Merle Haggard and Prince

So, do you want to be a vanilla volunteer leader/president and just keep things on an even keel and not rock the boat?

Hey, the market is good and if it ain’t broke why fix it?

We’ve lost 2 great music icons within a week – country legend Merle Haggard and rock/pop/funk/blues artist Prince.

If they would have have played it safe you wouldn’t even recognize their names. But they pushed the envelope and took risks
(and took a beating while they did it ) but they’ll be remembered for generations.

Is there an important issue your board wants to move forward? Is there a legacy member service that needs to be torn apart? Are there elephants in the room that need to be discussed?

Stand out and be brave to make a difference in your volunteer leadership role. Don’t stand for the status quo.

Push the envelope and be an Okie from Muskokee and embrace Purple Rain. How many times in life are we in a leadership role and can make a real difference?

What are they going to do – cut your salary? You’re doing it for free!

Embrace change and be a rebel.


Merle Haggard and Prince

Sorry, your name again?

I’m pretty bad at remembering names. In fact, it’s a running joke here at OREA. It’s not that I don’t try, I just go blank when it comes to names. As leaders and professionals, however, the skill of remembering names is important and worth improving.

In order to get better at remembering names, I looked to the experts. The techniques I found are pretty consistent from expert to expert. I wanted to share the top ones with you here, on the off chance that this is a challenge for you as well.

Care to remember – The most important step is to make a conscious decision to remember names because you care about the people you meet. Remembering names shows people that they matter. This alone can have a huge impact as you put more effort into remembering.

Repeat – Use the person’s name soon after hearing it. “Where do you work, Sean?”, or “What attracted you to this seminar, Joan?”. Don’t over use it, but restating it a few times in the conversation will help to cement it in your memory.

Associate – This is the one technique that I struggle with the most. We’ve all heard people suggest that you associate someone’s name with something else, such as some feature of their face, or something that rhymes with their name. My problem is that I’m focusing on that rather than listening to the person, and I end up making a poor first impression. People who use this technique, however, often say it works very well.

Spell it – If someone has even a slightly unusual name, or one that can be spelled in different ways, ask the person to spell it. You might choose to write it down if appropriate. Spelling a name is another way to cement it into your memory. Of course, getting a business card allows you to make a few notes about the person.

Speak up – Sometimes you might want to just admit you’ve forgotten and ask for the person’s name. It’s really not that big of a deal. People will most likely understand, after all they may have forgotten your name as well! It’s much better to ask someone to repeat their name than it is to risk losing a good connection.

Link – 

Sorry, your name again?

Videos focus on overcoming challenges, meeting goals

All of us encounter difficulties in our daily work and life. If you want to hear how others have met challenges, surmounted obstacles or achieved their goals, check out the Leadership podcasts posted to the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) website.

Leaders in various fields talk about overcoming the difficulties they meet in their paths. Physical hardships, political obstacles, flagging motivation, different work styles — these can all be obstacles to achieving your goals. The OREA Centre for Leadership Development has posted a series of videos, each about five minutes in length, featuring various renowned leaders who have overcome obstacles to attain their goals.

Aside from creating 13 inspiring video interviews, the centre has also posted 26 audio interviews on its podcast. Conflict resolution, managing difficult conversations and handling media interviews are among the topics. Featured speakers include mountaineer Scott Kress, who talks about his journey to the summit of Mount Everest, and Marnie McBean, Canadian rower and three-time Olympic gold medallist.

You too can overcome challenges that stand between you and your goals. Watch, listen and learn about topics such as achieving high performance, procrastination, and handling a media interview in the series of interviews. Visit theLeadership section and scroll down to “Leadership Podcasts.”

This article – 

Videos focus on overcoming challenges, meeting goals

Do we really make a difference?

I was in a beautiful, small Ontario town attending a well organized, volunteer-based community event.

One of our members, who had received some of our volunteer leadership development training, was on the Board of Directors of the local Chamber of Commerce.

That member was no longer a volunteer on the local real estate board but they were contributing to their community and I felt a strong sense of pride about the volunteer training that we had done.

You can call it the multiplier effect or “pay it forward”. OREA’s volunteer training was helping volunteers make an additional contribution to their local community.

In the last 10 years 14,000 members have invested in volunteer training, so just imagine the ripple effect that it’s making on their community contributions.

As I drove away from that small Ontario town I realized the positive impact that real estate volunteers have made all over the province for the betterment of communities and it citizens. And I was proud that OREA was there to help.


Do we really make a difference?

Things to think about in the new year

I once read that there are 3 kinds of people;

1) Those that make things happen

2) Those that watch things happen

3) And…those that say “what just happened”

 Which one are you?

If you are a Realtor and want to choose one of those 3 options, maybe you should consider volunteering on your local board. But why? It’s going to take time, you have other priorities – family, friends, not to mention your business.

Please let me offer 3 good reasons;

1) You will learn what is really happening in the real estate business –trends, new techniques, technology apps, how to stay out of trouble

2) The board will pay for your volunteer leadership training which will also translate to better business practices, more referrals and more business

3) You will have the satisfaction that you made a difference in making your profession better – how often does that happen?

Take a look at the 3 kinds of people again….can you afford Not to volunteer?

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Things to think about in the new year

A wake up call for meeting organizers

There are many times I have heard volunteers say after a meeting, “What a waste of time – we should have been finished an hour ago.” That should be a wake up call to all of us who organize meetings. Even comedian Milton Berle knew how painful meetings could be when he said,“A committee or board is a group of people who take minutes and waste hours.”

I’ve discovered three golden rules for volunteers:

1. give them work

2. never waste their time

3. recognize them.

For EOs and Chairpersons, we need to step up our game and respect our volunteers’ time. I could write a small book on how to improve meetings but here are some tips;

– Never call a meeting for the sake of calling a meeting

– Have a short and concise agenda and stick to it

– Don’t let one or two people dominate the discussion

– Get everyone’s opinion but reduce repetition

– Set a time for the length of the meeting and don’t go over

– If there are only a few items to discuss, try a conference call

Let’s make the volunteer experience productive and satisfying. Now is the time.


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A wake up call for meeting organizers

It’s easy to lead when the going is good

But what about when conflict rears its ugly head and you’re in the hot seat? That’s when leaders rely on their skills and principles to get them through. If you want to improve how you handle discord, you might want to apply the Principles for Leading through Conflict. We use these in our leadership course for presidents-elect, Laying the Groundwork for Success. These principles help anyone manage issues and make difficult decisions while maintaining key relationships.

  1. Recognize you have two concerns: people and issues

Separate the people aspects from the issue. Often when people disagree, things can become personal. People get angry at one another because they see things in different ways. As a leader, you need to manage your own emotions and be clear to others that the goal is to achieve a wise outcome amicably. You need to care about people and the issue.

  1. Be sensitive to people – and hard-headed on issues

Once you have separated the people and the issue, you can deal with people as human beings and deal with the problem on its merits. This double-track approach means you strike two different tones. You can understand empathetically the power of each person’s views and the way they feel, and then convey this to them. And you can establish a tone of seriousness about the issue. As leaders, when we respect the issue and express our interest in a wise solution, we help people re-direct their energies to working together.

  1. Focus first on interests, not solutions

Interests are the motivations and concerns that underlie stated desires. It pays to look behind positions for the interests – the basic concerns. Ask about these directly. Encourage people to stay future-focused as they voice their interests and goals. Looking forward is best; visiting the past is less productive. As well, make sure that you express your own interests or goals.

  1. Generate options

Before any decision is made, explore alternatives. Produce as many ideas as possible to solve the problem at hand and meet everyone’s interests. Joint brainstorming in an informal atmosphere can ensure the interests of those involved are taken into account and everyone learns from each other. The goal is to invent options or arrangements to resolve things.

  1. Develop standards for measuring decisions

Develop objective criteria against which any decision will be measured. With any decision or alternative, there are considerations that will determine whether an idea or alternative is a fair and good one. Someone else may suggest a different standard than we would, so consider each on their merits. The idea is to work with the other person or with the group to develop a checklist that any alternative can be measured against.

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It’s easy to lead when the going is good

Leadership 100 course now mobile compatible

We are delighted to announce that our popular online course On the Path to Leadership: Leadership 100 is now mobile compatible. If you’re on the road and find yourself with an hour or so to spare, you can learn about how associations work and what role you can play.  If you are a real estate association volunteer or are considering volunteering, grab your laptop, tablet or mobile phone and take this popular interactive course. There is no charge to for members to enrol!

If we’ve peaked your curiosity, here is a taste of what you’ll learn:

– Types of non-profit associations
– How associations are governed
– Leadership roles & responsibilities
– Contributing as a committee/task force member
– Responsibilities of the meeting chair
– Attendee meeting responsibilities
– Effective discussion and debate
– Decision making
– Tips for balancing your time
– Benefits of volunteering
– Valuing the volunteer experience
– How to become a volunteer

Be sure to let us know what you think of the course!

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Leadership 100 course now mobile compatible

Oakville summer camp staff recognized for outstanding leadership

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 – for immediate release

Oakville summer camp staff recognized for outstanding leadership

Awards presented in memory of program leader Ray McConnell

The Town of Oakville’s Summer Sizzler day camp leaders, coordinators, staff and volunteers gathered at Town Hall last night to honour 2015 achievements and celebrate the end of another successful summer of programming.

“What an amazing summer! More than 9,000 campers took part in our camps this summer. This wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and enthusiasm of our 160 summer camp leadership staff and volunteers,” said Nina de Vaal, director of Recreation and Culture for the Town of Oakville. “We applaud our staff for encouraging young campers to grow, develop and thrive through play.”

The awards night honoured the memory of Ray McConnell, a former leader in the Oakville Parks and Recreation Summer Activity Centre program from 1979 to 1981. McConnell tragically lost his life on September 1, 1982 in a motorcycle accident involving an impaired driver. He is remembered for his outstanding leadership and dedication to the town’s summer programs for children.

The Ray McConnell Memorial Leadership Award, presented by the McConnell family, is given to the summer camp staff member who best exemplifies leadership and contributes greatly to the Oakville community. Awards are also given for Rookie of the Year, HIGH FIVE® Champion, Extra Mile Club, 5-year Service and 10-year Service – awarded to staff members who have shown a commitment to adhering to the principles of the HIGH FIVE® program, and dedication to recreation services.

The 2015 Summer Camp Leadership Award recipients are:

Ray McConnell Memorial Leadership Award Winner: Lisa Robbins
Rookie of the Year Award: Adam Quesnel
HIGH FIVE Champion Award winners: Caroline Stricelj, Lauren Rzebecki, Megan D’Andreis, Patrick Gamble, D’Arcy Murphy
Extra Mile Club Award Winners: Liam Levasseur, Hilary Wilush, Sarah Scott, Sophie Nairn, Adrienne Henry, Nick Sernick, Andrea Joyce, Jenn Newman, Krista Madill
Five-year Service Award Winners: Daniel Cursio, Melissa Skippen, Andree Hauschild, Nicole Wirkowski

The Town of Oakville’s summer camps are geared toward children aged four to 12 and are accredited by the provincial HIGH FIVE® program. HIGH FIVE® supports the well-being of children and encourages healthy development in sport and recreational programs. Oakville’s day camps were the first in the Region of Halton to be accredited by the HIGH FIVE® program.

For more information on Oakville camps visit the summer camps page.

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Oakville summer camp staff recognized for outstanding leadership

Visualize your message for more impact

Why say it when you can show it? That question was the driver behind our recent leap into the infographic world here at the OREA Centre for Leadership Development (OCLD). Now instead of explaining the OCLD learning path for volunteer leaders, we’re showing it.

More and more you’ll see organizations use graphics to illustrate messages, especially to communicate research and data. We decided to illustrate the courses and support offered by OCLD as a journey, impacting the learning of volunteer leaders as they progress in their leadership role. Feedback has been great and we think this visual does a much better job of explaining the path than our word-centred matrix ever did.

Although we had support in designing this new tool, there are many free online authoring tools you can use to create infographics. Kay Tan does a good job of reviewing some of the most popular tools available in 20+ Tools to Create Your Own Infographics.

Whether you create these in-house or use an online authoring tool, infographics are a great way to grab attention and communicate your message.

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Visualize your message for more impact