Gail Fattizzi, HGAR 2020 President

In challenging times, leaders quickly stand out. They may not look to draw attention to themselves, but they quietly inspire, calm, inform, empathize and support others. The real estate industry is filled with entrepreneurs, many of whom are leaders of a company, a team, or of their own business. As John Quincy Adams is quoted to have said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” I’m guessing that describes many of our HGAR members.

In 2018, I was honored to accept the nomination to the position of HGAR President-Elect for 2019 and by virtue of that, knew that I would be the 2020 President. At that time, no one, except maybe Bill Gates (see his 2015 TED talk!) had any inkling that this year would see a global pandemic shut down of every city and country across the globe.

I came into this year with high hopes for “success.” I spent 2019 observing, learning and getting even more involved in the organization as I prepared for 2020. Completion of a new strategic plan in 2019 inspired ideas for things I felt should be accomplished this year, and I couldn’t wait to get started, with the support and collaboration of our entire leadership team.

While some of our plans have been derailed, if only for the moment, others are being executed in new and inventive ways. One of the projects most near and dear to my heart is coming to fruition despite the challenges. Actually, it’s even more important right now because of the challenges. That project is our brand-new Leadership Accelerator program.

Here’s my story: I have volunteered in numerous roles at HGAR over the past 20 or so years, including serving as Education Council Chair, Communications Council Chair, Regional VP, Secretary/Treasurer and plenty of committee work. I have also been a NYSAR Director for many years, and a NAR Director. I say this not to brag but to provide perspective. I would estimate that it took me the better part of 10 years of involvement to fully understand what all the opportunities are, who does what, how all the committees/councils/volunteers/staff members interconnect and work together, and what role NYSAR and NAR play in our industry locally.

Ten years is too long a time to wait for new leadership to get up to speed and move our organization forward at the speed things move and change these days! We need to find and develop those leaders now, those individuals who will bring an infusion of new ideas, forward-thinking strategies and strong stewardship for the future.

My personal belief is that leadership qualities are innate. I don’t think leaders can be “created,” and not everyone is meant to or wants to lead. But I do think that leadership skills can be identified, cultivated, channeled and given the right platform to shine. That is the goal of our Leadership Accelerator program.

We want to encourage and facilitate a faster track to leadership positions within our organization. As a graduate in 2005 of a program called “Leadership Westchester” (which still thrives today), I can personally say that leadership programs are a lifelong learning process, and transcend every area of life regardless of the specific focus at the time.

To identify the inaugural class of HGAR’s Leadership Accelerator program, we scheduled an introduction session on Thursday, April 16th at 10 a.m. This will be a Zoom meeting and, if you missed it, we will be sharing the recording afterwards so you can hear all the details and determine whether you should be a candidate.

Applications for the program will be due by May 1st and the program will run from September 2020 –June 2021. If you think you have a strong foundation of leadership skills, we encourage you to learn more. It’s a big step. I can speak from experience in telling you that it’s one you will not regret. The rewards, the experiences, and the people you will meet along the way will be amazing.

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