NAIOP Vancouver recently had the chance to sit down with our October Icon Speaker John McLernon. Join us every week as we release new insights from this industry leader, and don't miss our October 20th breakfest event. This week, John shares his insights on professional associations, social media, motivation and leadership.
Early in his career, John became heavily involved with the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), quickly moving into the role of director. John understands the value of associations like NAIOP to up-and-coming professionals in the industry. When he was 25, he represented Canadian Pacific at an Executive ICSC Meeting of the top most important shopping centre developers in the USA. He explains his impressions:
I was blown away by what I learned from the major players - how open they were, and how much they shared. I realized that putting an organization together really gave you an opportunity to share with experienced people. Rather than try to re-invent the world yourself, there are people who have actually been out there before. I have found associations to be very helpful over the years.
On technology, John recognizes the importance of tech in growing business - whether it is information access or communications, as long as it aligns with business objectives. While you won't find him on Facebook, he recognizes that social media can play a supporting role in business. John explains that "it's all based on market. If it enables a business to expand itself, and be able to expand awareness of the industry and of the company, then it has value." Like he learnt in his student days in construction, it's not the tool, but how you use it to get the job done.
When asked about what motivates him, John explains that "I'm most energized by new ventures and ideas. When you do profiling within a company, there are some people that create the ideas and the opportunities, and there's some very good people that can operate. I'm more of a creator than an operator; I know my limitations that way, and my abilities the other way."
In regards to being a good leader, John has some words of wisdom; "I believe leadership is about being curious - you always have to look over the next hill, seeing what's there. If you're not growing, you're dying; you have to have solid growth to compete in this world."
What would you ask John McLernon? What is your take on these perspectives? Share your ideas and comments below.
John McLernon will be the Icon Speaker for NAIOP's October 20th breakfast meeting, sharing information and insight he's gained during his extensive career. Come learn more from this industry leader over breakfast and network with your peers. Registration details are available here. Tune in to the NAIOP Industry Leaders Blog every Wednesday as we share more insights and knowledge in Commercial Real Estate.