Just over a month ago, when NAR revealed the new logo and social media exploded with criticism. I had a conversation via text with one of my mentors about the events that were transpiring. I observed that the next month would be an interesting case study in leadership. How would NAR’s volunteer and staff leaders handle the reaction in the lead up to this week’s Board of Directors meeting?
It’s my opinion that leadership absolutely “owned it” over the last five weeks, and judging from the standing ovation that greeted President Elizabeth Mendenhall when she took the stage at NAR 360, a lot of people agreed with me.
Yesterday’s NAR 360 was one of the most powerful sessions I have ever attended. The session started with screenshots of criticism leveled on social media against NAR. Next, Elizabeth took the stage and stated that it’s really easy to avoid criticism, “Just don’t say anything, do anything, or be anything.”
But that is not what our industry needs.
The next segment of the session was a dramatic presentation about the history of the Fair Housing Act. It addressed portions of NAR’s history that might be more comfortable to sweep under the rug, such as blatantly discriminatory language in an earlier version of the Code of Ethics and NAR’s opposition to the Fair Housing Act.
Avoiding difficult topics, however, is not what our industry needs.
These two sessions took up the majority of the program. Although very different in time period and scope, both brought front and center the need to deal with challenges, apologize for past mistakes, and not shy away from criticism. Doing nothing is not acceptable – we need to push forward to improve our association and our industry. Mistakes might be made along the way, and when that happens we have a conversation, we deal with it, and we keep moving forward.
That’s what our industry needs.