The NAR Leadership Academy identifies, inspires and mentors emerging leaders from the local and state level. Leadership Academy participants will have the opportunity to develop, enhance, and hone their leadership skills and competencies. The program will allow future leaders to experience multiple facets of leadership and define their leadership style along the way. Leadership Academy participants will also learn the history, structure, and inner-workings of NAR leadership.
In August 2019, we announced the first OKCMAR member to be accepted into the prestigious NAR Leadership Academy. On Monday, November 2nd Becky Karpe graduated from the program during the 2020 REALTORS® Conference & Expo! She shared her NARLA experience with us!
Being chosen to participate in NAR’s 2020 Leadership Academy is one of my proudest personal and professional accomplishments. Hundreds of REALTOR® association volunteer leaders from around all of North America apply for a position in this prestigious program but only 18 are selected.
Like so many other 2020 experiences, NARLA changed dramatically in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our group met in person once in January, but after that we were completely virtual. At first, we struggled with our fears about what the rest of the program would look like for us. Would we ever get to meet in person again? Would the program be cancelled? How would we present Capstone projects virtually? What about all of the FUN we anticipated having together, especially after our first meeting in D.C.?
NAR’s visionary leadership team and their amazing staff put a PIVOT plan in place without missing a beat. Our virtual sessions became even more interactive and enriching. We were able to interact with more members of NAR’s leadership on a much more direct level. Our class’s personal relationships strengthened through online “happy hours”, small group Zoom meetings and a messenger thread that stays active every single day. Our mailboxes delivered surprise packages and notes from NAR and our fellow classmates on a regular basis. Strangely enough, I feel like the global pandemic actually ENRICHED the NARLA adventure for all of us.
The knowledge and insight that I gained from the NARLA program is vast but I want to share the one nugget that left the greatest impact on me. During a Zoom call with NAR President Vince Malta, he said quite succinctly “During times of crisis, good leaders should do two things: stay calm and tell the truth.” Maybe it was just the right message at the right time, but this simple statement resonated with me. Many times this year, I have mentally referred back to this quick comment as it is relevant to so many of my roles – wife, mother, REALTOR®, volunteer leader. Undoubtedly, these words will stay with me for the rest of my life.
While I am a bit sad that graduation means that the program is coming to an end, I am incredibly thankful for the entire NARLA experience. It was nothing like what I expected yet so much more than I could have ever imagined.