You read this title, you follow my Facebook page and you presume that I am about to go on some diatribe about dressing as a clown and as a banana and dancing on the side of the road to capture attention. Nope. I am okay with doing those things. Actually did them willingly. (I like my job enough to pull out all the stops).
No, what I am referring to is being asked to serve on the Board of Directors of the local Apartment Association. Not just as a member, but as an officer. And not just any officer, but the President Elect. Yes, huge-huge opportunity. Big deal. Yes, I get all of that. And I am proud. But OMG if I think about it too much I feel as though I may vomit in my mouth just out of pure and utter fear.
And it’s not fear of not being able to do it. I have confidence in my abilities. It’s not the fear of the unknown. I’ve overcome that annoying human trait for the most part. You want to know what it is??
It’s the requirement to prove myself. I am new in this region. My friends, co-workers and associates in the Triad know who I am, know how dedicated and passionate I am and know that in most instances, I am going to accomplish the task at hand. No one in the River Region really KNOWS that about me. The proof is in the pudding, right? Well, I haven’t had that opportunity to provide them that proof.
And you’re probably wondering why I was asked at all then. Fair question, actually. A lot of the existing Board members had already served, a preference for an associate vs a vendor, ability to have the time to serve, and an overall passion for our industry.
I realize that in all things in life, the starting point is typically where you prove yourself. We do it with our career/jobs, we do it in relationships/friendships, we even do it with prospects/residents. So obviously I have had to prove myself before. I am not certain why this particular avenue is intimidating me, but it is. I think because I know that in the back of some, if not all, of their minds, they are questioning the decision at all.
There was a potential opportunity on the day officers and new board members were elected for me to stand up and give some speech and explanation as to the decision and why I felt I was qualified but, that opportunity did not present itself. Then it was mentioned that maybe I could stand up at the following meeting and do this. The opportunity for that is slim based on the already existing agenda.
So here’s the deal…..I will write about it. And if by happenstance someone reads it that questions it all (and rightfully so) then I’ll be in luck because maybe that person will share it with someone else and so on and so forth.
Here’s what I would say if I was in front of you this moment having to answer your question:
I will never say I was the only option or the best option. But I was an option. And I’m proud of the fact that I was even considered an option but beyond honored that I was asked to partake in this opportunity. While I realize that you all are questioning the basis of this decision, I want you to know that I respect you questioning it. Even I questioned it when it was presented to me. I have not been in the River Region for a year, I haven’t served on the Board for any notable length of time, and none of you know me, my reputation or my work ethic. So I’m presented with a requirement to prove myself. I feel as though I may have to work harder to accomplish that. And I am okay with that.
I don’t want to sing my accolades but I do want an opportunity to put myself and my work history in front of you. A spoken form of my resume per se. I have been in property management for almost 11 years (since I was 21). I fell in love with it immediately. Much like a majority of you, I started out as a leasing consultant and worked my way up based on skills and abilities but also passion for what we do on a daily basis. And that passion has not wavered in the least in all my years of doing this. I love what we do, every facet of what we do. The teamwork, the community, the prospects/resident/vendors but the purpose of WHY WE EXIST! To provide someone with their HOME! Not a roof over their head, not four walls surrounding them, but their HOME. Their solitude and their peace of mind.
Above and beyond that specific passion, a few years back I realized that my individual need to volunteer and give back to the community and change the world (one of my many favorite quotes is “Be the change you want to see in the world.” –Ghandi) could really be exponential because we oversee communities as small as fifty units up to thousands of units (regionals/corporations/presidents/CEOs) wherein we are given the ability to INFLUENCE AND EMPOWER these people to be a change – we can be advocates for a cause we are passionate about and we can be an influence for those surrounding us always – but even our residents – our prospects – our vendors. That ability to change the world, just was elevated to a broader scope of influence!
With both of those passions being intertwined and explained, the ability to serve on the Board of the Apartment Association and to be asked to be an officer no less is an honor because I want to take both of those passions and put them to play and make a difference and even pass those passions along. To grow our apartment association by example. Bleeding that passion over into others. When once when you have been around another individual full of passion and zest for something have you thought, “Ugh, I don’t want to be like that, I don’t want to be a part of that, keep all that far away from me!”? Never. I want to be one of the many causes that others in this region want to be an active part of our association and an active part of our community and to LEARN and GROW and EMPOWER themsevles!
So for me, I don’t want anyone thinking that I am doing this in order to sing accolades about myself, to wear a title or to make my resume better than the next person’s. It’s none of those things. It’s an opportunity for me to grow and learn from other industry professionals because that is all I ever want to be doing. It’s an opportunity for me to have another larger scale of opportunity to change the world. Because really, that’s all I ever want to do, even if my world is just the River Region.
That is what I would say. That is what I feel. That’s just it. I don’t know that it’s enough to make a difference, because it’s not proof. But it is an explanation as to maybe the “Why??” and I hope a little relief for the unknown about me.