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President's Message

November 2021

From the Business Perspective Newsletter

Who's following you?

Like many I carry my world in my phone. It dictates my schedule, organizes my many contacts my email accounts, texts, apps and social media. It’s my touchstone, but the truth is that I still rely on my old-fashioned Daytimer with its worn leather binder and scribbled months and days at-a-glance to keep me on track. My daily calendar even offers a new quote to inspire each day.

Recently an offering from author Neale Donald Walsch caught my attention:

“If the whole world followed you, would you be pleased with where you took it?”

This is an interesting twist of the “if everyone else was doing it would you” logic. By extension, it’s a reminder that we are examples even if we’re unaware. Are we always worthy?

As we round out the 4th quarter we focus on closing out projects and planning for 2022, with an eye on the new and shiny – new projects, budgets and new opportunities. January 1 brings a fresh start even if you’ve already been working on the “new” year for months. I’m not big on resolutions, but I find this time of year to be a good opportunity to be mindful of what I want to achieve personally and professionally.

Though I’ve never read any of Welsch’s books, his quote resonated with me. When I came across it, I was working on some welcome remarks for the conference of a state-wide civic organization meeting in Overland Park. Part of the group’s mission is empowering women to change the world, so it was perfect timing. There was a big smile on every face and the energy in the room was palpable as I began. This group was excited to be together again in person. They were ready to re-charge their batteries, ready to learn with and from each other, ready to embark on a new year and make a difference in their communities.

I enjoy welcoming people to Overland Park and telling them a little about us. For this group, I shared a few of our rankings, particularly those critical to women such as Smart Asset’s ranking of OP as 5th best city where women are successful or #8 best places to start a career. I shared these not to brag, but to make a point that Overland Park, just like their hometowns, are not excellent places to live by accident. They are that way through intentional leadership.

Great communities are planned. As leaders we must also plan for our future – our replacements to lead our organizations and our communities. If it’s not already, consider adding to your 2022 goals mentoring a student or young professional, volunteering with a school or youth organization or adding an intern to your team.

I am inspired by the leaders I work with every day, from small business owners, corporate leaders, young professionals, elected officials and community volunteers. Look around for those whose example you would like to follow, but always be mindful that there are those who may be following you.

Tracey Osborne Oltjen

written by

Tracey Osborne Oltjen, CCE, IOM

President & CEO