July, 2018
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Yes...You Are a Leader


When I joined ASHI in November 2002, I never expected to be its President 16 years later. So, what happened? Some folks took an interest in me (as well as in others) and, consequently, I got active in the Ohio Chapter of ASHI. From there, it was on to the national board, serving as Treasurer for two years and now as President. Again, I was encouraged by my colleagues to take on these roles. I’ve received more from ASHI than I can ever give back—especially the many friends I have made along the way.

So, if someone or some people believe that you have leadership abilities, do not discount them. Who knows? Someday you, too, may become President of ASHI.

People tend to volunteer for a nonprofit organization for one of two reasons: to fulfill a personal agenda for personal gain, or to give back and create relationships. In either case, volunteers are leaders and how you lead is a direct reflection of your character, integrity and honesty.

With so many members (ASHI has more than 8,500 members), why do organizations sometimes have difficulty getting people to volunteer? In my opinion, there are four reasons: time, money, fear and rejection. 

Someone once asked me,

“How will you know if your presidency is a success?” My reply was this: “If I am thrown under the bus at least 200 to 300 times, my year has been successful.”

Leadership is not for the faint of heart or for those who focus on money, time and selfish ambition. Leadership is for those who want to “give back,” to work hard to make sure every member has support to have a successful business, and to create friendships and long-term relationships with colleagues.

Leadership is about improving anything—your business, your family and even ASHI—so that it’s better when you leave it than when you started being involved with it.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power."
— Abraham Lincoln

Many people say, “I’m not a leader,” which is totally false, according to a legendary NFL coach, who said the following:

“Leaders are made, they are not born. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.”
— Vince Lombardi

It might surprise you to hear that you may very well have “hidden” leadership qualities that can help not only your business and your family, but also ASHI. Leaders are taught through education and experience—both provide opportunities to build important skill sets.

In my opinion, if a leader is truthful, transparent and always tries to do what is right, he or she will be just fine, despite what others may say or think. Right always prevails.

“Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
— Mark Twain

Q: Where can you begin to find your hidden leadership skills?

A: At ASHI’s October Leadership Development Conference (LDC) in Chicago!

For this year’s program, I asked Chapter Relations Committee Chair Forrest Lines, Board Liaison Jim Funkhouser and ASHI Staff Liaison Michele George to “think outside the box” so that we focus on building your leadership foundation and skills. The LDC program will provide opportunities to help you become a leader by giving you the tools and information to be successful.

You’ll learn to do the following:

  • employ strategies for successful leadership
  • educate new or younger members about future leadership roles
  • run an effective educational program
  • use social media, websites and webcasting
  • direct a program that grows chapter membership
  • manage a quality peer review program
  • and much more!

In addition to all of this, you’ll be treated to the following:

  • A special evening of entertainment that will make you laugh
  • A keynote session led by Kevin McCarthy, a nationally renowned motivational speaker, who will explain how his leadership skills took him from prison to a successful businessman…more than once.

Commit to “giving back,” improving your leadership abilities, making friends and developing relationships that can help your business, your family and your chapter of ASHI. By attending LDC this October 24-26, you can become a better leader and make ASHI a better organization.

The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.
— Jim Rohn