nebraska

Thoughts on Leadership: Omaha, Change and an Exchange with the Oracle

By Gino Blefari

Last†week my travels found me in Omaha, NE attending the Berkshire Hathaway Energy January 2017 Executive Leadership Conference and related workshops. More than 350 officers and managers from throughout the enterprise attended the three-day event, which included cross-business panel discussions and presentations related to key challenges and opportunities.

Panel discussions centered on managing competitive risk, modernizing assets, reducing our environmental footprint, enhancing cybersecurity plus an overview of political and economic effects on our businesses Ė all great material.

I also loved the interactive Leading Change Workshop, which leveraged the creative input of participants for greater understanding of the impact of change on people and for leading changes to meet continuous goals.

Still, without question, the highlight of our meetings came Tuesday afternoon when Berkshire Hathaway Energy Chairman and CEO Greg Abel conducted an interview with Warren Buffett. The session lasted about 60 minutes but we could have listened to Mr. Buffett for hours. He seemed all-knowledgeable with important perspectives on every question. At the same time, he was straightforward, witty and positive.

When the interview concluded Mr. Buffett remained for questions from the audience. I wasnít going to miss this opportunity so I quickly stepped up to the microphone. Admittedly, I was a little nervous but I got the words out ó but†Mr. Buffett gave me a welcoming smile and carefully answered my question, making eye contact with me the entire time.

The moment was not lost on me and never will be.

Whatís the message? Very simple. Leaders, no matter who they are, must take the time for the people they lead. They listen, process and respond with respect and, in the process, enrich and grow their entire organization.

GINO BLEFARI†is CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC. You can follow Gino on†Facebook,†Instagram†and†Twitter.


Northeast Nebraska Start-Up Firm Joins Real Living Real Estate Brokerage Network

Real Living Real Estate, one of the nation’s leading real estate franchisors and a member of the HSF Affiliates LLC family of real estate brokerage franchise networks, today announced that a Northeast Nebraska-based start-up firm has joined the network operating as Real Living Advantage Real Estate.

“Iím very excited to be part of such an extraordinary team that will be able to leverage a higher level of real estate expertise,” said Sandy Wolfe, managing broker and co-owner of Real Living Advantage Real Estate. “The brandís commitment to customer service exemplifies the approach Real Living Advantage Real Estate will bring to Norfolk and Northeast Nebraska.”

“It was important for us to maintain our individuality but have the backing of a national franchise,” said Co-owner Jade Lafleur, noting that the brokerage wanted a fresh, national name but also wanted to keep its local, community-focused approach. “As a member of the Real Living network, we’re looking to grow and become No. 1 in our marketplace. Still, we donít want just a lot of agents; we want the best agents who work to help people and can fit into our positive, friendly environment.”

Ron Thompson, an agent at Real Living Advantage Real Estate, is looking forward to boosting business with the philosophy and services provided by Real Living Real Estate. “Sales and sales success comes from implementing the resources that are available to us,” he said. “Real Living Real Estate is a progressive team of real estate professionals with great ideas and high goals.”

With their affiliation, Real Living Advantage Real Estate agents gain access to a comprehensive and integrated suite of resources aimed at helping real estate agents and their clients successfully navigate the home buying and selling process. “Itís amazing how much Real Living Real Estate offers in terms of tools and services,” said Lafleur. “From the ease of placing pictures in promotional materials to marketing open houses, the technology is professional and engaging.”

Robert McAdams Jr., president of Real Living Real Estate, welcomed Real Living Advantage Real Estate to the network. “Sandy, Jade and their team are well respected in their community and throughout Northeast Nebraska for their quality service and expertise,” he said. “Weíre excited theyíve chosen to join us and we value their membership in our brand.”

Added Gino Blefari, CEO of HSF Affiliates, “We’re proud this innovative, new brokerage has joined Real Living Real Estate and we are eager to help the brokerage grow.”