Tuesday, June 24, 2014

You are looking more like Maria Sharapova every day!

Author: Marian R. Aubry, ISA CAPP
Maria Sharapova, like many professional athletes, has a team of coaches to enhance her game. They include physical trainers, nutritionists, a team of psychologists, a marketing team, and even hitting partners. Evidently it takes a village to make a Maria Sharapova. While most of us will never be mistaken for a world class tennis player, we can all take a lesson from this approach: Professionals who are at or wish to be at the top of their game, both on the court and off, take advantage of being coached.

Employing a coach usually takes a bit of money although there are many coaching opportunities available free or at low cost. Every city has a group of volunteer professionals available to help small businesses get off the ground or move to the next level. SCORE arranges a one on one consultation with a retired business executive. If you have not looked into this opportunity, I urge you to consider it. It is enormously helpful to see your business through another businessman’s eyes. Your community has opportunities with professional business clubs, networking breakfasts, and Chamber of Commerce after-hours events that help keep your business ‘in the game’ and connected with others in the business world.

Members of ISA also have opportunities by virtue of membership. Annual conference is a concentrated opportunity to be with the best in the industry. Questions are welcomed by them, as well as, by the many seasoned members in attendance.  Our own Todd Sigety’s generous power point program at conference gave every member, newbie or old hand, access to a powerful presentation; one that would take time and experience to produce on our own.

ISA perennially and proudly points to the friendliness and generosity of members, however the recent conference survey results made Board members realize we need to strengthen this.  While we were encouraged by overwhelmingly positive feedback, we also heard about our weaknesses, and we want you to know we are definitely paying attention. It seems that not enough of our members are aware of the new Mentorship Program at ISA. This idea, fairly new at ISA, is certainly the best on-the-job training program a new appraiser could hope to have although we certainly need to “market” this opportunity much better. We also have a new membership committee at ISA (I am Board Liaison). This new committee is working to reach out to all members, helping them to stay engaged with the process of being or becoming a member, furthering their ISA education, and making sure their questions and concerns are heard and offering help. We are working also at some ideas for pairing old hands with new members at the next Conference so that new members can have a chance to ask probing questions…one-on-one. Conference is a perfect place to facilitate this. We are also considering more ways to come together socially at Conference; especially important for young and new members. Collegiality is one of the greatest advantages of an ISA membership. Everyone thrives in such an atmosphere; it is the hallmark of the best coaching and a clear opportunity for gaining an edge. Just ask Maria.

Marian R. Aubry, ISA CAPP

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