From the Editor ‘2020 Possibilities’

January 28, 2020

- By Eric Berman

For the past several years, I have had the opportunity and privilege to interview and profile the incoming president for this annual leadership issue. Before writing the profile, I spend time learning about who they are and what their vision is for their upcoming time in office. And while I know they feel some pressure before they start, I have never once finished my interviews feeling they were stressed about the role.

Now, maybe this is my pr/marketing brain at work here, but the new year got me thinking about one type of volunteer leader who could be feeling once-in-a-lifetime stress (or opportunity) simply because of the date on the calendar: optometrists! Why? Because it’s “2020!”

Yes, this is funny, but I’m being somewhat serious too. In a quick search, I found several membership associations beyond just optometrists (I stopped counting after nine) that have members whose professions deal specifically with the eye. I wonder if any of these organizations (or all) are taking advantage of the obvious tie-ins? If so, are they dedicating marketing and creative budgets to it? Are any coming out and saying 2020 is the year of “eye health?”, or “eyeglasses?”, or “vision care” for under-served communities or countries? Will there be special medical symposiums? There is some real opportunity.

From a leadership perspective, was there more competition to be the president of the American Optometric Association (or any of the other eye-focused associations) in 2020 than in any other year? If so, did that mean bigger election budgets? I know contested elections at the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) level can be very expensive. Could this date have created a contested election when they typically don’t happen? The more I think about it, the more I’m glad that a simple date doesn’t ratchet up the stress on what is already a stressful job for our REALTOR® presidents.

2020 Leadership:

To meet your 2020 President Kurt Thompson and how his background has trained him to handle stress go to page ??. In addition, you’ll get introduced to both the 2020 Leadership Team and Executive Committee.

This leadership issue also features a special 5QW on page?? with Ron Phipps. Ron was NAR President in 2010 and provides some great insight into what he learned as president and what it takes to be a successful leader.

Not too Early to Plan:

Just because the new year has begun, it doesn’t mean you can’t plan most of your social media content out for the year. In her January/February Real Social column Teah Hopper answers the question “Why you need a content calendar?”

Goodbye Jack!

Finally, we wanted to let you know that MAR is mourning the loss of 1979 MAR President Jack Peckham, who died this past November at the age of 86. You can read about his 57-year involvement in the Boston Real Estate industry.

P.S. – Seriously, how cool would it be inducted as a member of the 2020 Class of the National Optometry Hall of Fame? They’re accepting applications if you know any optometrists!