Beating the Odds

August 16, 2019Doug Peters, President and CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

Have you ever heard of a guy named Lawrence Bossidy? I bet few have. Lawrence is an author who also served as the CEO of Allied Signal (which later became Honeywell) in the 1990’s.  As a Fortune 100 business leader, he knew a lot.  And when he shared what he knew, it was usually pretty profound.

One of my favorite quotes from Bossidy was this: “Nothing we do is more important than hiring people.  At the end of the day, you bet on people, not strategies.”

So true.

I’ve long believed that the best way to bet on people is to engage them. Resource them. Connect them with others who’ve “been there, done that.” And then get the heck out of the way.

And if you’re as good at retaining your young talent as Lawrence Bossidy was, you know that there’s a need to invest in them.

You’ll appreciate this – the Chamber has a great way for you to invest in your under 40 team members – and it’s cost effective, too.

If you know anything about the Chamber’s Abilene Young Professionals (AYP), you know that there is no better way to engage your young talent than to connect them with this inspiring and accomplished group. Membership in AYP is surprisingly affordable, and engaging your folks in this group is intended to help keep them here in Abilene.  And in your business. Think of it as a meaningful way of “betting on your people.”

But there’s more to it than that. Get a load of this:

The second Abilene Young Professionals Leadership Summit, focused on leadership and professional development, is coming up in November.  The 14th, to be exact – at the Abilene Convention Center.

The Summit is sure to appeal to those you bet on – and I hope you’ll consider encouraging your folks to participate.

Sponsored by the Dian Graves Owen Foundation, this year’s Summit will bring hundreds of young professionals together from around the Big Country. From my own selfish perspective, it gives our city a chance to show off to those who live outside. To provide them a compelling reason to live here. And equally important, to work here.

The Summit runs from 11:00 am – 4:30 pm with a networking opportunity immediately following the Summit. You don’t have to put your people up for the night, and we’ll feed them. Just give them the day to be inspired, to learn about leadership, and to connect with a network of awe-inspiring people just like them.

First Financial Bank’s Samantha Baker put it like this, “AYP Leadership Summit is a conference designed to catalyze personal and professional development and to assist those interested in growing and empowering a strong Abilene community. This event will not only help expand your professional network, but you’ll walk away leading with a purpose, and adding value to your organization and your career.”

Well said, Samantha.

As an employer, I want to encourage you to send your talent. I also want to ask that you consider promoting your own business during the Summit by filling one of three remaining sponsorships for the event. To see a full list of Summit event sponsors and to learn more about sponsorship opportunities for your company, click here.

Sessions including topics like Climbing the Ladder, Tools to take to the Board Room, What I Wish I Knew Then, and Get the Most Out of Your Day.

Speakers include Anne Mahlum, founder and CEO of a boutique fitness company called [solidcore], Libby Spears of Bravo CC, Chris Montoya, Senior VP and Equities Manager for First Financial Trust, Vishia Wilson from Abilene Regional Medical Center, and many more.  For a complete rundown on this year’s slate of speakers and details on the breakout sessions, click here.

But wait, there’s more. Be one of the first 300 individuals to sign up for the Summit and you’ll receive a free, signed copy of keynote speaker Libby Spears’ book – What’s Your Plan Be?

In my view, there are two ways to grow our community – from the inside-out, or organically; or by constantly dealing with the hassle and cost of employee turnover. This event is one way your company can place a smart bet on the people you’ve already invested in.

I hope you will.

Onward!
Doug

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