Cindi Bulla

Years with the REALTOR® organization: 20+

Key volunteer roles and honors
TREPAC Trustee; Region 1 RVP; Chairman of MLS and Issues Mobilization Committees; Amarillo Association of REALTORS® (AAOR) 2012 Chairman; AAOR 2013 REALTOR® of the Year; NAR Issues Policy, Conventional Finance, and Issues Mobilization Committees; Director at AAOR, Texas REALTORS®, and NAR; 2008 Texas REALTORS®Leadership Program; 2015 NAR Leadership Academy

What are some lessons you’ve learned about leadership over the years? What would you tell someone who wants to grow her leadership skills?
Your most important work will be done before you’ve earned your title. Offer your best ideas freely to the leaders ahead of you, then roll up your sleeves and help them get the job done. If you care who gets credit, your heart is not right for leadership.

Learn when and how to respectfully offer alternatives, find compromise and consensus, own it if you’re wrong, and respect the majority decision, regardless of whether you agree. The trust earned through those efforts will be critical when, in your leadership role, you have to ask your fellow members to trust your judgment on matters not delegated to them.

It is often said a leader’s most important job is to find his or her replacement. When you have that title, be humble and reach out to those looking for leadership opportunities.

Always avoid use of the words “my” and “I”.

Finally, have fun. It’s serious business, but your energy, 
enthusiasm, and enjoyment will be infectious and should never
be underestimated!

Marvin Jolly
Plano | CRS, TRLP

Years with the REALTOR® organization: 19

Key volunteer roles and honors
Collin County Association of REALTORS® (CCAR) President; 
CCAR REALTOR® of the Year; CCAR Past President; 
Frisco Rotary Club Past President

How can someone become a better mentor and help identify and support future leaders?
Identify an area, a topic, or a strategy of which you may have unique and valuable knowledge. Understand that effective mentoring starts with building a relationship, and that the journey may be multiyear or even lifelong, extending past structured time frames of formal mentoring programs.

Being a good mentor means committing to be the best leader you can be. Focus on others versus yourself. Be willing 
to listen. Be patient.
Good mentors also have:

  • Personal experience in an organization 
or specific role
  • Valuable relationships that have been developed 
over time
  • A strong desire to see others grow and succeed
  • A willingness to share information, ideas, and past successes as well as past failures, both personally 
and organizationally.

Finally, good mentors know how to use their time wisely. With a purposeful approach, even a small amount of time can be leveraged to get big returns.

Kaki Lybbert
Immediate Past Chairman
Denton | ABR, CRS, SRES

Years with the REALTOR® organization: 24

Key volunteer roles and honors
NAR Major Investor Council Chairman; 2012 TREPAC Chairman; 2016 NAR RPAC Fundraising Forum; 2018 NAR Chairman of 
Corporate Ally Council

How can someone who is thinking about getting more involved in their community, the REALTOR® association, or any other volunteer role get started?
It’s OK—and maybe even necessary—to start small. Your ultimate goal may be chairman of a board, but you’re not going to get there overnight. Think about what the short-term goals are on that path first.

Identify the organizations or causes you’re going to lend your time and effort to. What is it about those organizations that ignite your passion to serve? What are the unique skills you bring to the table? What types of involvement would help you grow in other facets of your life, whether personally or in your real estate business?

Once you’ve answered those questions, show up. It’s that simple. Attend the meetings, RSVP for the networking event, respond to the surveys—whatever it is you can do to start your involvement. Once you’re comfortable in that step, raise your hand to help on a committee, sponsor an event, or lead a small team.

You’ll begin to see the path to your ultimate goal start to clear, and in the meantime, you’ll get your feet wet, meet new people, and give back to something other than yourself.

Travis Kessler
Texas | RCE,CAE

Years with the REALTOR® organization: 41

Key volunteer roles and honors
Texas REALTORS® Leadership Team; RPAC Fundraising Trustees; REALTORS® Relief Foundation; RPR Advisory Council.

What is your advice for ways people can successfully meet their goals, whether at work or in their personal lives?
The best advice I can give to help ensure success in goal 
attainment is:

  • Make a personal commitment to set measurable, achievable, and relevant goals
  • Utilize and trust people who can help you 
achieve your goals personally and professionally
  • Choose an accountability partner to help keep 
you on track
  • Set incremental timelines for reaching and 
celebrating short-term goals
  • Help others achieve their goals.

“No other state in the country has the passion for member service and involvement like Texas. The synergy between staff and elected leadership and membership helps create and maintain a culture of political/legislative advocacy, TREPAC fundraising, legal services, and marketing and communications initiatives to brand the REALTOR® as the professional resource for value and service.” —Travis Kessler