THOUGHTS ON LEADERSHIP: THE IMPORTANCE OF PREPARATION

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels first found me in Minneapolis for a HomeServices of America leadership conference. I spoke to the group about leadership and the West Coast Offense for running a real estate brokerage, and it was inspiring to spend some time with our organization’s current and future leaders. Next, I flew to Nashville for a creative review that will help us prepare for our Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 2020 Sales Convention and as I write this, I’m preparing for a HomeServices of America board meeting on Monday, where we’ll present the budget in preparation for the year ahead.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Catching Success

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me first in San Diego for Buffini & Company’s MasterMind Summit and then back to the Bay Area for Dwight Clark Day during the San Francisco 49ers open training camp. This afternoon, I spent the day with Intero Real Estate Services managers, ironically sharing the West Coast Offense on how to run a real estate company with them.

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Thoughts on Leadership: The Loyalty of Leaders

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me first in Northern California, although I write this now as I attempt to pack for an eight-day trip on the road. Anyway, it’s been a busy week, and especially a busy Wednesday that was packed with meeting unforgettable leaders and remembering them, too.

Let me describe for you my day and how on each of three stops I made yesterday I kept encountering the same theme: loyalty.

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Thoughts on Leadership: A Tribute to My Pal Dwight Clark

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me on Monday in Northern California, on Tuesday through Thursday at noon in Minneapolis and now, as I write this on Thursday afternoon, in New York City. But let’s get back to Monday when, ironically I was in my beach house, the Capitola home once belonging to my partner and great pal, Dwight “The Catch” Clark. It was there I received the tragic news from Dwight’s wife, Kelly, that he lost his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and had passed on.

While in Minneapolis for the HomeServices of America, Inc. CEO meeting, I was greeted with hugs from colleagues and endless condolences from those who knew of my close friendship with Dwight, including many who had met him at our Sales Conventions in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

To say Dwight inspired me almost doesn’t do the word justice. He helped me understand the kind of selfless, determined and generous human being every great leader should be. I was lucky enough to witness his incredible charity work with the Intero Foundation and the Sunshine Kids, and well before that to be a San Francisco 49ers fan in the 1980s and watch Dwight play for my favorite team.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Giving Thanks to Dwight “The Catch” Clark

By Gino Blefari

“[Quarterback Joe] Montana … Looking … Looking … Throwing into the end zone … Clark caught it! … It’s a madhouse at Candlestick …”

This week my travels find me in Northern California, working and preparing to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. I’m feeling particularly grateful this year not only for my wonderful family but also for the friends who enrich my life in ways inextricable, intangible and extraordinary.

Leaders, as you know, are not born, they’re made, and the fabric of leaders is sewn from all the intelligent, inspiring people around them. One leader I’m thankful to call my close friend is Dwight “The Catch” Clark,” once an obscure, 10th-round draft pick in the 1979 NFL draft—the 249th player chosen—who went on to become Sports Illustrated’s NFL Player of the Year in 1982.  

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Thoughts on Leadership: Are You Prepared?

This week my travels found me first in Pinehurst, NC on the very golf course which, since 1898 has been the playing ground for golf championships as well as champions of the sport like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Payne Stewart. I was at the historic Carolina Hotel in Pinehurst for the GearUp 2017 awards ceremony hosted by the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty family of brokerages, led by president and CEO Tommy Camp, with Maureen Sammon, president and CEO of HomeServices Lending in attendance. The event was filled with hundreds of passionate agents, all gearing up for a successful year ahead.

Next, I flew to Dallas to rehearse with my team for our upcoming Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Convention in Phoenix. It always strikes me as interesting how right around this time each year, as I prepare to address thousands of our network members from our general session stage, I receive several messages wishing me good luck at the convention. I always appreciate the support and the phrase is a fascinating one to analyze in the context of effective leadership.

What does “good luck” mean anyway?

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Thursday Thoughts on Leadership: Winning is A Habit

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me first in Irvine for a meeting with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties CEO Mary Lee Blaylock and the California Properties team then off to Dallas to meet with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty Texas agent Russell Rhodes, leader of the Russell Rhodes team, PenFed Realty Texas Broker/president Rick Wylie and the entire PenFed Realty Texas team. After that I flew to Detroit and spoke with agents, managers and leadership at Real Living Kee Realty. For each meeting, I delivered several principles for success, specific ideas to follow in order to win.

It’s no surprise winning is on my mind because I just received a text from my good friend and former All-Pro wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers as well as five-time Super Bowl champion, Dwight “The Catch” Clark, who’s on his way to Houston for Super Bowl Media Week appearances. Each summer, as soon as pre-season begins, teams have one Wildly Important Goal (WIG) in mind: Make it to the Super Bowl and then, win the Vince Lombardi Trophy. This trophy—a football resting atop a pedestal that measures 22 inches and 7 pounds of sterling silver glory—is only given to the team that has proven to be the very best in the world.  

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Thoughts on Leadership: Be Thankful

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me in Northern California where on Monday afternoon I had the opportunity to have lunch with my good friend, Dwight Clark, former All-Pro wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers and five-time Super Bowl champion. We were joined by another friend of mine, best-selling author Carmine Gallo, who wrote some of my all-time favorite business books, including: Talk Like Ted, The Storyteller’s Secret and The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. Together, we spoke about the challenges and rewards of business, sports and life in general.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Eddie DeBartolo Jr. Built an Empire in San Francisco by Placing People First

Pictured above: Eddie DeBartolo Jr. (center) shares a laugh with Joe Montana (left) and Carmen Policy.

By Gino Blefari

My travels last weekend brought me to San Diego for Buffini & Company’s MasterMind Summit, a powerful event focusing on personal growth and inspiration. I have to admit I was already inspired for this event after watching Eddie DeBartolo Jr.’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.

While most Hall of Fame members are players and coaches, DeBartolo was inducted as a franchise owner, which says a lot. His leadership and management beliefs helped shape the way I operate in business and serve as an ideal game plan for motivation, human decency and organizational success.

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Talking Inspiration with Dwight Clark: Preparation and Opportunity

A word from Gino Blefari, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices …

This post is the first in our new “Talking Inspiration” blog series by Dwight Clark, former All-Pro wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers. I was lucky enough to be a 49ers fan in the 1980s and watched my pal Dwight play for my favorite team. Dwight is a five-time Super Bowl champion—two as a player and three in management—but who knows if his great run would’ve ever happened if it wasn’t for that incredible Sunday in January of 1982 … that’s when “Too Tall” Jones and what seemed like the entire Dallas Cowboys defense was chasing quarterback Joe Montana and Dwight was trying to lose Cowboys’ defensive back Everson Walls running across the back of Candlestick Park’s end zone. What happened next has been since memorialized in sports history books forevermore: Dwight caught the winning touchdown pass thrown by Montana and the 49ers won the NFC Championship Game that year. Today, “The Catch” is known as the #7 most memorable play in the NFL and #1 for the 49ers. Dwight’s “Talking Inspiration” posts will provide ongoing perspectives about tackling challenges—in sports, business and life—and I hope you enjoy these pieces of wisdom from a great man, a true football legend and my friend. – Gino 

By Dwight Clark

When I reflect on my career playing with the San Francisco 49ers, one word comes to mind: fortunate. And fortune, as I define it, is the place where preparation meets opportunity. If you think about your life’s most extraordinary featswhether it’s winning Super Bowls or winning business—yes, there’s always some measure of luck involved but there’s also a whole lot of training, planning and hard work that has to happen long before luck arrives. Then, if you’re fully prepared at the exact moment luck finally does ring, you can pick up the phone and answer its call.

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