Lessons learned from 25 years on the job

By Lew Kraus, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity executive director

Become a Habitat leader only if you have a burning passion for the mission of Habitat.

Surround yourself with people who excel in their field of expertise, but hire them foremost for their burning passion for the mission of Habitat. Same applies to board members.

Take risks, but not at the expense of others.

Stick to the mission.

Lead by example; be sure to take your turn with kitchen duty and cleaning the restrooms.

Delegate, and then remember to stand back.

I’ve raised more money by listening than I ever did by talking.

People will forget what you said and what you did; they never forget how you made them feel.

Fly the flag! I wear my Habitat shirt around town all the time as an easy way to build brand awareness. It also happens to be a great conversation starter.

If the time comes when wall raisings and key passings no longer bring tears to my eyes, I hope I recognize that it’s time to move on to the next mission in life.

Partner families change our lives far more than we change theirs.