The Gifts that Really Matter

December 18, 2019
Written by: Wendy Mann, CAE, CREW Network CEO

This time of year, we are all thinking about finding that special gift for the ones we love. It’s a thoughtful tradition and reminds me of one of my favorite stories, "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry. I remember the first time I read it in junior high school. It has such a beautiful moral about giving selflessly.

The story and its moral are a lot like CREW Network and our members. Many of you give so much selflessly each year to make CREW the most powerful business network for women in the industry. You share your gifts with CREW Network, your chapter and most importantly, with your fellow members. You give the gifts of chapter leadership, program planning, member recruitment, mentoring and warmly welcoming each new member to our organization. These are extraordinary gifts you send out into the CREW Network universe.

Yet some of you may doubt the gifts you have to share. You may question if what you are contributing is worthwhile. This same type of doubt may creep into to your work day life. You may ask yourself: Was that project the very best I could do? Did I lose that deal because of my less than stellar work? 

When you share your gifts, you touch someone in a positive way. Reflect on your day. Did you thank someone for a job well done? Did you encourage someone that was feeling down? Did you provide advice to a young professional seeking direction? Or maybe you finally succeeded in getting a meeting with that developer who wasn’t taking your call? Your gifts are on full display in all that you do. 

Take a moment to stop and think about your gifts. Some of you may be good with people, some of you may be good with managing logistics or you may be good at strategy, leadership and persuasion. In what ways do you bring your gifts to CREW and to your job? Did you help a new member connect with a potential business partner? Did you invite a colleague to participate in a business meeting? Have you given a pep talk to a peer who was off her game in a meeting?

I’ve always believed deep down in my soul that I was meant for something special. I didn’t know what it was for a very long time. I didn’t know what my gifts were nor did I understand how your gifts make you whole. I know that my gifts are my words… whether I am speaking them or writing them. I know my gifts are my passion for CREW Network and the amazing potential we have to transform the industry by advancing women. There’s more to each of us than we give ourselves credit for. 

As you go into the holiday season—no matter how or what you celebrate—think about the gifts you are sharing with others that have no price tag. Their value goes far beyond anything else you give. Those gifts impact others around you and last far longer than anything that’s wrapped in a package. Just as O. Henry’s story demonstrates, the true gift is one that you may not touch, but the way you make someone feel. 



Wendy Mann, CAE

Wendy Mann is the chief executive officer of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network and president of the CREW Network Foundation.

Twitter: @crew_wendym


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