June 27 2008

PCBC 2008 Day Four Friday

Teri Shusterman and I went to the closing keynote presented by Tom Peters.  Tom was energetic, animated and articulate. Tom opened with “Just another day in the building industry; oil over $134 /barrel, stock market down 200 and fires in the hills.”

Peters spoke about by putting the passion back into the workplace, by replacing apathy and whining with enthusiasm and commitment, and most importantly, by reinvigorating employees. Innovation is key in uncertain times.  Now is the time to create a "culture of innovation," and becoming a leader of change, not a follower of the same old, tired traditions.

Here are a few of his memorable (for me) statements:

Big mergers are stupid. Big mergers spring naturally from big egos.

Attitude – (his) best 2 years were in Viet Nam; with Navy Seabees; it was a phenomenal environment to be tested.

It doesn’t get any better than this US Grant, Abraham Lincoln and John C Fremont were born for moments like this.  There is no such thing as good-great leader who has not confronted, battered and stumbled through to overcome a catastrophe.

Decency must not be sacrificed in tough time.  Don’t be brutal.  Decency is more important than ever in tough times.

Put the customer second.  Put the person taking care of the customer first.

Painful decisions must be made –make them as gracefully as possible; doing so is the best investment in long term possible.  Your reputation will be shaped by the long memory of how behaved when the fan was covered with yogurt.

Tough decisions mostly affect other people’s families.  You must still make the tough decisions, but the minute they cease to be agonizing resign, you’re not worth saving, you’ve become a mini-Mozilla

Character rules in adverse times.

Now is when investment in relationships pays off –and now is when you pay the full price of not having invested in relationships when  times were good and you didn’t “need to be nice” to others.

Keep good people – if it kills you.

Smaller but really good is a better place to be. (So you’ll be ready to fully participate in the next round of folly when the next Moment of Madness arrives.)

You will be remembered in the long haul for the quality of your work, not the quantity of your work – the quantity part is just your defective ego talking.

Take advantage of tough time to realize that in the long you will be remembered for your humanity and not your net worth – think Tim Russert.  Beloved by the left and the right by his integrity. Every year you should go to one funeral of someone you don’t know.  Bias about us professionally, blend be a decent human being.

If no Excellence, what?  What’s the frigging point, Blind luck? 

The key to a join a command is to make friends.

“Allied commands depend on mutual confidence and this confidence is gained, above all through the development of friendships.” Gen D.D. Eisenhower.

Perhaps his most outstanding ability (at West Point) was the ease with which he made friends and earned the trust of fellow cadets who came from widely varied backgrounds; it was a  quality that would pay great dividends during his future coalition command.

This year’s PCBC was by far one of the most worthwhile, fun, inspiring and educational, one I will long remember.

Barbara Rossoll
V.P. Sales and Marketing
New Homes Directory.com


June 26 2008

PCBC 2008 Day Three Thursday

I met my long time friends, Teri Shusterman – Colrich Communities, and Deborah Childress – O’Brien Homes for lunch.  It was a great to catch up on our lives, personal and professional.  I was impressed to hear that Deborah and O’Brien Homes won the Grand Award at Nor Cal MAME!   Early evening my friend and SMC board member, Sara Kilburn – Ryan Young Interiors went to a party where I caught up with Steve Ormonde – Focus 360, his associate, Steven Greco, and Shirley Brown – Homebuyers Guide and many more people.  Later Thursday evening I was honored and welcomed to a celebration with Kent Aden – Otay Ranch Company and many fellow BIA San Diego Board members, Steve Doyle – Brookfield Homes, Paul Tryon, CEO San Diego, BIA, and Michael Larson SMC President LA/Ventura and David Rauch – ProTec Building Service mentioning a few.  A big surprise was seeing Dave’s associate George Van Oosbree – who I went to high school with.

Barbara Rossoll
V.P. Sales and Marketing
New Homes Directory.com

June 25 2008

PCBC 2008 Day Two Wednesday

‘For one week in June, the homebuilding industry professionals gathered to ask the critical questions, to learn and to network. From the educational programs to the extensive product displays, the conversations focused on the core issues driving creativity, productivity and profitability. That’s what drove the dialogue, speakers and exhibits at PCBC® 2008.’

Attending the Opening Breakfast, I joined my SMC San Diego board member, and friend Megan Bristol of PDI and her associate.  Also at my table, I met Leslie Dunham and Eric Armstrong of Fuscoe Engineering from Orange County and San Diego. My brother-in-law, Michael Wolfe works with Fuscoe, small world.  It was great to see Bob Cummings of Barratt American, Lora Heramb of Brookfield Homes (with a broken foot) and Gail Crocenzie from the Otay Ranch Company.

The program began with a local musical group, Glide Ensemble of San Francisco waking us up with infectious rhythm, jazz, blues and spiritual music.  They were fabulous, energetic and joyful.  What a great way to begin a day, a conference with such enthusiasm, joy and hope.

Ken Aden of The Otay Ranch Company and Chair of PCBC led with opening remarks; welcoming a full room of industry professionals.  He shared a story of a recent opportunity where he met and introduced his son to Adrian Gonzales of the San Diego Padres.  He asked Adrian what was the most difficult thing he faced in major league baseball.  Adrian responded that the toughest thing was to work through injuries.  You need to be tough and keep going when you are hurt.  As our industry is facing extraordinary challenges, we need to be tough.  Kent’s theme and direction is that together as an industry and as individuals we have the Power to make changes, move FORWARD with positive attitudes, and SUSTAIN.

Guest speaker Carly Fiorina – “Tough Choices” fabulous! Throughout an extraordinary career, Carly Fiorina has repeatedly defied the odds and blazed new trails. As chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2005, she inherited a mandate to transform the legendary but complacent company during the technology industry’s deepest downturn in 25 years. Under her leadership, H-P doubled in revenue, achieved the highest rate of innovation in company history, and integrated the controversial acquisition of Compaq — now acknowledged to be the most successful merger in high-tech history. Today, Fiorina serves as a strategic advisor to government, business and nonprofit organizations. Her memoir, Tough Choices, is an international bestseller translated into 12 languages.

Key points: 

Leadership – see possibilities, essence in people and circumstances and make a positive difference and helping others do the same.

Changes – driving positive change.  A Spanish work ‘carenzia’ it is the spot in the bull ring, where the bull is most comfortable. “It is the spot in the bull ring where the bull returns when he is threatened.  As the bull is threatened more frequently, the more the bull returns to his carenzia again and again.  And although the bull believes he retreats to safety, the more he puts himself in grave danger.  He becomes easier and easier to attack.  We cannot return to our comfort zones.  We cannot retreat to the familiarity of how it used to be.” She also said “our history was not a guarantee of our future.”  History, our past experiences is something we build on as we move forward.  Carly said ‘life heaven, everyone wants to go there but no one wants to die.’   “Change is a season it may look the bleakest but it is the right time for change, to do things differently. Leaders see these opportunities, possibilities and provide a compelling vision.  Act within the season of change.”

Carly made these statements regarding the 21st century.  Ready or not; change is a fact.  It is coming faster than we can imagine.

1) Globalization – it is a new world; any job can go anywhere.  Anybody can play
2) Technology – everything is being transformed; digital bits, bites and mobile; photos, music, blogs, and virtural.
3)  Personal Power – Power is an individual’s choice and it is convenient. Individuals can get any piece of information, anytime, anyplace.  They are able to obtain information to make a decision./  There fact, fiction, experts, gossip puts a level playing field for everyone
4) Perspective – the ability to keep the rest of the world in mind.  Competitors, and peers – what are they doing?

Highest calling, where is the line?  Nothing is worth crossing the line.  Globally there is conflict, disease, terrorism. 

Move forward with equal measure of realistic optimism.  We have the ability to know, and believe, have faith that things will be better.  Nothing is possible without optimism.
Technology allows us to unlock potential for everyone, everywhere.  Technology can unlock more human potential. 

Wednesday afternoon at PCBC I attended the Women’s Council luncheon.  I met my new acquaintance, Leslie Dunham, Terri Everhart of MSI.  The speaker M.J. Ryan, best-selling author, speaker, and former CEO who spoke about Managing Energy for High Performance. In this talk, Ryan talked about the science of resilience, explaining why, to be a truly high performing business woman; you must take care of yourself. She discussed for instance, the relationship between stress, obesity and insomnia, as well as the effects of overexertion on decision-making, positive mood and ability to handle business ups and downs. She shared how to assess you in four domains of wellness and will leave armed with tools to increase performance and sustain lasting positive change.

1) Assess the current situation
2) Adjust what needs to be done

I am involved in a committed life coaching program called 5-5-5.  At 5:15 A.M., 5 days a week I join a conference call led by the amazing Shawna Schuh.  There is a theme for each week; i.e., Humor, focus, goals, forgiveness and a new word to learn.  We are from assorted lifestyles, careers, family situations, from many locations in the country.  Monday morning on my call I noted one of the members, Jeanne Pearl would be attending PCBC.  Through our coach, the incredible Shawna Schuh, I asked for an introduction.  Jeanne and I got in touch with one another and planned and met at the convention center.  Ms. Jeanne Pearl of JW Williams Staffing and I chatted for a little over an hour getting to know one another a little more. 
Jeanne is well known in her circle of influence in northern California.  She is dynamic, genuine, a professional, dedicated, caring, fun.   We found we had a mutual friend, Chip Pearson of the Dahlin Group. Jeanne also introduced me to her friend, and now also mine, Debi Garlic – Warmington Homes.

I met Chip and Jeanne at the first social event Wednesday evening.  They were gracious and fun introducing me to many fabulous industry people.  I met Jonel Jackson and Steve Linton of First Horizon Home Loan Corp., Connie Johnson – Robb & Stucky Interiors, Sean Griffin – Silverstone Communities, Joseph Perkins – HBA President & CEO of Northern California, and Cheryl O’Connor – SummerHill Homes to name a few.  Throughout the evening, I ran into many, friends and colleagues.

Barbara Rossoll
V.P. Sales and Marketing
New Homes Directory.com

June 24 2008

PCBC 2008 Day One Tuesday

San Francisco Hall of Fame Dinner June 23, 2008.

The San Diego BIA board shared a dinner table to support and honor Mark D. McMillin of McMillin Homes as he and others were being inducted into the 2008 Hall of Fame of the California Homebuilding Foundation.  Mark was inducted 20 years after his father, Corky McMillin was inducted.  Also inducted to the 2008 Hall of Fame were, Julie Brinkerhoff-Jacobs of Lifescapes International, Inc., Carol Galante- BRIDGE Housing Corp., Donald Jacobs - JZMK Partners, Harlan Lee - Lee Homes, John Martin – Martin & Assoc., Gilbert “Mark” Meyer – Greenbriar Homes Communities, and  Michael Winn – Michael Win Associates.

Mark and his lovely wife C’Ann stopped by to say hello before seating with his brother Scott and his wife.  Others included Liz Ramirez, Sandi Perlotti and the McMillin family.  I was fortunate to sit next to Andrew Murphy, Vice President of BIA San Diego.  Andrew and I had a great conversation about his family and the San Diego BIA current and future challenges and opportunities.  Diversity for many companies seems to be the consensus.

The program, video introduction of the inductees and their speeches were quite moving, and inspirational.   The accomplishments and dedication of these industry professionals to their companies, their communities and the building industry are remarkable and inspiring.

Barbara Rossoll
V.P. Sales and Marketing
New Homes Directory.com

June 17 2008

NHD Buzz Unleashed

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008 marks the date New Homes Directory.com unveils and unleashes NHDBuzz.com, the building industry's premier Press Release and Public Relations Internet media.  “Today’s social media has broadened the PR and online marketing frontier and we want to provide a simple means by which building industry professionals can get out their information”, says Jim Adams, CEO of NewHomesDirectory.com.

NHD Buzz is a new home community and real estate media center that puts the control in the hands of industry professionals.  Sign up and logging in is easy and takes about 1 minute. After that you are buzzing away.  The premise behind NHD Buzz is allowing industry professionals the opportunity to promote their properties on the Internet without the limitations of cost or relying on others. Everyone can do it themselves and take control of the flow of information displayed on the Internet.  "This is a great opportunity for builders to manage their reputation online,” says Barbara Rossoll, VP of Sales & Marketing for NewHomesDirectory.com.  NHD Buzz is the building industry's answer for reputation management online.

The press releases on NHD Buzz are fed into Google, Google News, Google Blogs, Yahoo!, Yahoo! News, MSN, Ask, and several other Internet Media portals.  NHD Buzz provides the building industry another Internet Media solution crafted for new home builders.

NHD Buzz is still in Beta so if anyone has any issues please call the NewHomesDirectory.com support number at 951-894-6621.

Jim Adams
CEO - New Homes Directory.com



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