**By David Lykken**
***Lenders are (or should be) leaders…leaders in your communities and leaders in consumer advocacy. In spite of some iconic individuals, I will assert that the mortgage industry has been void of true leadership for years. In fact, I will go so far as to say that we are in the midst of a leadership crisis. For anyone questioning this assertion, I would point to two indisputable facts:
****>> the current rate of foreclosures in our country
****>> the fact that our federal government felt it necessary to impose a mind-numbing number of new rules and regulations to “bring into control” an industry many believed was out of control.
****While there were certainly many factors beyond the mortgage industry contributing to the housing and economic crisis in which we find ourselves, it is going to take strong leadership at every level to get us out of this economic crisis. Identifying and helping to develop leaders within our industry is what I have dedicated myself to do over the next 10 years. In an upcoming issue of Tomorrow’s Mortgage Executive magazine, I will be writing about our soon-to-be-announced “10-10-10 Initiative” which is to identify, develop and deliver a new breed of leaders to this industry. Here’s what to expect:
****So let’s start with this fact. Leaders need to know where they are (location) and where they need to go (goal/objective) and how to get there (strategy & direction). Leaders have an innate sense that allows them to recognize, prioritize and focus on what the most urgent issues (threats) are of the day. With so many “urgent issues” out there today, which one to focus upon may prove to be the biggest challenge. Realizing this is what gave me the following idea.
****Each week on my weekly radio program, “Lykken on Lending” (LoL), my regular guests and I present what we believe to be the hottest of “hot topics” facing our industry today. (To learn more, go to www.LykkenOnLending.com .) The primary purpose of the LoL radio program is to help leaders digest and determine strategies on how to overcome, versus be overcome by all that are going on out there. For example, it is mind-boggling the rate at which regulators have thrust voluminous numbers of new convoluted and confusing rules and regulations on us. Each week on LoL, we track, report and discuss each of the upcoming rules and regulations developments. Thousands are listening in each week “live” or by downloading the program and finding it a valuable resource as they try and figure out which direction to go on hot issues such as “loan originator compensation”.
****Given the leadership crisis we are facing, I will be writing almost exclusively about LEADERSHIP for the foreseeable future. In my opinion, developing responsible LEADERSHIP is the single greatest need we have as a country and as an industry. It starts with each of us recognizing our role and responsibility as financial advisors helping consumers seeking to finance their American Dream of homeownership and do so in a responsible way that results in stable and secure long-term homeownership. In doing so, we will grow individually and help develop a healthier and more responsible industry, economy and country.