I was talking with a CEO about a project that’s in the development stage, one that may have a critical impact on the future of Kalamazoo, Michigan. You may have heard rumors that Michigan’s industrial base has been severely affected both by the current economic malaise, as well as years of off-shoring of manufacturing jobs. Unfortunately, the rumors are true.
There has been quite a variety of fallout from the business downturn in Michigan, including the loss of opportunities for people starting their careers. These folks are forced by economics to seek their fortunes elsewhere, so they’ve fled to Chicago, Los Angeles and other places where they hope to thrive. And that has left places like Kalamazoo with a brain drain.
If the young people are leaving, who will start the new businesses that create jobs and opportunities and revitalize the community? Who will think of the ideas that will re-energize existing Kalamazoo businesses and get them jump-started into prosperity? Questions like these are what some business leaders in Kalamazoo are asking right now and they’re talking about creating a leadership development program specifically for their young people. Not management: leadership. It’s an investment in the future of the young people and of their city and it’s critical to success for everyone there.
Scale that thinking to your business. What are you doing to revitalize your shop, to keep your bright people right there and generating the new ideas that will drive future success?
Hint: If you don’t do anything about their leadership development, their brains will drain away from your shop.
Today is a great day to start developing your leaders. Who can you call for help with that?
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