On Tuesday night, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce leadership Phil Bussey, CEO, and Kirk Nelson, Board Chairman (also Washington President of Qwest) led a great discussion with the chamber's Young Professionals Network. The chamber, like so many other organizations, need the up and coming generation of Generation X (Gen X) and Millennials (also known as Gen Y) to fill the leadership gap that's afflicting many organizations.
Their words were inspirational, particularly at a time when this economic crisis is kicking so many Gen X and Millennial professionals in the pants. Unlike other recessions, this on is a doozie on many fronts, creating what John Talton has stated as an economic reset.
One point that John left out is that unlike other market corrections and cycles since World War II, this recession has decimated small businesses. Historically, small businesses have fueled up to a third of job growth and have represented roughly 9 percent of job losses, according to research economist Melinda Pitts. This recession, however, "these very small firms have made up 45 percent of the nation's job losses."
When you consider that Gen Xers and Millennials were the fastest growing initiators of new business starts since the turn of the millennium, our young professionals are taking on the lion's share of the economic hemorrhaging. And if you add in that business owners cannot claim unemployment, the hit to young professionals and business owners is much greater than what's getting reported.
Now, more than ever, all professionals need business and community leaders like Mr. Bussey and Mr. Nelson to help them navigate the economic reset and move into leadership roles. Mentorship and support of young professionals will help them make smart business decisions to prepare for long-term job growth and economic recovery.
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