Emerge: E-merge.

Definition: To move out of or away from something and come into view.

A few years ago when ASA made the decision to rebrand the Young Executives group, I must admit, I was a little skeptical. I asked myself why this was necessary. I gave it some thought and realized that this was the perfect time to make a change.  

There would be some serious irony being the chairman of the Young Executives at the ripe, old age of 46. In an industry of long-arching careers, Einstein’s theory of relativity more than likely applies. I certainly felt this when I attended my first YE event in Memphis numerous years ago. I told myself that if this group was considered young, what did middle age look like?  

It didn’t take long for me to see the group in an entirely different light after spending a couple of days at the conference. The entire industry is evolving and will emerge to become something different than those who have come before us had envisioned. A name change can recognize that evolution. 

The transition of generations and the influence of those generations to come are reflected in the Emerging Leaders group. Change can be difficult. It can also be rewarding. This group has helped me and many others grow and foster our own relationships. 

Listening to the speakers at the annual Emerging Leaders Spring Forum, sitting in workshops and having time to discuss it with our peers has made a difference and gives us the space to grow. I can’t tell you how many times I have called a fellow emerging leader to discuss an issue or situation that I was facing. More often than not, they have had a similar situation and the discussion has given me insight into how to move forward. 

I am sure I am not the only one. 

Who’s next? That is the question. Who among us are starting to emerge into the leaders of the future? Some are evident. Others may need a gentle push or suggestion. We need to constantly be looking for the next to step up and take on the challenges before us.  

I see the Emerging Leaders group as an incubator of talent and ideas, providing an opportunity for EL members to grow, and make connections and friendships that make this business what it is.  

Who is next in your business?   

If you have someone in mind, encourage them to join us at the next Emerging Leaders Spring Forum or say hello at the next ASA event. I can assure you they will come away with something that can make an impact on them both personally and professionally.  

Hopefully, they won’t laugh when they see the now old young executive welcome them to the fold. 

Their time is coming.