A Real Education

With a little over a month left as president, staff asked if I would reflect back and comment on all that has happened, and what I have gotten out of the last two years.

I have been privileged to serve on many HBA and community committees/task forces during my tenure. At the September Board Meeting, I told our board that future HBA presidents have something to look forward to: the chance to listen and observe our civic and business leaders of Springfield. I have soaked it all in and it has been like attending two years of college, tuition free.
I have long had a fascination with people who are really at the top of their profession. When the Ben Hogan Golf Tour came to Highland Springs, I had to go. I had never played golf and likely never will. I simply wanted to see someone performing near the top of the sport. I wondered, how many rounds of golf and hours of coaching did take to get that good? The rounds of top-level golf originated from the practices and the coaching and all the little bits and pieces learned from various people along the way.

That’s sort of how I feel at this point. During my presidential tenure, I have been fortunate enough to talk with Mr. Hammons about economics and Springfield’s past. I have listened to author/entrepreneur Jack Stack talk about motivating employees and what he looks for when hiring someone. I have learned just what a tough job our city leaders have and felt the weight of the challenges ahead.

There is one thing I do know for sure. Whether you agree or not, I believe our civic and business leaders all share a devotion to Springfield. If there is one thing I have come to fully understand over all the time spent with these devoted folks is this: Our future success hinges on a healthy business climate and the perception that Springfield will continue to be a great place to live, work and raise a family.

The ground work is being done. We have new leadership in place and more on the way. I have been fortunate to ride along. If I could share anything with you as a result of this experience, it would be a sense of optimism for our region and a vote of confidence in our future. There is far more good than bad, but often we only hear the negative.

Most of what I know about the business of home building came from my father, with bits and pieces from others along the way. One of the more valuable things I learned came from Ralph Manley. Fortunately, he taught me 25 years ago that people react better when you are positive rather than negative. Never show disappointment while dealing with a customer, it will only hurt you in the long run.

I really would like to thank all of our members, civic leaders, the CU folks and business leaders for the education.

Kevin Clingan
HBA President