Episode 2: The Challenge/Support Balance


I believe that the path to growth is paved with the right balance of challenge and support.  Whether we are talking about an organization or an individual this holds true.  Challenge is the catalyst for change.  Finding the right balance between challenge and support is critical.  If there is too much challenge without enough support this can lead to discouragement.  If there is too much support with not enough challenge this can lead to a lack of growth.

I wanted to share a story about our CAAMP board meeting last week.  If you know me you know that I am very passionate about what we do as an industry.  We have one of the best jobs on the planet.  We get to make a good living and at the same time we truly make a difference in the lives of others.  We matter.  So when it comes to looking out for the best interest of our channel you know I am pretty vocal and I challenge a lot because I want our channel to continue to grow, thrive and prosper.

Last week when we get behind the closed doors in our association meetings I tend to challenge a lot. I push very hard to make sure that we are moving forward and growing.  Our 14 person board is comprised of volunteers.  Some of the best and the brightest in our industry that give up their time for the greater good of the industry.  I think it is important for us to keep that in mind.  The good news is that we are most definitely headed in the right direction.  While we all agree on the overall vision we don’t always agree on how we get there.  As a result there is a lot of challenge being thrown around and some really great heated discussion.  We discussed a number of topics from the AMP to membership.  It was interesting to see that there is so much passion and energy in that room that there were a couple of times where individuals stopped to apologize for their passion.  I think that this is a fantastic thing.  A diversity of opinions and respectful healthy debate will ensure that we stay on track.

As I was sitting in the airport getting ready to head home I reflected on our meetings in relation to that challenge/support balance.  I reflected on how much I challenge the association and therefore our president and CEO Jim Murphy and it got me wondering if I was also giving enough support with my challenge.  In that moment I felt compelled to send an email to the board re-iterating my support for the organization.  I talked about the fact that it seems that the amount I challenge has a direct correlation to how much I care.  I pointed out that the board could therefore rest assured about how much I care about our association.

One of the topics that we debate is membership and the fact that our current bylaw states that if one member of a franchise is a member than all individuals in that franchise have to be members.  This is something that I have struggled with and wasn’t certain I agreed with.  I have always felt that the association has the obligation to demonstrate their value to each individual mortgage associate.  I am happy to say that I am not always right.  I have changed my mind on this one after our debate.  While I still wholeheartedly agree that we, as an association, have an obligation to demonstrate our value, it is equally incumbent upon all players in our channel to get informed on what it is we do.

A few weeks ago a delegation from our association had a meeting with Joe Oliver, our Finance Minister.  These are the big boys.  The ones making policy decisions that affect our livelihood.  The fact that we have their ear is worth the price of membership alone.  There are so many other things that your association does that you may not even be aware of that make membership worth the paltry fee they charge.

My challenge to you reading this is to get involved.  Find out what the association is doing for you.  The next time you find yourself complaining ask yourself “What have I done to inform myself on what I am complaining about?”.  There is a lot of rhetoric out there and much of it is inaccurate.  Go to the source.  Pick up the phone.  Send an email.  There are regional broker councils and a number of committees you can get involved in.

My support for you is to be here as a resource to connect you with the right people at the organization if you have questions I can’t answer.  We have directors in every province.  Pick up the phone and talk to one of yours.  Find out why they are part of the association.  Why they are giving up their time to shape this organization.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

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