the lessons find me. This was one of those times.

So, what’s the message? Leadership lessons can come from anywhere, even a beach resort in Maui where a brief stint in the hospital is followed by the best hospitality you’ve ever seen. Leadership is about service, perpetual improvement and being open to new ideas, and when one arrives for coffee, listening to exactly what she has to say.

THOUGHTS ON LEADERSHIP: LEARNING FROM THE MASTERS

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me at home, starting Monday with my typical Monday WIG calls. On Wednesday and Thursday, I participated in the HomeServices of America Belonging Summit, led by Teresa Palacios Smith, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, HomeServices of America.

To recharge after a busy but fulfilling week, I plan this weekend to watch the last two rounds of the Masters, which takes place at Augusta National Golf Course.

I’ve written before about the Masters, and if you’re a longtime reader of this blog, you’ll know I often draw references between sports and leadership. Golf, to me, is so much like leadership because for the most part, it’s a solitary sport – the work you put in shows in your results, just like it does when you lead a team. Here are a few more lessons we can learn from the Masters:

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Thoughts on Leadership: Lessons from MLK

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me at home, but actually going into the Cupertino, California office of Intero to safely host the virtual HomeServices of America CEO Leadership Teleconference. The conference covered topics ranging from productivity to positive culture, Diversity & Inclusion and best practices for remote leadership.

And speaking of leadership, earlier this week, we celebrated and commemorated the life of an incredible leader – Martin Luther King Jr. He was truly an extraordinary leader whose words and example continue to inspire us to eliminate racial injustice. For inspiration this week, there are a few key leadership lessons from Martin Luther King Jr.:

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Thoughts on Leadership: Total Responsibility

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me starting the week with my typical Monday WIG calls and on Tuesday, attending the Berkshire Hathaway Energy Team Meeting. The rest of the week, I’m preparing for our HomeServices of America CEO Leadership Conference, coming up soon.

This Monday night, I watched the Alabama game, as the incredible college football team won the national championship against Ohio State, 52-24. Watching that game, I couldn’t help but think about two great leaders, two great friends and two great franchisees—Dewey Mitchell and Allen Crumbley, broker/owners of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group, who both played football under the leadership of legendary Alabama coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant. (Allen is pictured with Coach Bear Bryant in the photo.) One of my favorite quotes, spoken by their former coach Bear Bryant, is this: “If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes well, then you did it. That’s all it takes to get people to win football games for you.”

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THOUGHTS ON LEADERSHIP: A IS FOR ACCOUNTABILITY

Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me at home, starting the week on Monday with my normal WIG calls then the weekly Berkshire Hathaway Energy Presidents Meeting. On Tuesday, I delivered two 4DX Tune-up presentations to the leadership team at HomeServices of Nebraska and the leadership team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. On Wednesday, I participated in the HomeServices of America Corporate Team Gathering and today, I again presented 4DX Tune-up to the leadership team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS®, followed by the leadership team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties and the leadership team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties.

While I touched on the topic within my ABCs in last week’s blog post, I thought I’d go deeper this week into one letter: A, which we can associate with accountability. Here’s how accountability was defined as the “A” in our leadership ABCs:

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DON’T RETIRE FROM BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES

by Allan Dalton, SVP of Research and Development for HSF Affiliates LLC

Should you be a real estate professional in your 50s or 60s who has invested numerous years, if not decades of hard work, provided exemplary service and acquired an enviable reputation for results and client satisfaction, I have a timely message for you!

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