With the celebration of Thanksgiving upon us, and my service on the CREW Network board of directors nearing its conclusion, it gave me pause to reflect on what it means to experience the Network as a both a member and a leader. I cannot imagine my career journey and professional development without the incredible Network of peers, partners and colleagues I have connected with at CREW Network. It’s truly transformational and creates a significant bond that goes beyond your business connection to a truly personal relationship.
Gunning (second to left) with fellow 2017 CREW Network Spring Leadership Summit participants in Toronto.
Like many of you, when I joined CREW Dallas back in 1995-ish I had no idea that there was anything more to “CREW.” I was ecstatic with the relationships and business I was able to do in my local market. I volunteered with CREW Dallas in a variety of capacities that helped solidify my commitment to the organization and helped me grow my leadership skills.
When I attended my first CREW Network Leadership Summit as a president-elect, I was completely blown away by the incredible women and the scope of the organization overall. To understand chapter leadership more fully, to exchange ideas and identify best practices was truly a priceless opportunity. More importantly, it helped me understand that while our work may be local, our business opportunities and development opportunities are global. There’s so much more to benefit from CREW Network when you take that step forward to explore all the organization has to offer. Not only did I grow my skills, I stepped out of my comfort zone and learned so much from other CRE women through participation at the Network level. I found a whole new level of business opportunities and relationships opening up to me.
I’m so grateful that I took that step to volunteer for CREW Network. The return on my service has been tenfold. I encourage members to think bigger picture about how you can leverage your CREW Network benefits and opportunities. Never been to a Leadership Summit? Check it out. It’s a very cost effective way to gain valuable leadership skills and create a broad peer network outside of your market. Have you tried connecting with others on CREWBiz, our online community? Post a message about a need or idea – or as one member did, post a note if you are visiting another market and want to connect with members in that market. You’ll have a lunch date(s) in no time!
Take that first step to engage with CREW Network. You’ll be glad you did. Happy Thanksgiving! Grateful for my CREW Network!
Vicky Gunning is Dallas Office Managing Partner at Locke Lord LLP.
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