Elsewhere in this issue, you will find the 2006 recipients of the 40 Leaders Under Forty award. Here at InterBusiness Issues we are proud to sponsor this annual selection – our 13th year doing so.
But more than that, we're proud to do business in a community which produces future leaders of this caliber. Take the time to read over the accomplishments and contributions of each and every one. I think you too will feel that pride.
They've all done so much so soon…and they've more than half their working lives ahead of them. That bodes well for the potential of this area. These leaders really contradict legendary football coach Darrell Royal who once said: "Potential means you ain't done it yet."
It doesn't seem like that long ago when we named our first class of 40 leaders. Yet when I think about how much the world has changed since that first group in 1994, I'm just staggered. I did some research, and the top story back then was the O.J. Simpson trial. Tragic as that was, it pales in comparison to yesterday's, today's, and tomorrow's news in this post-9/11 age of terrorism.
This year's 40 leaders face a much different world than did their predecessors of not all that long ago. If nothing else, this year's group must be more aware of the world's geography. So much of what affects us happens far beyond our borders. By necessity, they're far more aware of world politics – and how events miles away impact our own community.
In his book The Leader of the Future, Global Leadership: The Next Generation, Marshall Goldsmith describes the traits the leaders of tomorrow will need. His bottom line: the skills of today's leaders won't cut it tomorrow. The leaders of tomorrow will not resemble those of today.
At the top of his “Emerging Factors of Leadership” is the need to think globally. The notso- subtle signs of this are in the newspapers daily. Airlines walk out of routine bankruptcy hearings to announce they're cutting domestic service and adding international flights. And ask anyone who needs raw materials in their business if they're familiar with China or India (both only recently became non-stop destinations from O'Hare.)
Along with this new global thinking comes the need to appreciate diversity, build partnerships, and share leadership – each a part of leading people whose backgrounds and value sets may be radically dissimilar from their leader and co-workers. On top of that, they'll need a high degree of technological savvy.
I was particularly drawn to Goldsmith's assertion that intellectual capital will be the dominant source of value in the years to come. It brings some relief to know that this current class of Leaders proves the Peoria area to be a good source of that value.
I'm sure that someone produced a list of leadership criteria back in 1994 when our first Forty Leaders were named. That list is now much different. Congratulations to this year's 40 Leaders Under Forty. IBI