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Apr 14, 2016

Rethinking Where to Look for the Leaders

In the last few weeks I have attended Start-up StoryTellers, reviewed applications for the start-up accelerator SEA Change, and sat in some due diligence reviews of start-ups.  It has got me thinking about who the leaders in our community are.

Traditionally we think of community leaders as the people who head institutions and/or who control resources.  That certainly is how the dictionary defines the term.  Those people are primarily baby boomers today.

But what I have seen lately is that the energy, ideas, and innovation are coming from men and women who are mostly under 35 years of age.  Isn’t that what leaders do: bring ideas, dream, inspire, and implement?

What are we baby boomers doing?  We are counseling, reviewing, advising, and funding.

So I think we need to change our vocabulary.

We baby boomers are now playing the role of facilitators.  Yes, we are the CEO’s, the executive directors, the investors, the donors, the advisors.  We are the source of knowledge and resources to facilitate the development of new companies, ideas, and organizations.

The people creating those new companies, ideas, and organizations are truly the leaders, even though they rely on the baby boomers to make their dreams into reality.

To that end, the Center for Social Enterprise Development is expanding its board to bring in millennials, who are indeed leading the charge in social entrepreneurship.  Our board is now filled with facilitators; the future belongs to the leaders, and I think the torch has passed from the baby boom generation, and we need to acknowledge and support that.

Disagree?  Come to Columbus SOUP, GiveBackHack, Start-Up Storytellers, APTE………… See who will be on the social enterprise panels for the Columbus Young Professionals May 27, Start-Up week May 6.  You will see who is holding the torch leading our community to its future.  Those on the rostrum or stage will predominantly be millennials, the leaders in the social enterprise movement.

Ich bin ein facilitator:  Allen Proctor,  Facilitator, Center for Social Enterprise Development