By Carol Hartzog, For the OSHBA
Lt. Col Steve Russell (Ret.) and his leadership principles inspired local home builders' association presidents in attendance at the summer convention in Branson. The impact of the military team's capture of Saddam Hussein was icing on the cake.
Views were unanimous the lieutenant colonel was the at Chateau on the Lake near Branson.
We asked the local association leadership in attendance what they'll take back to their members.
Six presidents of the local associations attended, from the very largest of Oklahoma City to the smallest of Sequoyah County.
"Russell inspired me to be proud that I'm an American and have the privilege of being a builder in a free country," said Kurt Dinnes, president of Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association.
"Because of what his team has done enables us to be able to do business in a free enterprise system."
David Caddell of Builders Association of South Central Oklahoma found Russell's leadership tips inspiring.
"I was impressed with the leadership skills session, particularly the never quit' philosophy," said Caddell. He'll take that philosophy home -- keep working on leadership growth in the association and keep pursuing new members.
Kent Bradley of Stillwater Home Builders Associationrelished the opportunity to get together with builders from all over the state and learn of their successes during the year. Bradley also enjoyed Lt. Col. Russell's "fresh perspective on leadership that
transforms the real world. It takes one person to start something and usually the rest will follow."
Richard Hand of Shawnee Home Builders Association learned the importance of being persistent and tenacious as a leader, which he'll take back to his local membership.
The primary point I took away is the importance of having a website, particularly because of the statistic thrown out by
speaker Mike Lyon: 65 percent of people will look to the Internet to find a house.
"So get a website. That's critical." said David Callant of Enid Home Builders Association. "Also, networking is important. We need to know what's going on outside our neighborhood. "
Dusty Riggs represented the smallest association of Sequoyah County Home Builders Association, made up of four home
builders and four associate members. He was astounded at how little he knew about the whole association program. His association is only a couple of years old, but he was "blown away that the leadership knows what they were doing, and doing it very well.
"There's a lot more to being president than just the local stuff," Riggs said. "This renews my sense of urgency to reinvigorate our association to grow." Right now, the group
sits around in a burger hut and complains about how they need more business, he said. "We need to improve on that."
The state leadership reported the response was generally positive concerning the convention venue, far superior over Big Cedar in previous years, they said, for half the cost. Many enjoyed the Chateau on the Lake facility, especially how conveniently located the meeting venues were to the rooms. A new push for this coming year will be for associates to join in larger numbers.
Speaker Mike Lyon's talk on technology and marketing -- "Converting Browsers to Buyers" -- was considered outstanding by the group. There will be more fine-tuning in educational venues to cover more technical aspects of building, leadership urged. If you have ideas for future summer convention topics, let the leadership know.
Thank you again for CFR Risk Management and Insurance Services (http://www.cfr-ins.com/) for
sponsoring Lt. Col Steve Russell as the Friday lunch speaker and for the followup Q&A.