Trial by Fire

The following was featured in the July-August 2009 edition of the Ontario Real Estate Associations Leadership Update...

I truly understood the benefit of my involvement in organized real estate when I stood on stage at a local school at an all candidates' debate. I was standing for municipal election. Here I was in the middle of debating significant community issues with several very experienced fellow candidates.

I was well prepared on the issues, but more importantly, I was experienced with this type of situation from my participation in many annual meetings of both my local real estate association and OREA. I received several compliments from those in attendance on how I handled the evening and I appeared to have surprised many who had never seen me in a public debate.

When I rose in the ranks of the organized real estate industry, my training was more trial by fire. Today, REALTORS® can take advantage of OREA's Leadership Development Program. These high-quality training sessions develop leaders that can make a difference. Regardless if REALTORS® serve through organized real estate, municipal politics, community leadership or minor sports, they are better able to put their leadership skills to the test and have a positive impact in their communities.

By Gary Zalepa Jr.

Gary Zalepa Jr. is a Broker for CENTURY21 City Realty Inc. in Niagara-on-the-Lake, served as a President of the Niagara Association of REALTORS® in 2003 and a Director-at-Large for the Ontario Real Estate Association (2003-2009). He is currently a director for the Canadian Real Estate Association's MLS® Technology Council (MTC) and also serves as a Councillor for the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

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