Thank you for stepping up to leadership!
Stepping up. To rise to the challenge. To answer the call. To be there when they need you.
I have had the good fortune in my life to be president or chairman of many organizations. From 9th-grade student body president to my fraternity president, to my local and state Realtor Association president to Chairman of the Polk County Board of County Commissioners and various committees throughout my adult life. I always felt like it was an honor that my peers put their faith in me to lead. I am proud that I put myself in a position to step up into the positions I just mentioned.
Stepping up can mean many things to many people. It’s a calling usually. When the call comes, are you ready to step up? If you are, you need to step up. If smart, grounded people think it is your turn to step up and lead, you need to give great weight to their opinion. Because it is the responsibility for current leaders to replace themselves in their organizations at some point. You may term out, get promoted, retire or decide on a change in your life’s direction, but you will need to be replaced at some time.
In any business or organization, you as the leader need to be identifying your future leaders who have or will soon have the ability to be your successor. Sometimes these men and women have to be groomed, trained and coached. Sometimes they come by it naturally. But it’s your responsibility to help identify who those individuals are and prepare them for their leadership responsibilities in their future.
Not everyone is called, but if called, you need to try to say ‘yes’. When I was new to the Florida Association of Realtors organization, I was young and inexperienced but I liked the organization and wanted to be a part of its leadership. I volunteered to be on committees to make sure leadership knew who I was. I introduced myself to my mentor, a gentleman named RJ Collins. We hit it off and as he advanced through leadership at FAR to become its President, he made sure I got better committee appointments and chairmanships.
Through hard work, dedication and commitment to my responsibilities, I was elected to be the Treasurer of the Florida Association of Realtors in 1998, and in 2000 I became its President, the youngest elected president of our statewide professional association. And to this day, I am still the youngest to have served in that capacity.
If you are young and new to an organization or business, position yourself to be a leader, through volunteerism, deeds, and actions. Show up early and stay late. You may be asked to perform duties that you feel you were not trained for or have the skill set to perform those duties. If a superior asks you, more than likely they have seen something in you that leads them to believe you will rise to the occasion and perform well with their requests. Seize the opportunity by stepping up and never look back.