Global Business and Entrepreneurship

Week beginning May 15, 2017

Global Business and Entrepreneurship

“Climb the mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.”  David McCullough Jr. 

These last few weeks we have been finishing a project on millennials, and how they see the world of work. Technically, many of the associates do not fall within the years that define millennials, but they will be exploring and determining their career fields over the next several years. It is my hope that the Northland CAPS program has not only given them a jump start on what careers they will explore, but more importantly, what will be necessary for success. 

We focus heavily on professionalism in this program, with the understanding that no matter what career you choose, certain skill sets are non-negotiable.  You must be able to communicate and collaborate with others. You must demonstrate and awareness and respect for other people’s time, as well as your own. The ability to prioritize while overseeing a variety of activities is a necessity. You must be creative and innovative, willing to persevere in the face of obstacles. You must use appropriate reasoning (inductive/deductive) when solving problems. You must evaluate and analyzes evidence using research based data to support your findings, and be willing to reflect critically on the learning experiences and processes. Finally, you must recognize that trust is the foundation for which other relationships are built, and integrity and ethical behavior should guide every decision you make. 

I am confident that the associates are leaving this week having met the above criteria. In fact, I’m counting on it because this grouping of people will make up over 75% of the workforce by the year 2025.
The maturity they have shown while working with some of the best business partners you could hope to find, has been amazing. They are the workforce of the future, and it is our jobs as mentors to provide them the tools and support needed if we expect them to reach their full potential. I have had the pleasure to see what can be accomplished when this support is provided. So, my challenge to the community moving forward; find a way to support the Northland CAPS program, by providing projects or internships, volunteering to mentor, or just be willing to share your story as a guest speaker. I’ve told them from day one that every transaction or interaction between others is a value proposition. Each side must bring value to the other. I can guarantee that if you give these young people a chance, they will bring value to you and your organization. 

Along with our millennials’ project we did manage to work in a little fun and volunteer work this week. As a final team building exercise, the associates learned how to play “doubles” in pickleball. I enjoyed watching them cut loose and be high school students for a while. I’ve mentioned before that one of the highlights of this program is the mixing of students from 14 different high schools, and how they come together as a team. It’s not unusual when attending graduation parties to see associates from different schools in attendance. On Wednesday, we finished our final volunteer service day by repainting the main meeting area in our host building, BankLiberty Gladstone. We are very pleased to have such a great place to meet. The bank staff has become part of the program, getting to know the associates and explaining to customers why there are all these young, professionally dressed people in the bank each day.  It has been a pleasure to work with them. Finally, thank you to the associates for surprising me with a retirement cake (not sure I needed the cane, but it was funny). I will miss working with and watching them grow in the coming years.