As I write to you this month, I am returning from Santa Barbara and my beautiful niece's wedding, and feeling a bit reflective after having been surrounded by so much exuberance and life.
Like many IAMC members, I have had a long and varied career. That career has involved living in three different states — one of them more than once — in a number of capacities. In fact, I carry a 35-year service coin and wear my service watch to remind me of all the opportunities I have had … in June I will have earned my 40-year service coin.
In that time I have learned quite a lot, including how to be a part of a management team for a large manufacturing facility, work with elected officials and regulatory agencies, be a self-starter and function within a large corporate structure.
During one assignment in Ohio during the mid-1980s I attended a meeting of the Strongsville Rotary Club. Like most Rotary meetings there is a certain amount of business which is done, and often there is a speaker for the better of the order. To this day, the speaker's message still resonates. The message centered on interpersonal relationships and their importance at work, at home, among colleagues, friends and family. High quality interpersonal relationships take work and dedication, and are best when you are thought of LAST.
Now, as it turns out, being thought of last does not mean that the other is first, but rather LAST is an acronym for greater understanding in our relationships:
L: Listen to others. You can learn amazing things if you stop talking to people and start listening to them. People have stories to tell, information to share, experiences to be learned from … but only if you actively listen.
A: Ask the question. How many of us have sat in a large meeting and had a question but are too embarrassed to ask it, to then only walk out and ask it of one person or another? Why wait? Don't be shy; ask the question then and there. Gain a better understanding from the collective. Effectively manage your time by asking the question when you have it rather than needing two meetings.
S: I think this is the most important of the letters — Be sincere when speaking to people. The old adage is that if you don't have something nice to say, say nothing at all. And while that message is a good one, it should be "if you can't be sincere in your speech, say nothing at all because the rest is a lie." People appreciate it when you truly look at them and provide genuine and truthful feedback — good or bad. Don't look past someone for a better opportunity; it shows.
T: Trust — Find yourself a circle of people both professionally and personally whom you trust and can talk to. They are your own personal Board of Directors. Don't be afraid to tell them that you value their opinion, you trust in them to listen, ask questions and be sincere when they speak. You have selected these people to give you honest guidance; trust them to do so.
LAST can certainly be applied to our relationships within IAMC. In fact, those quality interpersonal relationships are what distinguish our organization from all others. We have a great thing going by networking and forging strong relationships which can span a career, or even a lifetime.
The final thing that the Rotary speaker said more than 20 years ago was to give proper credit to people for their thoughts and ideas. And while I cannot remember his name, I do always give recognition to that Strongsville Ohio Rotary speaker for helping me build LASTing relationships.
I look forward to seeing you at the Charleston Professional Forum and listening to all you have to offer.
Best Regards,George Manos
wo IAMC Local action items were on the agenda for the IAMC board of directors' January 30 meeting. First, guidelines for how the program will operate have been out for member comments for almost 18 months. These were reviewed and approved. Second, Education & Research (E&R) Co-chair Ken Hagaman of Anixter recommended that IAMC Local become a free-standing committee reporting to the board. The program has been operated through E&R. The board also approved this.
The new IAMC Local Committee is co-chaired by Tracey Hyatt Bosman of Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Company, LLC; Todd Clark of WMS Industries; and Jim Alexander of St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association.
IAMC Local is IAMC's on-the-ground member benefits delivery capability for cities and regions in the U.S. and Canada. The program has actually been operating informally for several years under guidelines set by the board in 2008. But the program had no official committee, budget or staff support. The informal program was so successful the board decided to bring it into the organization's formal planning and operating space.
IAMC Local's purpose is to deliver member benefits and services at a region level and extend the key values of IAMC beyond the semi-annual IAMC Professional Forums. IAMC Local has several goals:
"After attending the January 23 IAMC Local meeting at World of Whirlpool in Chicago, I can tell you this program has legs," says IAMC Executive Director Aubrey Glazman. "The education and networking were excellent, and the attending members loved it. I could see as many as a dozen IAMC Local sessions in different locations each year."
Any member may host an IAMC Local event. To do so, here's some information you'll need to pull together:
To start the process, call IAMC staff member Michelle Roy at 770-325-3494. She'll send you the program's official guidelines and a calendar of open dates for your event. Note that the preferred planning and marketing lead time is six months.
— Joel Parker
rom first-hand experience, we've learned that corporate end users and real estate service providers in population centers as diverse as Singapore, Hong Kong, London and Brussels are enthusiastic about the prospect of having local IAMC events. The organization's first foray was an exploratory meeting in Singapore in November 2011, which drew almost 20 attendees. In 2012, a return engagement to the city pulled in more than 30.
We saw similarly positive outcomes in Europe, where IAMC hosted events in London and Brussels in the spring of 2012. The consistent response has been lots of enthusiasm for the prospect of local access to a corporate real estate organization for professionals supporting manufacturing environments.
Program Development Teams
The key to IAMC's early progress in the Asia and Europe regions has been dedicated planning teams composed of IAMC Active and Associate members — those with international responsibilities and others with a passion to take IAMC global — partnering with selected real estate professionals located in the target regions. IAMC staff provide operational and administrative support.
Our biggest successes have been in Singapore and London. And we're seeing lots of interest in an upcoming March 26 event in Shanghai. The current challenge is to identify local "champions" in the cities worldwide where IAMC finds an established base of industrial real estate professionals who understand the value proposition that IAMC provides.
Preliminary 2013 plans of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) call for four annual meetings each in Asia and Europe, followed by a first organizational meeting in Latin America.
Building a Governance Structure
One of my first impressions of IAMC when I joined in 2003 was the difficulty engaging the organization's leaders on the issue of international expansion and networking. I didn't understand why the organization had no presence outside the U.S. I already knew many of the Active members, and I knew many had overseas responsibilities. The same is true of service provider and economic developer members, including those who sponsor IAMC events.
At one of my first board meetings in 2009, I put forward a proposal that IAMC begin a process of exploring demand and interest for IAMC activities in international markets. As a result, the International Advisory Committee (IAC) was formed in 2012, and Mike Wolff of Project Solutions Group and I were appointed the first co-chairs.
The IAC's purpose is to insure IAMC's relevance in an increasingly globalized and inter-connected world economy, while still maintaining the core mission and values of the organization. Keep in mind that considerable foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into the US from many other nations, and to support and welcome these investments all members need to be sensitive to cultures outside of our own. Consider, for example, Europe-based aircraft manufacturer Airbus, which recently placed a large airliner assembly facility near Mobile, Ala.
IAMC is starting a journey of global outreach, branding and organizational development. This will be a long-term effort to shape and build IAMC into a global organization. We expect successes and setbacks along the way. But we're in this for the long haul.
Vice President, Worldwide Real Estate, Hanesbrands Inc. and Treasurer, IAMC Board of Directors